Getting back to my series of posts on adult ballet…hooray!
In a spurt of it’sgottocomeoffrightnowRIGHTNOW, I went to the local cheap salon last Sunday and got 6-7 inches chopped off of my head, and had bangs added. What I forgot to consider is that now I am consigned to attending ballet class with a mullet, thanks to the layers on the back of my head. I also have about 5-6 small hair clips gathered around the front of my head, in a futile effort to keep the bangs in place. There are little tufts of hair sticking out all over the place.
A few years back, when I was also dealing with a relatively short ‘do, my ballet teacher told me: there is a little curl on the back of your head. By the amount it bounces around at barre, I’ll be able to tell whether you are actually holding your upper body correctly or not. The moral of the story is that short hair/layered hair/bangs don’t make for the best ballet ‘do.
For adult beginners: you’re not going to be doing a ton of turns at the very beginning of your training, so I think that a ponytail will be fine. As you advance, you’ll really need to learn how to do a ballet bun, or figure something out with hair clips. Ponytails will make turning difficult; one teacher explained to me that the unconscious psychological awareness of a ponytail’s tendency to whip you in the face while you are turning will curtail your ability to turn. The ballet bun is quite practical.
If you have short hair or bangs, consider wearing a headband. If, like me, you have an oddly shaped head that can’t hold a headband to save its life, you’ll just have to resign yourself to massive hair clippage. It looks silly, but as long as it stays in place, who cares?
When I had long hair, I did the whole shebang: put hair in low ponytail; roll and wrap into a bun; hair net; and five million bobby pins. It looked good, I must say, and it usually stayed put during turns. I got lazy eventually and just used a big claw clip instead of the hair net+ bobby pin process; I found that it was easier to redo hair that falls out during turns with the clip during class, whereas if your netted and pinned hair falls out during class, you’re in a bit of a jam.
The best video I’ve found on doing hair for ballet, as it includes an example of what to do with short hair as well:
I never used hair spray; seems to me this is more of a professional/performance thing.
One final option would be wrapped braids; my first ballet teacher, who trained with the National Ballet of Canada, had long luscious red hair. While it was wet, she would plait it into 1-2 braids and wrap them into a bun or around her head like a crown braid (secured with another five million bobby pins). It was so lovely, but I imagine quite a lot of work.