Looking to spice up the classic bun or French twist in your next recital? DT rounded up three modern looks for the stage, plus tips and must-have supplies from New York City–based hair stylist Alexandra Brock.
Instead of a French twist…
Try the Johawk
1. Comb the front of the hair or bangs into a medium-size pouf. Secure with bobby pins.
2. Divide hair into three ponytails at the crown, eye level and nape of the neck.
3. Working with one ponytail at a time, wrap small sections of hair around your fingers to create pin curls. Secure each with two crisscrossed bobby pins at the bottom of the curl, so it stands up. Repeat with all hair on each ponytail to create three clusters of curls that touch each other.
*Tip: Backcomb hair at the roots for a larger, more dramatic pouf.
Instead of a ballet bun…
Try a sock bun.
2. Using a low-bristle brush, smooth hair into a high ponytail.
3. Pull the ponytail through the sock, two inches from the ends of hair.
4. Tuck the ends around the sock, and roll the sock outward toward the head.
5. Secure the edges of the bun with a bobby pin for a solid hold.
*Tip: Brock says dancers with bangs can flat-iron them up and back before beginning, then pin and spray them in place. This encourages the bangs to lie flat.
Instead of half up, half down…
Try a braided headband.
1. Make a three-inch side or center part at the front of the head. Gather the unparted hair into a ponytail to keep it out of the way.
2. Starting as close to the part as possible, make a tight French braid on one side that ends just behind the ear. Secure with two crisscrossed bobby pins and repeat on the other side.
3. Release hair from the ponytail.
*Tip: To keep flyaways from coming out of the braids, apply a water-based pomade before you begin.
Hair Bungee bands help prevent hair breakage because you hook the elastic around the hair instead of pulling and twisting. “They are great to anchor a ponytail so it doesn’t move, and the bumps won’t come back as you twist the elastic,” says Brock.
Brock’s Picks: Big Sexy Hair Spray & Play by Sexy Hair Concepts, Aqua Net Extra Super Hold
Bobby pins brand and size are dancers’ choice, but they should match their hair color.
Dry shampoo or sea salt spray add texture to clean or slippery hair. Spray at the beginning of your hair routine and let it sit for a few minutes. It gets rid of oiliness and makes backcombing a breeze.
Brock’s Picks: Big Sexy Hair What a Tease Backcomb in a Bottle by Sexy Hair Concepts, Maui Wowie Beach Mist by Philip B
Narrow teasing brush with low bristles for backcombing at the root and creating a smooth finish.
Rat tail comb: The pointed handle parts hair and pulls out bumps, while the comb smoothes.
Restore hair after performance by washing with clarifying shampoo. After showering, Brock recommends leaving in conditioner, olive oil or coconut oil anywhere from an hour to overnight before rinsing to restore moisture.
Johawk photos by Erin Baiano, hair by Tonya Noland, makeup by Chuck Jensen, both for Mark Edward, Inc.; sock bun photos by Jayme Thornton, hair and makeup by Tonya Noland for Mark Edward, Inc.; braided headband photo by Nathan Sayers, hair and makeup by Tonya Noland for Mark Edward, Inc.