As some of us are hoping for a brighter show season ahead of us in 2021, one of the things we may not have practiced/thought of much in the last year is putting our hair up neatly for a show. But as spring has sprung, so has horse show season and its time to brush up on this all-important skill!
Classic Hair Up Process
Step 1: I place my hair net (I prefer the one knot) over the top half of my head (yes, it always gets in your eyes to start!). Pull the sides of your hair down over the tops of your ears while tucking the elastic under the hair.
Step 2: Then pull your hair net snug over the top of your head, wrap it around the base of your ponytail and secure with a non-bulky elastic. Now you can push the hairnet out of your eyes and up to your hairline, adjusting the hair over the top of your ears if needed. Depending on the length of your hair you can feed it into the hair net and flip that up on top of your head or if you have longer hair like I do, just flip your loose ponytail on top.
Step 3: Time to put on your helmet starting back to front. Place the elastic into the back pocket of the harness if you have a helmet with that option and rotate your helmet forward onto your head keeping a hand on the elastic to keep it outside of the actual helmet so it doesn’t interfere with fit.
Final step: Once your helmet is on your head securely tuck in any extra pieces to keep your look extra neat. Be sure the front of your helmet sits about 1” above your eye brows – too high and the helmet cannot protect you effectively, too low and you can’t see!
Your helmet should feel like it’s giving your head a hug, not a headache!
It very important to have your helmet fitted for how you plan to wear your hair daily. If you don’t want to wear your hair up everyday but plan to put it up for show and have medium/long length hair it would be best to invest in 2 helmets so you don’t compromise the fit and safety.
In the 4H ring or the dressage ring show bows or buns are appropriate (but don’t try to use one in the rated hunters!). If you plan to use a show bow, I would still use the hairnet to neatly contain your hair under your helmet and secure with an elastic. Then clip the bow in the hair above the elastic (you may need to pull the elastic a bit lower so everything sits out of the way of the helmet). Tuck your hair into the remainder of the hair net and then into the show bow net for added security- having your hair flop out in the middle of your class is very distracting!
If you are using a bun cover start the same but twist/wind your hair into a bun at the base of your neck and secure with another elastic and some bobby pins before placing the cover over it. If it doesn’t feel secure, tuck a few more bobby pins in until you can jump up and down without it moving.
Under 12 with long hair can show in braids. As a kid who lived in French braids to keep my long hair contained at the barn I don’t recommend them under a helmet as I find they create pressure points and an uncomfortable fit. If your kid is tougher then I am go for it! I personally like to do 2 braids starting just below where the helmet sits, secure with elastics at the bottom and add bows of your choice.
Regardless of your chosen style practice before show day! Wear your hair the way you will for the show and take a lesson. This way you know if it will stay put for the whole show and you can avoid embarrassing/distracting flying hair incidents. Let’s face it, shows are stressful enough, don’t let your hair be part of the worry!
Written by Sponsored Rider, Sarah Freeman from Serendipity Stable