Tip number 1 – Acceptance
First of all you need to accept jits hair will happen. The more you stress about it in training the worse it seems to get. Accept you will occasionally get a lions mane of hair and be prepared to roll through it till the end of a round. It’s annoying stopping rolls or drill every few seconds just to put your hair up!
Tip 2 – Choice of hair bobbles.
This is more important than it sounds. You want one that stays in but also doesn’t rip too much hair out. I’ve experimented with a range of hair ties and tend to stick to a plain covered elasticated bobble. The uncovered rubberised style do stay in better but as a result you get much more tearing in your hair. The “no kinks” style bobble have no hair tears but just doesn’t stay in. Try to avoid ones with any metal parts or any type of hair clips or pins. You don’t want things getting stuck into your head or your training partner!
My other tips regarding hair bobbles is to be prepared to give your hair bobble a regular hair cut too (don’t keep the dirty hair on it!) and to always keep a spare one on you gum shield case. You never known when they’ll snap!
Tip 3 – Hair style.
This ultimately depends on how well you can you do your hair. I am totally rubbish at doing hairstyles so I use a pony tail tied into a bun / knot as you can see in the picture. I know training partners that do braids, plaits and a host of other variation. But two resources that might help you:
Ronda Rousey Buns – If you want to unleash your inner Ronda there is this tutorial from the women herself regarding how she does her hair.
MegJitsu – Has done a while blog regarding hair as well as a whole gallery of BJJ hair styles for you to use as inspiration!
Tip 4 – Competition Hair
In Thai Boxing my competition hair was easy. I got it braided or put in corn rows by someone else! For BJJ I keep it in the same style as training but with lots of extra product. First of all I try not to wash my hair the day before (it makes it too soft and fly away) unless I really need to. A couple of days “wear” really helps in this case. I then use hair mousse or texturizing foam to help “dirty it” even more and to help keep it in place. This also has the positive side effect of making your hair smell nice. One of my greatest compliment after a match was how nice my hair smelt. Apparently it was almost a distraction! Finally once in place I used a liberal amount of hairspray. Just don’t forget to pack your hairbrush for after competition as well as your spare hair bobble!
Tip 5 – Hair Maintenance
You hair is going to get ripped out, it will get dry from Epsom salt baths, you will be frequently washing it and drying it and styling it and all those things that make it look unhealthy. Once in a while give it a treat not just with a hairdressers appointment but also with some home TLC. Once every couple of weeks consider a conditioning hair mask such as Aussie 3 Minute Miracle or if your on a budget just take your favourite conditioner and wrap your hair some cling film or a shower cap for 10-15 minutes. Great whilst your having a soak!
Tip 6 – Your shampoo / keeping it clean
Ok whilst none of us like to think about this but our hair essentially becomes a “mat mop” during training. Not just with our own sweat but also other peoples sweat and whatever else is on the mat! I am paranoid about gym germs but still caught a small bit of ringworm over a year ago. I couldn’t work out how I got it on my shoulder when I always wear a rashguard / gi and get changed after training etc. Then I realised it was exactly where my sweaty hair reached and rubbed against my shoulder when in a post training ponytail. A lesson learnt the hard way!
You can get tea tree oil shampoo which has known anti-fungal properties. Or you can use a shampoo containing Salicylic Acid a known ringworm treatment. It’s basically most anti dandruff shampoos. These tend to be generally cheaper and easier to get hold of and are great if you’ve had one of those training sessions were your hair feel particularly sweaty and icky. My personal preference is to use Vosene medicated shampoo.
I hope you find these tips useful. Jits hair is a pain we all have to deal with! Feel free to get in touch if you have any queries or if you’ve got any tips you like to share. 🙂