July 3, 2012

Bunhead Must-Haves


This is all the stuff I need to fix my hair into a proper ballet bun. I don't leave home without it. Well, except for the volume hair powder. That I apply after my hair has been blow-dried. You sprinkle a bit onto your palm, rub both palms together and work it into hair. It gives fine and slippery hair more volume and "grip", which makes buns a lot easier to do! 

The other bun-essentials are more or less obvious. You need elastics (use the ones without metallic bits), pins and bobby pins, and snap-clips. Snap-clips hold better than bobby pins, but if you're going for a sleeker look or are going on stage, use pins that match you hair color. I always carry extra, and have been known to fix friends' hair emergencies as well! What you don't see here, and might wonder about is the absence of hair nets. I'm not a fan of nets as they're just another thing to fiddle with. And I don't really need it; once I have my bun all pinned it stays in place. Add some hairspray and I'm good to dance!

18 comments:

  1. Oooo I'm not quite at the bun stage - I've been back in ballet classes since Easter and finally donned my first leotard about 4 weeks ago. I guess putting my hair into a bun would be the next step! I'm currently just wearing my hair in a ponytail, but it does have an annoying habit of hitting me in the face during the occasional pirouette!

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    1. Buns are not a must if you're hair is short, or your pony-tail short enough NOT to whip into your face! :D Seriously, why make turns any harder? It doesn't have to be a perfect ballet bun, but do get that hair out of the way of your turns. Your technique might even improve!

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  2. Sooooooo glad I don't have to worry about my hair!

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  3. Reading this i came to the conclussion that ive to take more care of my bun. I need to get a few of this items you show here ;) even pins...I had short hair and now grew and i can make a mini pony tail, but I look like a sea-star, frizzy hair up in all directions even though ive very thin and straight hair. But it´s terrible when it gets all sweaty, so yes! this post motivates me to take more care of this "small" details..THank you! :))

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    1. The most important thing about ballet-class hair is that it should stay out of the way and not disturb your dancing. Or anyone else's. Really, I have been in class where pins went flying during piqué turns! And if you dance close together, long pony-tails can even whip others into the face. It's all happened. LOL.

      But if you want to wear a more polished look, try some snap-clip pins and hairspray. You could also try a cool scarf-band. But don't worry about looking like a sea-star - it's actually a cute image! :)

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  4. How does the volume powder work on dark hair? I've tried something similar and ended up looking like I'd dumped some flour onto my head...

    H

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    1. First, make sure you're not using dry shampoo powder, which is also volumizing. That stuff doesn't really work on dark hair, unless it's coloured (which tends to get messy).

      The volume powder I use has a different texture, you only need a tiny sprinkle. And you rub it together in you hands first, then apply to hair. It feels kind of sticky between your hands, but not in your hair. If you use too much, hair will look matte, but not white-wigged. My hair is darkish brown and long, and this stuff works great for me!

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  5. I, however, cannot live without my bun nets! But I do have a faintly absurd quantity of hair and if I've gone to all that effort to get it into a bun, I'm taking no risks with it escaping! There is no worse feeling in class than that moment when you start to feel your bun come loose...

    Your picture has reminded me though that I need to get a new tin to keep my hair pins in so I don't keep losing them in the bottom of my bag :)

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    1. Nellie, I have seen photos of your abundant hair - it's gorgeous! But I trust you know how to secure your bun :)

      Until you get that new pin-tin (heh, sounds funny) try small zip-lock bags. Problem sorted!

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    2. Industrial quantities of hairspray and sturdy pins (eight!) are my good friends! I can't remember the last time I had that 'panic' moment with a bun but the one time I tried a chignon it ended badly...

      *hee* pin-tin.

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  6. I actually kinda miss making a bun of my hair - even if I'm happy with the short hair-do these days. 3-4 hair pins and some spray to keep it in place, that's it... :D

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    1. Quite a few professional ballerinas have short hair-dos - they just use extensions for performances! So you could have it both ways :)

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  7. Up until the end of last year, I just scraped my hair back into a pony-tail, but since deciding to take ballet in a more serious direction, I thought it high time to get my "bun on". However i do cheat a little by employing the use of a bun donut, which for me gives that perfect looking round neatness at the back of my head.

    Plenty of pins, a Bunheads hair net and a generous spray of Elnett and I'm good to go.

    And its so worth the extra effort, the line and look of your head is so more elegant and balletic without all that hair swinging around behind.

    Thanks for sharing your tips Jo, I'm now on the hunt for some good dry shampoo :)

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    1. I don't mind a swinging pony-tail if it's above shoulders and doesn't hit you in the face.. :)

      There are also ballets where a pony-tail or free-flowing hair is part of the look. I'm thinking Forsythe and Balanchine.. In fact, there are a lot of professional dancers who wear their hair short off stage (and in class). I guess you get bored after being a bunhead for twenty years or so!

      And there's a definite downside to wearing tight hairstyles all the time: they constantly pull on your hair roots. This often results into a permanently thinned hairlines. But if you only started to wear buns in your adult years, and limit them to class time, you should be good.

      Even though a classical bun is part of the Ballet Look, in the end it's your epaulément that determines the elegant line - not your hair.

      But I like my hair neat and polished, as it looks more disciplined and class-appropriate. And it makes dancing easier when you don't have to fiddle with it during class! :)

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    2. Hiya Jo, you are spot on about ballets featuring the female dancers with ponytails instead of buns, I've been paying close attention of Wayne McGregor's Infra (ahead of seeing it at the ROH this autumn) and it makes for an added feeling of "organic" motion with their dancing, particularly from the likes of Marianela Nunez in her PdD with Ed Watson.

      And you are absolutely right about the importance of epaulement, thankfully my Russian teachers are particularly hot on this, and have been helping me greatly with the use of my epaulement and improving my port de bras, especially in arabesque lines. Its those little details and inflections that make such a difference.

      Bex

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    3. Hi Jo, you spot on about ballets featuring flowing hair and/or pony tails, recently I have been studying Wayne McGregor's Infra in preparation to watching it live at the ROH in the Autumn, and in typical McG style, there's a connection to the choreography with the look of the dancers, in this case the women with scraped back ponies. It gives a sort of "organic" flow and continuation to the exaggerated upper body movements, and the PdD between Marianela Nuñez and Ed Watson is a fine example.

      And you are quite right about the importance of epaulément, fortunately for me, my Russian teachers are particularly hot on epaulément and have been helping me to improve, along with my port de bras, they have such a wonderful way of bringing out those extra little touches that make ballet so beautiful! It can often only be a matter of a few degrees more turn of the head, or an adjustment to the line of the arm, but what a difference it makes!

      Bx

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