With a organize of experienced dancers and dance teachers reading this I am confident tright here is no need to provide any kind of step-by-action instructions for developing the perfect ballet bun. That sassist, tbelow is one area frequently neglected:

…the student experience.

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For generations, young dancers have endured having their hair approximately manhandled by parental fees and also teachers – usually in a hurry to obtain the following student all set – and have actually tolerated the pain and also discomfort of having actually their scalps scratched and also scraped, hair yanked from the roots and pins stabbed into their crown, all the while being told to be quiet, sheight whinging, and most of all sit still ! (Sound familiar?)

Beyond the regularly brutal act of screwing the hair right into a bun in the first place, tbelow are additionally various other problems which might plague and also distract the dancer throughout their exam/performance lengthy after the bunmaker has relocated on; the off-putting sensation of a not-focused ponytail, the distractivity of painfully inserted pins, the off-balancing result of a bun-coming-loose.

Now, tright here might well be bit lasting harm done to these dancers by putting up through this, yet, I advocate that a comfortable dancer is a happy dancer, and I believe in prioritising our students’ welfare. In addition, a happy dancer is even more likely to perdevelop better.

By making the bun-making process as painless and the bun itself as comfortable as possible, not just are we making happy dancers, however we may well instraight rise their exam results.

Here are a few things that deserve to be advantageous to remember if acting as hairdresser, and tips on just how to conquer regularly encountered problems:

Hypoallergenic Products

If you are offering hair commodities for the students, check in development that, wherever possible, they are hypoallergenic to protect against any type of threats. As this have the right to be a more expensive alternative, perhaps officially include ‘hairdressing’ as a business you will be providing on the day, and charge a small extra fee to all students to cover prices.

Brushes & Combs

Make sure you have to hand also a range of brushes and also combs to accommoday various hair types:

Radial/round brushes and also those through a little round on the end of each bristle should be avoided for students via thick/curly hair as they regularly reason painful-to-rerelocate tats and also knots.For lighter/fine hair, baby-soft bristles need to be used, as the solid bristles for curly hair will certainly be as well painful.Sparse-density hair needs soft tightly-packed bristles, so regarding avoid separating the hair too a lot and also leaving the scalp visible (which some dancers discover embarrassing or also upsetting).Lastly, it must be remembered that Paddle brushes, whilst versatile, are not the a lot of suitable when attempting to contour the hair right into a tight smooth ponytail – specifically on smaller sized heads!
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Photo Credit: paulscott56Hair Ties/Bands

Have on-hand various forms of hair ties (likewise dubbed ‘hair bands’ or, in the UK, ‘bobbles’). While valuable for light hair, thin hair ties, particularly if they have actually a steel clasp, need to be avoided for thicker hair as they tfinish to snag at the hair and cause knots. Thin ones must likewise be avoided for thick or very lengthy hair, as they normally have actually much less elasticity, and are even more at risk to snapping under force.

Hair ties with ornaments or decorative pieces such as tiny plastic ballet shoes and so on. need to be totally avoided as they have the right to conveniently get knotted into medium-thick hair (especially if curly), and regularly need to be reduced or ripped out. For the very same reason, stop hair ties with a scratchy or unstable surconfront.

Bonus Tip: A great home-made choice is to cut up the legs of a pair of opaque tights right into 1-2inch loops. This is great as this product doesn’t snag at the hair, is quickly put in/taken out, has actually great stretch for getting that ‘last twist’ you so often long for through the ‘poor bobble’, and also you have the right to pick colours which blend in incredibly well through different hair colours.

Hair Brushing & Detangling

Often it is quickest and most basic to acquire the student to brush their own hair to remove any kind of tats/knots, followed by your very own quick pre-styling brush through. This means they are in control, and also when points obtain uncomfortable they can make accommodations to tackle challenging spots, fairly than wince as an adult ploughs through.

If the student is also young to brush their very own hair, avoid unstable strokes and also be mindful of their body language (if you have actually a quiet one!) A excellent tactic is to start at the bottom and work-related your method up, quite than starting at the peak and also hazard matting tangles by dragging them down-over. Also, once tackling massive knots, host the hair tightly close to the scalp but slightly away from the head; that way, the push of pulling and also tugging on the hair is against your very own hand, and is not felt by the student. Spritzing via water or Detangler deserve to also be advantageous strategies.

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Photograph Credit: larryvincentThe Ponytail

Invite the student to put their hair in a tight high ponytail themselves if they are able. This is often the a lot of difficult part for a parent/teacher to gain ideal as tright here are so many type of variables, and also only the student have the right to feeling wright here it feels the majority of comfortable and secure.  If they are not old enough to control it on their very own, double check that they are satisfied prior to continuing to avoid whinging later on once it’s also late!

Construction Errors

Do not underestimate the level of discomfort or distraction of a negative bun! If mid-construction take the time to un-perform any type of troubles and also remake so as to prevent hours of irritation. If the bun is currently finish, and also the problem not as simple as removing a last-added stabbing pin, apologise to the dancer saying you will certainly need to prioritise via other students yet that you will try to re-do their hair if tright here is time before their session.

Pin Placement

When poking pins right into a creating bun, it is tricky to avoid occasional head-stabbing. While tbelow doesn’t seem to be any type of tactic which is totally fool-proof, I recommend aiming the pin downwards on an angle to push it in (in the direction of the head, but slightly out/ameans from the bun), then press it up/into the centre of the bun in a type of swooping ‘dvery own up’ curve so as to catch the hair and anchor the bun, yet prevent aiming the pin in the direction of the scalp at any type of suggest. Other than this I recommfinish practice, and patience!

Hair Gel

Be cautious when applying hair gel so that as little bit gets on the skin as is possible; its stickiness deserve to be very unpleasant. Also, double examine in breakthrough that tbelow are no sparkles or colouring in the gel to prevent messy mishaps, or embarrassing skin staining.

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Picture Credit: slightly everythingHairspray

When using hairspray, constantly make certain you first tell the student to close their eyes and put your hand also over their face to avoid it obtaining in their eyes. This likewise helps reduce the amount of spray accidentally landing on encounters. Before hair spraying, always make certain you say “deep breath” (or some equivalent) to the student, so regarding both warn them they are around to be sprayed, and also make sure to prevent any type of miss-timed breathing mishaps.

Finishing Off

The sensation of sticky residue on the skin from hairspray is disagreeable and also unpleasant for many type of. When the bun is complete, offer the student a wet-wipe/baby wipe to remove any excess sticky residue on their deals with and ears from the hairspray. While might wish to execute this for students who are young (or less trustworthy), carry out remember that they are the only ones that can feel wbelow the sticky spots are!

Bun Making Masterclass

Ultimately, the best solution to bun problems is to totally remove the middle guy, and teach the students to do their own hair as early on as possible. In a majority of recreational colleges students could be asked to tie their hair up, yet are hardly ever intended to wear their hair in buns for all classes, and also definitely strict professional-level-tidy buns are generally only ever before mandatory for exams or performances.

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Photo Credit: vidamarie

As such, students are ill-used to appropriately putting up their very own hair, so as soon as it concerns exams and also performances, paleas and also teachers are compelled to action in to ensure students hair that is both well presented, and also sufficiently secure.

Now, many teachers feel that despite this concern, they are not comfortable making ballet buns compulsory for all classes so as to accommoday for individual students residence resides and also scenarios etc. Yet, an different alternative is to offer a complimentary ‘Bun Making Masterclass’ at the begin of each year, in the time of which students are taught techniques on exactly how to put their hair up to a high standard independently.

Possibly this could be occurred right into a competition as to who has developed the strongest or neatest bun, either for the finish of the workshop, or even continued throughout the rest of the year (the aspect of competition ideally helping retain interest and also a desire to put their hair up for all classes).

This method, students will certainly not only become experienced at their very own buns for exams and also performances, but they will be adopting the self-control of placing ones hair up for ballet like a pro, without necessarily also realising it.

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Bonus Tip: As part of the ‘Bun Making Masterclass’, offer out standardised instruction booklets for students to follow throughout the Mastercourse, and also to take house through them for future recommendation (and for their parents!). Do encompass images of inspirational skilled dancers as impetus, and also include indevelopment like;

♦ what to carry out via fringes ♦ what to perform via short hair ♦ what bun nets and so on do you desire them to usage (standardised, or blending with their hair colour for example) ♦ exactly how high execute you desire them to area their bun (nape of the neck, ago of the head, high on the crown) ♦ what partings you would certainly prefer ♦ what decorations (scrunchies, ribbons etc) you permit, and also of course ♦ advice on appropriate use of gel/hairspray/products and so on.

This method you are a lot of likely to have actually a studio complete of beautifully corresponding, expert-standard ballet buns; not just raising the level of professionalism in class, but ensuring their abilities are well honed for exams and performances.

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Share your best bun-crafting tips in our comments!If you have questions, article those, also.