WAG Long, thick hair bun recommendations?

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3gymnastmom

Proud Parent
Fan
Feb 8, 2021
30
Chicago area
Hello experienced parents of girl gymnasts! My daughter is xcel bronze and is competing for the first time this season. Her coach prefers the girls to wear their hair in a high bun. My daughter has very long hair (waist-length) and it’s thick and heavy too. Any recommendation on a bun/hair prop to best achieve this for such long and heavy hair? I heard some of the moms talking about a hair donut and I’ve found them on Amazon, but there are so many sizes and options, I don’t even know where to start. I appreciate any advice and experience you are willing to share. Thanks!
 

Pineapple_Lump

Coach
Judge
Jan 31, 2008
1,159
This is my opinion as a coach who has had to fix hair on the competition floor in a hurry....
Given the description of your daughters hair I would not be using any donut or other product that will add further bulk.

My suggestion is to make sure you get a solid ponytail first (if the bun falls out, a solid ponytail is easy to fix up from) hair gel is your friend for this. Work with dry hair and use a spray bottle to dampen as needed, you don't want to add any weight with wet hair. Twist and wrap and secure well. Braids in the ponytail can add to the bulkiness of the bun, but perhaps braiding hair leading into the pony tail may use up some bulk.
 
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&bs

Coach
Judge
Club Owner / Manager
Dec 18, 2013
55
One girl from our gym has super, super thick long hair (I couldn’t join my finger and thumb around her pony tail). She makes a pony tail with approx the back half her hair and then twists coils it in to a bun (this is the size of a bun of a girl with normal thick hair) and fastens it. She then twists and wraps the front half around the bun and fastens that. It ends up looking a bit like one donut sitting on top of the other.
The pony tail is only half her hair so stays in much better and each time she fastens it with an elastic it only has to hold the weight of half her hair.
It looks like a regular bun would in her hair and stays in 1000 times better.
 

3gymnastmom

Proud Parent
Fan
Feb 8, 2021
30
Chicago area
This is my opinion as a coach who has had to fix hair on the competition floor in a hurry....
Given the description of your daughters hair I would not be using any donut or other product that will add further bulk.

My suggestion is to make sure you get a solid ponytail first (if the bun falls out, a solid ponytail is easy to fix up from) hair gel is your friend for this. Work with dry hair and use a spray bottle to dampen as needed, you don't want to add any weight with wet hair. Twist and wrap and secure well. Braids in the ponytail can add to the bulkiness of the bun, but perhaps braiding hair leading into the pony tail may use up some bulk.
Thank you! This is the exact type in intel I need. I also plan to practice a time or two prior to to the mock meet (11/20) so that hopefully by the mock meet so that we’ll have most of the kinks ironed out.
 

3gymnastmom

Proud Parent
Fan
Feb 8, 2021
30
Chicago area
One girl from our gym has super, super thick long hair (I couldn’t join my finger and thumb around her pony tail). She makes a pony tail with approx the back half her hair and then twists coils it in to a bun (this is the size of a bun of a girl with normal thick hair) and fastens it. She then twists and wraps the front half around the bun and fastens that. It ends up looking a bit like one donut sitting on top of the other.
The pony tail is only half her hair so stays in much better and each time she fastens it with an elastic it only has to hold the weight of half her hair.
It looks like a regular bun would in her hair and stays in 1000 times better.
Thank you for this…this sounds like a good technique. My daughter’s hair isn’t quite that thick (or maybe I have big hands?), but I know it isn’t going to hold up unless I do a really secure job. I’ll be practicing a few times before her mock meet on 11/20.
 

pt coach

Coach
Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2009
188
My daughter has very thick and long hair as well. I am also terrible at buns, braids etc. So I had only one style: pull it all back into a tight and then gelled ponytail. Divide the pony tail into three tight braids. Wrap each braid around the base of the ponytail securing it with bobby pins as I go. After all three braids are wrapped, cover with a hair netting thing and a final hair tie. This usually involved copious amounts of hair gel and spray and no less than 17 pins. My daughter hated every minute and started doing her own hair when she was in 7th grade.
 

B&M's mom

Proud Parent
Sep 4, 2010
431
Hair nets over the bun also help hold it. There are elastics made for thick heavy hair. My daughter swears by them.

I should also say that sometimes nothing, nothing will keep that hair up. My DD was a gym that also required high buns. After a couple of years of the coaches having to fix her hair because even the tighest bun with bobby pins over every square inch, and a hair net and multiple elastics, it would not stay up, they gave up. She was allowed to wear her hair in braid or pony.
 

mommyof1

Proud Parent
Jan 31, 2012
2,527
The car
My daughter has very thick and long hair as well. I am also terrible at buns, braids etc. So I had only one style: pull it all back into a tight and then gelled ponytail. Divide the pony tail into three tight braids. Wrap each braid around the base of the ponytail securing it with bobby pins as I go. After all three braids are wrapped, cover with a hair netting thing and a final hair tie. This usually involved copious amounts of hair gel and spray and no less than 17 pins. My daughter hated every minute and started doing her own hair when she was in 7th grade.

This is how I've usually seen it done, with either two or three braids depending on the amount of hair. Using old-fashioned hairpins instead of bobby pins is key. You can find them at beauty supply stores and dancewear stores.
 

Carly

Proud Parent
Jan 3, 2016
249
For my daughter with very thick, long hair, I did as others have suggested. I put it in a ponytail and did 2 braids. Then wrapped them into a bun and used hairpins not bobby pins.
If her hair is wavy/curly and you're still having trouble, you could consider straightening it with a hair dryer after washing it or using a flat iron to possibly decrease some of the bulk.
 
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MuggleMom

Proud Parent
Dec 22, 2016
735
Virginia
I have heard some moms with the thicker hair daughters use the corkscrew style hair pin and they swear by it may be worth looking into. Other than that just make sure you pin as you wrap around the pony, I would not use the hair donut thats more for girls with thin hair to make the bun look more substantial (in my opinion) We have used it and I could take it or leave it, although when we did the twin buns one year they helped make them look nice and uniform.
 
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Tiger93

Proud Parent
May 7, 2020
12
46
My daughter has thick almost waist length hair and I start with her hair wet. Add in a generous palm full of Rusk blofoam texturizer and root lifter which I work into her hair. I do a high pony using the Goody bold hold pony tail holders (2 of them). I do one braid and wrap that into a bun. Secure the bun with 5 Goody wrap Bobby pins (they are 3.5 inches long). And than spray with CHI helmet head hair spray. I basically saturate her hair with the spray. Wait for the spray to dry (15-20 minutes) and add the scrunchie around the bun. Her hair does not move at all, literally not at all, and she is in level 8.
 

Mish

Proud Parent
Aug 15, 2015
677
53
Just my input after doing thick waist length hair in a ballerina bun for the past 8 years. High pony tail in a hair tie, twist it and wrap it around itself, anchor with a hair tie and bobby pins around the base, put a thin hair net and wrap another hair tie with more bobby pins. Lots of hair spray and gel and then the competition scrunchie or whatever you wrap around the whole thing. In 8 years of competing it has never moved!! We tried the braid method once but did not feel it was as secure.
 

ProudGymnast

Gymnast
Fan
Feb 16, 2021
106
I use a snap bun maker for my thick long-ish hair. Its like a snap band that has two sides which you put your hair between and roll it up, then snap into place and it creates a perfect bun. I am pretty sure I got mine off amazon

It takes a couple tries to learn, but once you get the hang of it works good and is very secure with an extra elastic,scrunchie, and of course, hair spray. Its my go-to with a crown of french braids and hasn't failed me yet during competition.
 

Munchkin16

New Member
Apr 28, 2017
2
27
Ballet bun tutorials are 100% the way to go. Some call the style a cinnamon bun! It gets the hair up, doesn’t look really bulky and actually looks really pretty. Search ‘cinnamon ballet bun’ and you’ll find so many videos on YouTube. Make sure you use some good thick bun pins as well as Bobby pins and a good hair net that matches the hair colour. Not freshly washed hair stays in buns better. Use gel and hairspray. Good luck!
 
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Tigtimes

Proud Parent
May 12, 2015
229
Not a fan of Bobby pins. We use Goody Twist Pins. They are the best so easy to use and do not come out. Hair net a must as well.
 
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pt coach

Coach
Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2009
188
I went to the beauty supply store at the beginning of each season and stocked up on hair nets and hair pins in the correct color.

When my daughter took over she did a "messy bun" with only a couple of hair pins and maybe a little gel or spray. Her hair always stayed in and looked great and I was so happy that I didn't have to struggle with it anymore!
 

tuckfull

Proud Parent
Mar 16, 2014
149
My daughter has always had a ton of long, heavy, thick hair. After 10+ years of dance and gymnastics she's pretty much tried it all. Donut buns, sock buns, spin pins, a billion different sprays and gels. For the past few years her tried and true favorites for a competition bun that won't move have been LA Looks gel, Goody Ouchless hair elastics, thick hair pins (not the thin ones and not bobby pins), a hair net that matches her hair and a ton of hairspray.
 
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3gymnastmom

Proud Parent
Fan
Feb 8, 2021
30
Chicago area
Thank you thank you thank you all so much for all of your recommendations. As many of your stated, she doesn't need a hair donut...she has so much hair already, I don't need to add bulk to it. I'm going out shopping in a little bit and now feel much more confident in what her hair is going to need (net, bun pins, super strong elastic hair ties, etc). We'll do our first practice bun tomorrow/Sunday. I'll circle back at some point and let you all know how it goes. Maybe even post a few pics :)
 

Gymnast28

Gymnast
Jul 29, 2021
9
17
Both my sister and I have long curly thick hair. What we found worked best is to either straighten are hair first or we have purchased Bobby pins that are specifically made for thick hair.They almost look like a screw and work great to keep thick hair in a bun. I believe they are called spin twist Bobby pins.
 
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ldw4mlo

Proud Parent
Feb 13, 2015
6,266
62
Cut it, just a thought.

Mine kids is long, but she has a point where this has to go.
 
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