By Sarah Whitmore
Blustarr realizes how hard it can be to be a female in such a male dominated sport, and in fact the whole point behind the company is to give women the same opportunities to do what they love as the men. Along the way we hope tp make it easier for future generations, and that’s what we plan to do with these blogs. We realize all of our riders have endless information and that it would be greedy if we didn’t pass some of what we have learned along the way. So we decided to get our team together and cover these issues, a sort of “how to guide” for female riders. Maybe it can help some of our readers, or at the very least give them a good laugh.
This week we are covering hair. From short to long, curly or straight, we all have it. And no matter how “low maintenance” we claim it to be, we all know the importance of a good hair cut. The hardest part is having good hair and being a racer! We can’t all be a real life “Flo” from the Progressive commercials, but I frequently tease Jackie Ives that she is close. Her hair dresser is worth every penny she spends because every time Jackie takes her helmet off, her hair sits as perfect as it was before the race.
I am not so lucky. My blonde hair tangles as soon as I put a helmet on. I had a theory that darker hair is shinier and therefore healthier, so I tried dying it brown. But with my pale skin I looked like a goth with tangled hair. I’ve also tried cutting my hair short. I got my hair cut in Georgia when I was younger (not by choice) and the lady cut my hair into a mullet and told me I looked like Christina Aguilera. I’m not sure when she ever saw Ms. Aguilera with a mullet, but I assure you I looked nothing like her. I let my best friend Jessi (who happens to have the longest, thickest red hair you have ever seen) cut it and in the end it was pretty short. I actually loved having short hair. It was the easiest to maintain and it didn’t hurt to brush out afterward. However, after being told I look like a boy I grew it back out because I am big on keeping my femininity. Just because I do a man’s sport doesn’t mean I have to look like one!
I’ve tried pretty much every hair style there is. I had extensions once and raced Mini O’s with braids down to the middle of my back. I’ve raced The Six Day Enduro, where the FIM banned women from having their hair hang out of the helmet (for safety reasons, imagine it getting caught in your chain?). I put my hair in a bun on top of my head and at the end of the day I had a massive head ache from the extra pressure put on my head, on top of all the other pain that race produced. Now days I’ve settled on a routine that works as well as any can. I always put a moisture cream in to help with tangles and then either braid it or put it in a low bun. Then I have a t-shirt sleeve that I use as a du-rag (laugh if you will but I wear an extra small helmet that pulls out my hair every time I put it on). Bald is not a good look for me and the du-rag does help! I try to keep as much hair tucked in as possible, partly because the FIM rules scared me and partly because whenever a guy sees someone pass them with a pony tail they get a second wind and try harder, which is annoying. I don’t even try to brush my hair again afterward until I’ve conditioned. But that’s the routine with my brittle hair, luckily some of our other Blustarr girls offered to share as well.
Kelsey Abbott shared, “Unfortunately I think I have the shortest hair out of all the BluStarr girls, my hair just never wants to grow! Since I have less luscious locks, I ride with it all loose! Of course, I have helmet hair when I get off the track, but It just goes right up into a pony! Right when I get home from riding, or on any other days, I usually get a palm full of coconut oil and soak my hair. I let it stay in anywhere from an hour to sleeping with it overnight. Then I just wash it out with shampoo and conditioner and it helps make it soft and keep it healthy!”
And when we asked my fellow Michigan Mafia rider Cady VanCura, she added “I always just let it all hang out in a pony tail! There is too much to do on race day to spend any time fixing my hair! A wide tooth comb and anti-breakage conditioner are my must haves.”
I have heard that coconut oil is a must do before so I think I will take Kelsey’s advice and try it. As for you, if you are a female rider just starting out looking for tips or maybe a seasoned veteran with tips of your own just let us know!