Well into the first week of the 2012 Olympics, it is obvious that gold medals and Ryan Lochte's abs are not the only dazzling looks that we are going to be left to drool over during these Games. Although the focus of the events is on the camaraderies born and the records broken, we just can't help but noticing how good these athletes look while doing it. Whether they are diving in the sand, spending hours in the pool, heading in a winning goal, or flipping through the air, these Olympians prove that a vigorous lifestyle doesn't have to leave your hair cryinging for help. Drawing on inspiration from around the world, dedication to their sports, and the self-confidence that comes from knowing that they are number one, these athletes rock some serious stylish 'dos. Here are our qualifiers for the best in hair!
The US women's gymnastics team was red hot Tuesday night as it claimed its first Olympic title since 1996. The ladies blazed through their jaw-dropping performance sporting sparkly red leotards and tightly pulled back manes, leaving no doubts as to why they have earned the nickname "Fabulous Five".
While the spandex outfit may not be suitable for your next dinner date, we can take some style notes from their pairing of a chic 'do with glamorous fashion. Wella Professionals stylist Olga Gorgeeva created an Olympics gymnastics-inspired look whose "sleek, controlled and beautifully elegant style is the perfect combination of fluidity and discipline", mirroring the characteristics of the popular sport. Plus, this style can withstand an active night filled with jumping and dancing around- an absolute necessity when you're competing for the gold. Check out Wella's simple instructions to achieve this graceful 'do, pair it with gleaming stud earrings and striking eyes, and then hold your head high as the crowds praise your winning look.
Another US team out to blow away the competition is sizzling beach volleyball duo Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings, who have never lost a set in three Olympics. Out to claim an unprecedented third consecutive gold in the sport, Walsh revealed the pair's fierce resolve when she recently warned, "We're strong. We're fit. We're healthy. We're fast. And we're determined. So, watch out. ... We're ready. In every single way, we're ready." Radiating confidence, flawlessly toned bodies, and sunkissed glows, however, are not the only reasons why we love and envy this power couple; they somehow manage to always look fabulous. Known for their signature pony-braids, these two ladies show us how to have hair as strong and commanding as they are.
Gathering hair into a high pony at the back of the head and then braiding the tail is a great way to add a fun flair to a simple look. This style has a perfect touch of feminine charm, but more than anything it oozes of confidence. And, it works for any type of hair, even the thickest and most unmanageable manes.
Blake Lively is a huge fan of the pony-braid, frequently rocking it on the red carpet or the set of Gossip Girl, and proving that it is versatile enough to go with anything from a bikini-clad evening in the sand to a designer gown-clad evening in Hollywood.
Want to spice it up even more? Add a cute headband (a la Misty May), weave the tail into a fishtail rather than a standard braid, or take after Lively and up the class by wrapping a few strands of hair around the base of the pony. Whatever you do, this bombshell braid is sure to leave competition hanging in the dust.
Track and field starlets have also been heating things up, and it is not just with talk of the record-setting performances they are predicted to accomplish in the next few days. Athletics hearthrobs such as Paraguayan javelin thrower Leryn Franco, Aussie pole vaulter Melanie Adams, and Russian long jumper Darya Klishina all enjoy thriving modeling careers outside of their track and field success, welcoming it as an outlet for their feminine glamour urges.
While she keeps the focus on her training, Klishina appreciates the opportunity to leave some time for beauty as well, admitting of her career "so much of my time I’m sweating and wearing sports wear, so it’s really nice to have my make-up done and to dress up". Even when she is on the track, though, we would be lying if we said we weren't a little jealous of her glossy golden locks. Her signature side braids, woven into a pony, add just the right amount of charm. And if Olympians indulge in being a girly-girl form time to time, then so can we. Who said athletes and style queens have to be mutually exclusive?
The P&G Olympic Village styling team is also turning to track and field in its quest to offer style and beauty services to the athletes and their mothers. Drawing inspiration from the games, Wella Professionals Stylist Colin McAndrews created a look rooted in the atletic leaps of high jump and poe vault, explaining, "Athletics requires hair to be manageable, easy to maintain and workable, yet I still wanted to create movement and fluidity. The high ponytail encapsulates this image by being strong yet moveable and bouncy.” We love the sleek hair and eye-catching elastic; together, they form a chic 'do that demands attention.
And while the professionals are determiend to bring haute style to the games, the athletes themselves prove that funky style can be just as fun. We are crazy about this hilarious picture that US hurdle champion Lolo Jones tweeted of former teammate Nickiesha Wilson, who runs for Jamaica. Do I smell a beauty trend brewing?
Whose Olympic 'do scores highest with you? Did we miss any stylish athletes in our quest for the (hair) gold? Next time you turn your TV for the latest Olympics coverage, grab your computer and head to My Best Friend's Hair to find out where you can achieve the style of your dreams.
For the love of hair,