How many bobby pins does it take to create a winning athletic hairstyle?

Arianna | 15 August 2016

Count with us…

Whether they specialise in swimming, gymnastics or track, female athletes often style their hair into tight, neat updos in order to keep strayed hairs and flyaways at bay (well, they do need to concentrate extra hard when competing, so there’s absolutely no room for distractions!). But those practical hairstyles aren’t possible without the help of some trusty bobby pins (AKA the world’s most versatile hair accessory). Ever wondered how many bobby pins it takes to create a winning athletic hairstyle? We certainly have. So why not scroll down and find out!

Count the bobby pins in each athletic hairstyle and recreate the looks at home!


athletic hairstyle sporty sleek ponytail
Athletic hairstyle: Sleek ponytail.

The sleek pony

Bobby pin count: 2 (one hidden behind each ear!).

A sleek ponytail is practical and easy to achieve, plus it’s the perfect athletic hairstyle for a number of sports (think tennis, cycling and equestrian). This super slick, low pony is easier to achieve if you have long hair that’s of equal length, but if you’ve got a layered cut, then you’ll need to invest in some bobby pins to secure the style in place.

Tip: Spritz your bobby pins with some VO5 Classic Styling Ultimate Hold Hairspray (400ml, £3.29*) before applying them to your hair to prevent them from sliding out.

athletic hairstyles twisted fringe
Athletic hairstyle: The twisted fringe. Credit: Dvora

The twisted fringe

Bobby pin count: 1

Some athletes (like Britain’s very own rowing champion Katherine Grainger) have short or shoulder-length hair, meaning that a ponytail or bun just won’t cut it. If you have short hair and struggle to style it when playing sport, then opt for a twisted fringe! This simple style only requires the use of 1 bobby pin, because that’s all you need to keep your hair out of your eyes!

bobby pins athletics hairstyle
Athletics hairstyle: Ballerina bun. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

The high ballerina

Bobby pin count: 6

A sturdy and supportive updo, the ballerina bun is an athletic hairstyle that’s always been a firm favourite of gymnasts, figure skaters and ballet dancers alike. If created correctly, it’s pretty much guaranteed to stay in place all day long, no matter what sporting event you’re competing in. Of course, you’ll need to rely heavily on a handful of bobby pins to secure your bun in place. So for this particular ‘do, the more the better!

Learn how to create a ballerina bun with our step-by-step guide now.

athletic hairstyle braid
Athletic hairstyle: Side braided headband. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

The side braided headband

Bobby pin count: 2

Just because you’re playing sport doesn’t mean you have to have your hair tied up (at least not always). If you love showing off your long, flowing locks, then why not opt for a pretty braided headband to ensure that your hair doesn’t obscure your vision or distract your concentration? Even if you don’t have many bobby pins to hand, don’t fret: you only need two to complete this look.

Simply slip them over the end of your braid in a criss-cross pattern behind your ear. This way, they’ll be neatly tucked away and out of sight.

Looking for more athletic hairstyle inspiration? Why not check out our article on the best sporty hairstyles to wear for your workout here!

*RRPs are Unilever suggested retail prices only, it is at the discretion of the individual retailers to set the actual price.