North·Photos

Deep-freeze hairdos go viral from Yukon hot springs competition

Hop in the hot springs, dunk your head, freeze your hair in the –20 C air, and snap a photo. That's how people can enter to win the annual International Hair Freezing Contest in Yukon.Don't worry. Your hair won't break or snap off.

'We had two people, they froze their hair together.... It looks strange but it's a nice picture'

People are competing with their icy locks at this year's Hair Freezing Contest at Yukon's Takhini Hot Springs. (Submitted by Takhini Hot Springs)

Hop in the hot springs, dunk your head, freeze your hair in the –20 C air, and snap a photo. 

That's how people can enter to win the annual International Hair Freezing Contest in Yukon.

(Submitted by Takhini Hot Springs)

"If you have long hair, lay your head on the side of the pool. Once it starts to freeze, you can prop it up and put it in basically any shape you want."

That's the Takhini Hot Springs owner Andrew Umbrich's tip for those looking to win this year's very Canadian competition.

(Submitted by Takhini Hot Springs)

If you're lacking hair on the top, Umbrich says there are still other ways to enter. 

"Unfortunately, bald men don't really get good frozen hair," he says.

"But as long as you have eyelashes, eyebrows, they can still freeze. Or in some cases, if you have a lot of body hair and you're tough enough to stay out of the water long enough, your body hair will all freeze too." 

(Submitted by Takhini Hot Springs)

One of the most unusual shots so far this year was a collaboration between a woman with dreadlocks and a man with long hair.

"They froze their hair together," says Umbrich. "It looks strange but it's a nice picture." 

(Submitted by Takhini Hot Springs)

Some took to social media to show off their icy Medusa 'dos. 

Some ended up with beaver tails on their heads.

The competition was started in 2011 by a former manager of the hot springs who didn't have much hair himself, ​says Umbrich. "It was just a good, clever idea."

Since then, the competition has run every year in time for the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous festival in February. The first few years it was a small event, garnering only 10 to 15 submissions per year.

But in 2015, after Umbrich took over the hot springs business, frozen hair became an international sensation on the internet.

"We got very lucky in 2015. We had some great photos that went viral, and ever since, our competition has got more and more popular."

The competition now runs all winter. There have been 35 submissions so far this year. 

Prizes this year are larger: $750 and a membership at Takhini Hot Pools for the gold; $200 and a 12-punch pass for second place; and $100 and three complimentary day passes for third.

With files from Sandi Coleman

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