Hours of Preparation for Synchronized Swimming Performance

Hours of Preparation for Synchronized Swimming Performance

A glance behind the scenes

Author: BC Summer Games/Saturday, July 21, 2018/Categories: 2018 BC Summer Games, Synchronized Swimming

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By Christina Gray


It is a little known fact that synchronized swimmers have to slick their hair back in a unique and time consuming way before they compete. It takes four hours and three applications of gelatin to get that slicked-back hair that you see swimmers sporting during their performances. 

Anita Lee and her 13-year-old daughter, Eleanor, from Zone 5 (Vancouver-Coastal) explained the process after Eleanor’s performance today. The gelatin can’t have air bubbles in it so it has to be mixed a certain way. It takes four hours to dry completely and after each layer, a hair dryer is used to speed up the process.

After the performance, it takes about an hour of scrubbing with pineapple juice to get the mixture out of the hair. After seven years as a synchronized swimmer, Eleanor and Anita are pros. Right now, there’s nothing on the market that does a better job. 

Here’s what it looks like afterwards, but before the performance, it looks like smooth glass.


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