Think of the frost fairy on a really bad hair day. Those are the prospective winners at the Takhini Hot Pools hair-freezing contest that have captured the attention of many through the Internet.
Those are the prospective winners at the Takhini Hot Pools hair-freezing contest that have captured the attention of many through the Internet.
Andrew Umbrich, owner of the hot pools just outside of Whitehorse, says the competition started off in 2011 as a small event that took place over a few weeks every February during the annual Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Festival. But things got a bit hairy in 2015 when a few people from France and one person from Quebec submitted a video of some fantastic frozen hair.
Before then, the coiffure competition would only see about 10 contestants a year, but so far this year they've had 35 photo submissions and Umbrich said they expect many more.
Conditions need to be just right, he said. While the hot springs are always around 42 Celsius, the air has to get at least minus 20 to get the right ice sculpt.
"It's still possible to freeze your hair at (warmer) temperatures, but it just takes a lot longer."
Beards and long locks are best for sculpting, he said, because they allow for ice-covered hairstyles that can resemble anything from a Mohawk to Medusa with a frosted coating.
The first-place winner gets $750 and a complimentary 30-soak membership, while second and third place get $200 and $100 respectively, along with complimentary passes. The contest runs all winter, on any day it's cold enough, and the winner is announced about mid-March.