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I basically always cut my hair right at the moment when they start getting into my eyes when training. Now I want to try and grow my hair to a half long - long hairstyle. There are some solutions I know I can use to prevent my hair from getting into my eyes but none have really satisfied me yet.

The solutions I have found so far are:

  • Strong wax (like Murray's). I find this wax annoying because you can't rinse it out easily and your pillow gets all waxed when you go to bed.

  • Knot. My hair is too short for this at the moment. I also think the knot will easily come loose

  • Headband. I haven't got any experience with this. I can imagine it's not very handy with grappling,

  • Braiding. The solution for matches of course, but to much work for training.

Are there better solutions?

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Bandana worked for me. –  Dave Liepmann Jan 16 at 17:19
    
@Dave Liepmann, Bandanas and buffs didn't work for me. I have long hair and in a clinch they come off easily. –  Vass Jan 16 at 19:22
    
are there maybe other types of wax which don't rinse out as easily? –  Vass Jan 16 at 19:23
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@Vass Well to me the best wax has been Nu Nile (which is also a product of Murrays). It's strength is somewhere between Murrays and Murrays soft. It isn't really strong enough to keep the hair out of your eyes though though. –  Bart Burg Jan 16 at 19:36
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@BartBurg The bandana was for non-combat sports in my case. For grappling I just cut my hair or deal with it. I haven't seen a good solution other cornrows, which defeats the purpose of long hair in the first place. –  Dave Liepmann Jan 16 at 19:49
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11 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

There are no good solutions. Long hair gets in the way of training unless knotted or braided, and even then it is liable to wiggle free and get in the way during hard training.

All external tools--nets, headbands, bandanas, caps--are liable to come off. Well-executed braids and buns are slightly more reliable, but frequently come out anyway.

You must choose between uninterfered training and long hair that flows freely. Sorry. That is how training goes.

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Maybe I should try and develop a new product then ;) –  Bart Burg Jan 17 at 9:53
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I do BJJ/grappling and stand up jujitsu, and I've discovered the following works best for long hair:

  1. Pull your hair into a tight, low ponytail on the side of your head, not straight back, else when you grapple it will get trapped under your head on the ground.
  2. Quickly braid the hair and secure with a second band!

It's nowhere near the work of the full double-french braid that everyone uses for competetion, and it holds just as well. Happy grappling!

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You mean braid the ponytail? At the moment my hair is too short for a braiding the ponytail. But I would like to try your method when it's long enough!. –  Bart Burg Jan 21 at 18:55
    
Interesting answer, I never thought of the tail going on the side, will try it out and get back to confirm! –  Vass Jan 28 at 9:07
    
I tried this yesterday, it is great that the point where the hair is tied does not get rubbed on directly, but it does not really help the front area from being rubbed and hair coming loose from there –  Vass Jan 30 at 13:15
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For many years, I trained with long hair, and I have to say, it was quite a hassle to deal with.

I oftentimes tied my hair back in a ponytail. However, I have fine hair, so strands had a tendency to get loose and get in my eyes. I found that hairspray helped quite a bit (though I occasionally had problems with it hardening and still coming loose).

If you are working on grappling, it can be an issue. My hair got ripped out from underneath me numerous times (which toughened me up, but it was still unpleasant). I did, on occasion, shove the ponytail inside of my gi (I don't know how great of an idea that is to you, but it helped somewhat).

Braids can work, but they may still whip you in the face if you are performing standing techniques.

I like the idea about the bandana, but I never tried it. Regardless, I would imagine that it would hold your hair together better than a hairnet.

I think a swim cap would also be an excellent choice; however, like one poster mentioned, heat and sweat may be a bit of an issue. See what works for you.

Anyway, I hope that helped.

Good luck!

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You can work on isolation drills where hair-pulling isn't allowed. This will allow you to train without the hassle of putting your hair up. For example, you could work on your standup skills, stopping and resetting the drill when someone hits the mat. It might even be fun and beneficial for you to work only boxing or only kickboxing from time to time. You'll still want to braid it for competition, however.

I have long hair, but I train in mostly standup arts. A pony tail holder works for me. Most of my grappling experience is in counter-grappling, though I have spent some time rolling around on the mat. One of the things I had to work on early on was various defenses against hair-pulling, since I knew this would be tempting for anyone I grappled with.

While your hair is in that in-between stage where it isn't long enough to pull back into a pony-tail holder, a baseball cap turned backwards or bandana will at least keep it out of your face.

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In what martial art are hair grabs legal in sport? I don't think that's part of the question. –  Dave Liepmann Jan 16 at 17:44
    
After looking up MMA rules, I've found that hair pulling is illegal. Probably the reason most MMA fighters braid their hair is to prevent it getting in their face as opposed to fear of having it grabbed. I still think there's beneficial info in the answer I gave though, so I'll look at editing it. –  The Wudang Kid Jan 16 at 17:57
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I would say that if having long hair is so important to you then you should practice with it being in your face. The point of drills is not only to teach you what to do when things go right, but how to react when things go wrong, e.g. you get slapped in the eye by a lock of sweaty hair and now you can't see. Or do you want to wait until your hair comes undone in a competition before you gain the experience?

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Getting hair in my eyes doesn't give me a huge disadvantage, as I am still able to see and fight well. It's more the unnecessary irritation of the eyes. Also, braided hair barely comes lose so this is not a problem in competition. –  Bart Burg Jan 17 at 8:09
    
Is this an answer? There is nothing constructive about this argument to invalidate the purpose of even trying to deal with the problem of 'long hair' in mma. It pretty much saying deal with the problem and doing so is better for you in the long run. –  Vass Jan 17 at 11:20
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1. It's not an argument. 2. It is most certainly constructive. 3. Well yes, successful people take measures that help them in the long run. I always give the best solution to a problem, rather than a quick fix that may lead to other problems. –  Juann Strauss Jan 17 at 12:00
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I tried this solution out and it works.

  1. Tie you hair in a pony tail
  2. put a bandana or buff over your head with the hair inside so that it is not hanging out.
  3. Put a mma/wrestling ear guard over your head covering the front part of the buff/bandana, and the rear part holding it firmly on your head

This holds the hair under the cloth so that it doesn't rub directly on an arm or hand to come loose and tug.

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Hair nets might be an option for you. But I think those are going to be too loose and would come off too easily during grappling. Same with headbands.

How about a swimming cap like one of these?

http://www.amazon.com/Speedo-Silicone-Long-Hair-Black/dp/B000F6E2JE

They make them out of stretchable silicone, spandex, and so forth. It might look a little out of place in an MMA setting, but it shouldn't be too upsetting to anyone. You figure you're wearing skin tight rash guards also, so it kind of goes with the style. They can be put on and taken off real easily, also.

The only problem I see is that it might hold in heat and sweat too much. There are some that appear to be more like a mesh, like a cross between a hair net and a swim cap. Those might work. If you can't find those, you could always get the swim cap and cut out whatever material you don't need to make it work better for you.

Headbands are problematic. The knot will come undone, if you use one with a knot. If you use the elastic band style headbands, on the other hand, they end up not staying in place and have to be readjusted all the time.

But you could use a cloth style headband (one without elastic) or a bandana, and then put the swim cap over it. The cloth would help absorb sweat, while the swim cap keeps it in place. You would just cut out a hole in the middle of the swim cap if you wanted it to breathe more.

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All people (myself, other men and women) I train with use the same thing: knots. Either the "samurai" knot or a hair plait that is then secured with elastic bands. Have a look at this Hair Tutorial : How to do a Bun for a starter. This is the best way I found not to have tori step on uke's hair after a break fall.

I experimented with a tenugui (tied a la kendo) but after the first tobu (flip) ukemi the tengui went left, my hair went right, and everyone (me included) burst out laughing.

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Have you tried cutting it? There is a reason most people who are serious about the martial arts shave their heads (Krillin, Shaolin monks, bald dudes with beards and tattoos)

Serious answer: I have not seen anyone do anything successful about long hair. It sucks for your training partner too when they gi grip and they realize they've got a chunk of your hair. When they're friendly they'll regrip for your benefit, if they're not, well, prepare to have some weird bald spots

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Luckily both MMA and my grappling training sessions are without gi. Your answer does sound interesting though, I have never heard about someone getting such a bold spot in training. –  Bart Burg Jan 21 at 18:58
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Usually when I go for a brabo or baseball bat choke on someone with longer hair I have a lot of their neckhair in my hands. I'm gentle, but I still come out of the match with some hair in my hands sometimes. Not because of viciousness, but because when you grab the gi, there's just hair there, even when you regrip. (please train with a Gi, it'll help you understand different things than just no-gi, they key to unlocking awesome jiujitsu is doing both, especially if you dislike either. ) –  Thomas Denmark Uylenbroek Jan 22 at 5:02
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I'm pretty sure long hair stops you from fighting. I think I remember two years ago, when I was on my school wrestling team, that they told me to shave my head when my hair got too long. I don't wrestle anymore BUT, it DOES get in the way. Someone will be able to pull on your hair, despite how illegal that might be (I don't know if it is or not). It will also impair your vision. Trust me, it's a bad idea. It happened to me as well.

YOU DON'T want to wrestle someone with long hair, in any grappling martial art. It's just a fact.

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No bro. Long hair basically impair you ability to fight and exposes weaknesses to your opponents.

I believe that having a hair length which is hard to grip (short) is the best.

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This is not an answer to the question –  Bart Burg Feb 1 at 9:51
    
Sorry, i must have misread the question. Tying it up or braiding it up would work. I have seen people doing it. –  nigelhanzo Feb 5 at 2:33
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