If you're looking to instantly transform your hairstyle, head to Takhini Hot Pools in Canada's Yukon Territory. The natural hot springs there make it possible to bathe outdoors in extreme freezing weather, resulting in some impressive 'dos when people get their hair wet and let it harden. As Smithsonian reports, the practice has become so popular that there's now an annual event to see who can freeze their hair into the most impressive shapes. Photos of 2020's contestants have already started pouring into HairFreezingContest.com, and the competition looks fierce.
The first International Hair Freezing Contest took place in February 2011 as a spin-off of the local Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous. After competing in winter sporting events all day, athletes from the rendezvous would head to Takhini to take a mineral bath in one of the pools fed by the area's natural hot spring. The manager at the time turned the relaxation session into another competition when he asked bathers to sculpt their wet hair into frozen works of art. Whoever ended up with the best selfie won the contest.
What began as a fun activity among a small group of people has grown into a major competition. Each winter, people from around the world visit the hot pools hoping to take part. The Hair Freezing Contest is unique in that it doesn't take place over a set stretch of dates. Rather, guests compete whenever it's cold enough outside to achieve the desired hairstyling effects, e.g. when it's -4°F or colder. Throughout winter, competitors can sign a form proving they were really there, and if it's cold enough to shape their hair in the pools, they can snap a selfie and submit their work to Takhini. Categories include Best Male Photo, Best Female Photo, Most Creative Photo, and Best Group Photo. Contestants are eligible to win $2000, complimentary soaks, and free passes to Takhini's new facility when it opens in autumn.
For those worried about their hair falling out, the business promises that hair freezing isn't harmful, and dipping your head into the pool quickly thaws it back to normal.
Selfies will be accepted through March 8, 2020, with official voting on the winners taking place on March 15. To see some hairstyles in the running to win this year's contest, check out the photos below.