Found in the westernmost part of Canada is the Canadian territory of Yukon. Out of all the provinces and territories in Canada, this place has the smallest population, with only a little over 40,000 people. Found in this territory is the Takhini Hot Springs, which lies just outside Whitehorse, the capital city of Yukon.
For most of the year, visitors spend hours relaxing in the mineral-rich and odorless waters, which are privately owned by the company Takhini Hot Pools.
But when the winter months come, the hot springs become a heated battleground for the Hair Freezing Contest, the world’s only frozen-hairdo competition. In this contest, …
Participants dunk their heads underwater, emerge into the frigid air, and style their locks into stiff, eye-catching sculptures. Depending on one’s creativity and luck with the elements, the results range from frosty, mop-like tangles to dramatically manicured spikes.
“All this rising steam collects on your hair and freezes really quickly when it meets the cold air,” says Andrew Umbrich, co-owner of Takhini Hot Pools. “You can get good results within 15 minutes if it’s cold enough.”
It’s worth splitting hairs when deciding on a final look: Winners for this year’s contest, which opened last December and closed earlier this month, earn $2,000 (in Canadian dollars), free soaks, and a 12-punch pass for a new facility set to open this fall. Hair must be completely frozen—a feat best achieved when the air is 40 below zero. Once coiffed, entrants ring a wireless doorbell to notify a staff member to photograph them.
Well, what do you think?
(Image Credit: Takhini Hot Pools/ Atlas Obscura)