- Canada’s annual International Hair Freezing Contest is currently underway.
- In the Yukon territory, temperatures reach as low as -22°C (-7.6°F).
- Hundreds of people from across the globe flock to Takhini Hot Springs to take part.
- The photos will make you shiver.
Every winter since 2011, people from around the world head to Canada’s very northern Yukon Territory for the annual International Hair Freezing Contest, which sees them wet their hair, come up with the most creative hairstyle possible, then hope it freezes and molds in place for the perfect photo.
With temperatures currently reaching as low as -22°C (-7.6°F) in the area, taking part is not for the faint-hearted.
Luckily, the competition is held in Takhini Hot Springs, which prevents participants from freezing to death.
Scroll down to see how the competition works – and to see some of the best shiver-inducing photos.
The competition, now in its eighth year, has no set dates — people can take part whenever the weather is cold enough for their hair to freeze (which is usually below -20°C (-4°F), though this is typically between January and March.
It sees brave participants paying to submerge themselves in Takhini’s Hot Springs, where the water is around 36-42°C (97-108°F). They then wet, mould, and freeze their hair, hoping to get the perfect photo.
At this time of year, temperatures in the Yukon tend to range from highs of 13°C (55°F) in the daytime to below -20°C (-4°F) at night. The competition suggests participants periodically dip their ears in the water without submerging their hair to keep warm.
All hair must be covered, according to the competition rules, and frozen hair should be “predominantly white,” as you can see below.
The first hair-freezing competition was held in 2011. At that time, people taking part in the annual Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous (a celebration of winter which has taken place since 1945) would relax in the springs at the end of the day, and the pool manager began challenging them to create their most impressive frozen hairstyles.
The contest now sees people creating totally bonkers looks. Many of them freeze their beards, eyelashes, and eyebrows, too.
Body hair also freezes.
Hundreds of people from around the world now travel to the Yukon for the annual event.
To enter the competition, you simply have to send in a selfie of your frozen ‘do — then you’re free to dunk your head back in the water to warm up again. The winners will be chosen by Takhini Hot Spring’s staff in March.
The categories are Best Male, Best Female, Most Creative, and Best Group (who share the prize between them). For those with long hair, the organisers suggest laying down on the sides of the pool so it freezes in single, long strands which will then stick straight up.
The winners can each bag themselves $US750 plus a complimentary 30-soak memberships.
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