How to Train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with Long Hair

How to Train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with Long Hair

It is a totally unpredictable situation when you are prepared for a win and boom you are being strangled in between the legs of the opponent. Every submission or KO is a wake-up call for the fighters, thinking, oh no! What did I do wrong? Amid all this, you can't afford your own hair distracting you from your game plan. This is precisely the reason why almost all long-haired fighters use tightly braided hairstyles to avoid any distractions. Fighters are not allowed to wear any headbands during the fight. Two times World Wrestling Champion and Olympic gold medalist Helen Maroulis elaborates, "A lot of times, girls, instead of grabbing your head and pulling it down, they'll grab onto your hair, even though this is illegal, it does happen a lot."

“During a fight, even one second spent on pulling your hair aside can give your opponent a chance to dominate you”.

People may advise you to have short hair while rolling on BJJ mats. Having long hair can be a disadvantage for a BJJ fighter, if not tied properly. But still, there is no specific rule in BJJ for hair length or hairstyles for both men and women.  It depends on your ease, comfort, and style.

So, having long hair depends on personal preferences. No one wants to cut their hair short for the sake of ease while training for BJJ. Long hair should not be a hurdle to keep going with BJJ practice.

Here are some solutions in the shape of different hairstyles, hair care, hair diet, and healthy supplements to take care of your hair.

1. BJJ Training with Long Hair

Mostly, BJJ fighters might think of improving their physical and mental capabilities with BJJ knowledge instead of thinking of taking care of their skin and hair.

There are no specific rules about having long or short hair for men and women. Therefore, many BJJ fighters have long hair. Taking care of your hair is an important part of maintaining personal hygiene. BJJ trainers won't appreciate the notion of spending more time fixing messy hair rather than focusing on the BJJ training.

So, whoever is growing their hair long, must understand the disadvantages of having long hair and invest time in taking care of it to avoid distraction during BJJ fighting.

Once you start your BJJ training, just accept that your opponent can step on your hair, causing immense pain and discomfort, or pull it hard and they can get wet with extreme sweating.

1.1. Disadvantages of BJJ Training with Long Hair During

Very hot

There will be more sweating and scalp itching with long hair that may make you uncomfortable and distracted.

Blocked Vision

It can be very frustrating when long hair comes into your eyes, and you can’t see what the opponent is coming with.

Hair Pulling

All the BJJ fighters focus on grabbing their opponent’s neck and back of the head to maintain their grip. This might result in pulling your hair which is painful and can distract you from your game plan.

Tangled Hair

While rolling on BJJ mats, your hair will be pressed against the mat, and your hair will get tangled if not properly managed. It is frustrating and time-taking to manage your hair after each roll.

Distraction for Opponents

Your opponents won’t prefer training with a person having unmanaged hair, which is a distraction for both.

Takes Extra Time

It is also time-consuming to prepare for BJJ training when you have to manage your long hair.

Hair Loss with BJJ Training

There is no evidence of losing hair during BJJ training. You may experience hair rubbing and pulling during BJJ training but it does not affect hair in the short or long term.

2. How to Roll Safely in BJJ with Long Hair?

2.1. Prioritize Top Position by Passing The Guards

Tangling and pulling may be less with guard passing. If you are in the guard position and go for a sweep, your hair might get tangled in the process. It is recommended that, try to remain on top and maintain top position for avoiding hair entanglement.

2.2. Escape Side Control

If you spend more time in shrimping and escaping to regain guard, your opponent is likely to secure his cross-faced advantageous position, which may be painful as long hair can be tangled in between the process.  

2.3. Playing Open Guards

The execution of open guards ensures the distance from your opponent to avoid the hair entanglement. As BJJ training is quite enthusiastic, it may hurt your hair in one way or another.

3. Tips for Hair Styles during BJJ Training

Following are the recommended hairstyles during BJJ Training.

3.1. High Ponytails

Ponytails and hair buns must always be tied higher so your hair doesn’t get tangled with the opponent. Remember to always use non-metal elastic bands to prevent your training partner from any injury.

3.2. Pig Tails

Pigtails with braids can keep your hair managed and safe from hair pulling.

3.3. French Style Braids

French-style braids on both sides can be one of the best options for a BJJ competition as they cannot easily get pulled.

3.4. Cornrows


It is basically super-tight French braids done by taking small bits of hair. Recommended for the duration of sparring and fighting.

4. Other Tips to Manage Hair are:

  • Use multiple hair ties at the same time
  • Use a gel to keep hair in one place
  • Pull your hair into a tight top-knot
  • Twist your hair into a bun on the very top of your head
  • Braid your hair tightly over your head and tuck it into a bun
  • Avoid hard pins
  • Hair net

Tips for Hair Style

BJJ Hair Styles

Hair and BJJ

5. Conclusion

There is no need to feel demotivated or delay your BJJ training due to long hair. All you need is to take care of your diet, and hygiene, and must manage your hair properly with recommended hairstyles to train effectively on BJJ mats. If you have long hair, follow the above-mentioned styles and tips.

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