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The Many Messy Buns of Women’s Gymnastics

US gymnast Alexandra Raisman (C) and teammates react during the women's team final of the artistic gymnastics event of the London Olympic Games on July 31, 2012 at the 02 North Greenwich Arena in London.
US gymnast Alexandra Raisman (C) and teammates react during the women’s team final of the artistic gymnastics event of the London Olympic Games on July 31, 2012 at the 02 North Greenwich Arena in London.

There is much to admire and appreciate about the women’s Olympic gymnastics so far this year. Artistry, athleticism, impressive feats of communal tear-shedding, you name it. But one feature has stood out so far in this Olympiad, more present now than ever before: the messy half-bun. Once upon a time, gymnasts’ hair rivaled ballerinas’ updos for tightness and precision, locked into place with a thousand snappy clips. No more, though! Gymnasts today are sporting loosely looped knots. Journey with us through some of the standouts.

Photo: Cameron Spencer/2012 Getty Images

Great Britain’s Jennifer Pinches (left)   

Photo: Cameron Spencer/2012 Getty Images

Great Britan’s Imogen Cairns

Photo: Ronald Martinez/2012 Getty Images

America’s own Gabby Douglas

Photo: THOMAS COEX/2012 AFP

Douglas, with teammates Aly Raisman (in a traditional bun) and Jordyn Wieber (ponytail)   

Photo: Ronald Martinez/2012 Getty Images

The United States’s Kyla Ross

Photo: Ronald Martinez/2012 Getty Images

The Czech Republic’s Kristyna Palesova

Photo: Ronald Martinez/2012 Getty Images

Team USA’s McKayla Maroney

Photo: THOMAS COEX/2012 AFP

Team USA’s Jordyn Wieber

Wieber wore the slopknot on Sunday but switched to a ponytail for the team finals.

Photo: Jamie Squire/2012 Getty Images

USA! USA!

Three out of five members of Team USA sported loopy buns yesterday.

The Many Messy Buns of Women’s Gymnastics