people with frozen hair

They had a Hair Freezing Contests in Canada Because of how Cold it Gets

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It’s probably safe to say that most people don’t enjoy the cold, even those who live in cold climates. However, in Canada, it seems there were some people who were totally into it and were all for this weird contest.   


The hair freezing contest 

Yup! You read that right. People in Yukon Territory, Canada, found the craziest way to let their hair down, or up as the case may be. In 2019 and 2020 the International Hair Freezing Contest took place at Takhini Hot Pools. There aren’t any fixed dates for the contest; it only happens on days when the temperature is so low that wet hair would freeze instantly. The temperature there is usually -20°C. But don’t worry, they don’t just stand in the cold with wet hair. The Takhini Hot Springs, which are between 36–42°C protect people from becoming dead frozen icicles. [1]


All you need to know about the contest 

This crazy contest began in 2011. People would soak themselves in the hot springs to get some relief from the cold. A former manager saw an opportunity there and challenged them to style their hair. let it freeze, and take selfies. Employees would then select the craziest one as the winner. 

It takes place during the Sourdough Rendezvous in February. All pictures are received and the top three are selected and announced in March. It happens yearly as long as the temperature is cold enough; although there have been years when it was too warm for the contest to take place. [2]


Nine Years

2020 marked the ninth year of this frozen hair contest, and just like hair, it seems to be growing more and more. Andrew Umbrich, co-owner of Takhini Hot Pools said,


“It was a pretty small affair up until 2015 [when we started getting some publicity]. Frozen hair was something that was occurring naturally when people would bathe in the hot springs during cold weather, so the manager at the time decided to make a competition out of it”. Social media has helped a lot in getting the word out. Umbrich says they get various visitors from all over the world. [3]

To participate

  • You have to pay an admission fee to get into the hot springs.
  • You have to sign a waiver on-site so they know the pictures were taken there.
  • Get your hair wet and mold it into the desired shape, then let it freeze.
  • Take a high-resolution photo of the frozen hair.
  • For your photo to be accepted, all hair has to be covered in frost and be white. Half frozen hair is not accepted so let it go as Elsa from Frozen would say. 

How much do people win in this contest? 

The money probably doesn’t matter to the contestants but we’ll let you know anyway.

  • Best Male and Female Photo goes home with $750 and one complimentary 30 Soak Membership.
  • Most Creative Photo also gets $750 and one complimentary 30 Soak Membership.
  • For the Best Group Photo (two or more people), they get $750 per group and one complimentary 30 Soak Membership per person in the group. [4]

Here are a few photos from the contest 

Most people also freeze their beards, eyelashes, and eyebrows — just like this guy. He does look like a weird plate of noodles, doesn’t he?


Body hair isn’t spared. [5]


Look at the smile on their faces.


A helpful tip from the organizers is that if you lay down on the poolside, your hair will freeze in single, long strands which eventually stick straight up.


Who doesn’t want their hair to be like icicles? 

“Last year, we had a lady who managed to stick her hair out horizontally on either side, with each side measuring over two feet. That was pretty impressive. Usually, people will stick their hair straight up or spike it out, or men will style their beards and chest hair. We’ve never seen so much hair stand so horizontally straight before. She won the ‘most creative’ category,” said Umbrich. 

As a bonus, you could be lucky enough to see the Northern Lights while having a relaxing soak in the mineral-rich waters of the hot springs. 

Once you’re done and your photo has been taken, all you need to do is dip your head back into the water and the ice melts away. This seems like such a cool thing to do. I guess the people who do it have something in common with Elsa — the cold never bothered them anyway.

As of right now, it doesn’t seem like this contest is happening in 2021 or in 2022. One thing for sure, is that we hope it’s not gone for good!

Keep Reading: These people lived in coffins for 30 hours for $300


  1. Canada’s International Hair Freezing Contest Has Begun And The Pictures Are Amazing.Independent. Helen Coffey. Accessed November 30, 2019.
  2. People in Canada are participating in a Hair Freezing Contest in -22°c weather, and the pictures will make you shiver.” Insider. Rachel Hosie. Accessed November 30, 2019.
  3. Expect Stiff Competition at This Year’s International Hair Freezing Contest. Smithsonian.” Jennifer Nalewicki. . Accessed November 30, 2019.
  4. The International Hair Freezing Contest.” Takhini Hot Pools. Admin. Accessed November 30, 2019.
  5. Canada’s crazy frozen hair contest.” CBS. Admin. Accessed November 30, 2019.

Editors Note (12/03/2021): This article was originally published on Family Life Goals and has been republished here with permission. The article has been updated with new content.

Jade Small
Freelance Writer
Jade is a freelance writer and content creator from South Africa with over 7 years experience writing and creating. She's also a proud single mom to a super 13 year old boy.