bjj with long hair

How to Train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with Long Hair?

Can you train Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) if you have long hair? The answer is yes, having long hair does not have to stop you from training for BJJ. It is more work though, compared to having shorter hair that doesn’t come into way when training and drilling.

Brazilian jiu-jitsu and many other martial arts are easier if you just have short hair. For some people, having short hair is not an option due to personal preferences. After all, BJJ training sessions are only a small part of life, and you maybe don’t want that to determine your hairstyle.

There are several ways you can cope with having longer hair while training BJJ. I will go through different scenarios down below.

Training Brazilian jiu-jitsu with mid-length hair

If your hair is around mid-length, meaning it is so long that it can block your vision, but too short so you can not make a bun or ponytail out of it, you belong to this category. I have some good and bad news for you.

The good news is that your hair most likely is not going to be much of an issue when training BJJ. Compared to having super long hair, if you did nothing to that it could end up making your training a lot more difficult. With medium length hair, it doesn’t get stuck under you or between you and your opponent so easily.

The bad news is that because your hair is too short for a ponytail or bun, there is not much you can do about it. It might be an issue to your vision, if it covers your eyes from time to time, but that is about it. No big negatives about having a medium length hair when training Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Training Brazilian jiu-jitsu with long hair

If you have long hair, so long that you can make a ponytail or a bun out of it, you belong to this category. If this is the case, and you go with a ponytail or a bun, prepare to do those all over again during the training session.

Ponytails and buns will get loose every time you roll, so mastering the art of re-creating those fast between different parts of the training session will make your training much easier.

Some hairstyles last longer but take more time to do. French braids, for example, are more durable than a regular ponytail or a bun, but it takes so much time it is difficult to create in the middle of a BJJ training session. Therefore, a regular bun or ponytail might be a better option to go with.

The last option is that you can go with a swimming cap or rugby helmet if your hair becomes more of an issue. Those things might not look super nice, but they will keep your hair out of the way pretty easily.

Best hairstyles for Brazilian jiu-jitsu

Like mentioned before, having short hair is the best option for training Brazilian jiu-jitsu or any other martial art. This way, your hair coming your way or ponytails getting loose while you train is not an issue.

If you happen to have longer hair, the best hairstyles for BJJ are French braids, which take long to make or just a regular bun or ponytail.

bjj with french braid
French braid(s) are one of the best lasting hairstyles for training BJJ if you have longer hair.

Other things to keep in mind with longer hair when training BJJ

Training BJJ with long hair can be damaging to your hair, due to the stress it might be under. Constantly being pulled to one direction or another.

Keep in mind that BJJ training mats, even though they are as clean as they could be, they are dirty. People walk, sweat and roll over it, so all that is transferred to your hair while you train. Therefore, it is recommended to wash your hair every time after you train BJJ.

Final words

Having longer hair could make training for BJJ a bit harder for you, but it should not keep you from training. Different hairstyles can help you out, or if those don’t help, going with a swimming cap is one option as well.

Not everybody wants to cut their hair short just to train BJJ a bit easier. There are ways you can do your hair to train BJJ comfortably as well.

Other BJJ-related posts can be found here.

Hopefully this was helpful to you, have a nice day.


What is Brazilian jiu-jitsu?

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a martial art that focuses on ground fighting. This means it focuses on taking the fight to the ground and finishing the fight with joint locks or chokeholds. Brazilian jiu-jitsu was developed around 1920’s, and was modified from judo. Nowadays, Brazilian jiu-jitsu is an essential martial art for MMA.

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