This Yukon hair freezing contest is just what we need right now

Only a few days remain to vote for the winners in the annual Hair Freezing Contest at the Takhini Hot Pools. 

The contest began in 2011 at the century-old hot springs near Whitehorse up in the Yukon with a prize of $100 given to the best frozen hairdo. It has grown exponentially, both in prize money and the number of contestants. Now, there is $10,000 in available prizes over five categories including Best Male, Best Female, Best Group, Nongshim’s People’s Choice, and Tim Horton’s Most Creative. 

The winner for each category will receive $2000 in addition to an “unlimited” pass for the current hot springs (until its closure later this year) and some passes for the new hot springs facility currently under construction.

The Takhini Hot Springs property has over 300 acres of wilderness to explore with hiking and biking trails for the summer and cross-country ski and snowshoe in the winter. After some good exercise, you can treat yourself to a relaxing soak in their hot springs. 

To enter the contest, participants head to the Takhini Hot Pools on a day when the temperature is below -20°C. Once their frozen hairstyle has been perfected, participants can ring the wireless doorbell to have their photo taken by Takhini Hot Pools staff, and then officially enter the contest before leaving.

“This year everything changed. We were contacted by two companies who wanted to sponsor the contest, so we called Mammoth (marketing agency) and asked for their help,” says Andrew Umbrich, owner and operator of Takhini Hot Pools. “We installed a wireless doorbell outside so participants can let us know when their frozen hairstyle is ready to be photographed, and we added an iPad to the front desk for people to sign up and upload the photo they liked best.”

The contest has received approximately 240 entries to the website, a figure that is more than double the number of entries received since the contest started in 2011. 

“It’s all due to two sponsors: Nongshim Instant Noodles and Tim Hortons. We couldn’t have done it without them” says Umbrich.

In addition to being the wacky contest the world needs right now, Umbrich also uses the opportunity to give back to the local community. 

“For every entry into the contest five (5) packs of Nongshim’s instant noodles will be donated to the Whitehorse Food Bank and Tim Horton’s has agreed to donate a portion of each entry fee into the hot springs to The Outreach Van, managed by Blood Ties,” he says.

The contest ended on March 8, before the facility was closed due to COVID-19. 

Online voting is underway and all winners will be announced on April 1.


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