From Horse Cartilage To Waterproof Mascara, Olympian Beauty Tricks Revealed!

The world's top athletes undergo a variety of unusual grooming rituals so they can perform and look their best on-camera during the Games. More men shave for these things than you might think.

Synchronized Swimming

Synchronized Swimming

Australia's synchronized swimming team at a photo session.

Image by Chris Hyde / Getty Images

Synchronized swimmers practice in goggles and swim caps, but during competition they go cap-less and goggle-less, according to Yahoo Shine. To keep hair in place without a cap, they comb unflavored Jello mixed with water through hair and twist it into buns. The paste can only be removed with a very hot shower. This removal process "takes about a half-hour" Leah Pinette of the U.S. National synchronized swim team tells Shine. "But it'll dissolve and then you just pick and scrape it off." (Mm!) The horse cartilage in the paste supposedly good for hair health. "It actually seems to make it a little shinier, but it also grabs at dead hair, so we end up loosing a lot of strands," Pinette explains.

Serious synchronized swimmers also cite serious strain on body hair. Chlorine dissolves and diminishes much of it, including eyebrows, Pinette adds. "I can't wait for the day when I don't have to keep drawing them on."



Australian competitor Kenrick Monk U.S. favorite Ryan Lochte at a training session.

Image by Al Bello / Getty Images

Male and female swimmers shave whatever’s not covered by suit or cap. Shaving "[changes] the sensory input to the central nervous system," says Joel Stager, director of the Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming at Indiana University. "Motor output is magnified when you shave the skin.” So basically muscles can work faster and harder. He says this works in other sports too, and research exists to support the theory.

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