Why does the swim team bleach their hair?

Jessica White, Staff Writer

Throughout SHS, many bleached heads have shown up in classes and in the hallways. That’s because it’s the Swim Team’s annual tradition.

This week, George Libecco, Drew Yagour, Logan Soloche, Jayden Wang, Kate Molyneux, Grace Perlberg, Ava Shaker and Niya Fried will be competing in the Ohio Swimming State Tournament, but the athletes bleached their hair mid-season.

Zachary Lawrence, member of the junior varsity swim team, explained the tradition in detail.

“[The] tradition is to look stunning,” Lawrence said. “To let people know that you look, like, I mean you especially look stupid, but to let people know that you’re a swimmer,”

After about a month of having bleached hair, some members of the swim team will shave their heads.

According to the SHS swim coach, David Perchinske, members of the team shave their heads to reduce drag while swimming, and they bleach it because they want to do something fun with their hair before they get rid of it.

“You shave your entire body,” Perchinske said. “It reduces drag, it does technically reduce weight, and the biggest thing it does, the reason they shave, is because it gets rid of dead skin cells,”

The tradition has been occurring since before Perchinske started coaching here, which was nine years ago.

The seniors pass the tradition on to the incoming classes to keep it going, and then the upperclassmen choose to make the same mistake every year- forgetting to add toner to the bleach.

“We never use toner because we want to make the same mistakes every year as the first time it happened,” Lawrence said.

While some swimmers see it as a fun thing to do, the coaches see it differently.

“I think every sport has their thing that’s unique to that sport, so shaving is unique to swimming,” Perchinske said.

While swimmers say they do it for the team spirit, some won’t be shaving their heads.

Freshman swimmer Jesse Moore has decided that he will not be shaving his head, although he did bleach the ends of his hair.

When asked why he decided to bleach his hair, Moore claimed that he wanted to do it for the team spirit, and thought it was time for a change in his hairstyle.

When asked what the final thing was that made him want to bleach his hair, “Peer pressure.” Moore said.