Sailing from a Place of Joy: TIY Hair Ties and a Pro Athlete Hair Routine
Ahead of launching our bold new December color, TIY founder Andrea Nucete-Elliott sat down with Olympic sailor and TIY ambassador Lara Dallman-Weiss to discuss sailing in the Olympic Games, keeping our oceans clean and what a pro athlete hair routine looks like. Check it out:
Lara Dallman-Weiss: A Born Athlete
Born in Minnesota in the middle of a snowstorm, Lara grew up sailing, but it wasn’t until she attended Eckerd College in St. Petersburg that she began pursuing the sport competitively. Encouraged by one of her coaches, Lara began training for the Olympics. After achieving 12th place with teammate Nikki Barnes in the Women’s Two-Person Dinghy 470 event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Lara is currently posted up in Miami, FL, where she’s rigorously training for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Here’s an overview of Andrea’s conversation with Lara:
Andrea: Tell us a little bit about your summer and your experience. How was your preparation and everything that led you to the Games?
Lara: In sailing, there are 13 different types of boats that sail for the Olympics. In the US, all classes had qualified except for mine. They had qualified before the pandemic. So the whole US sailing team was named except for us. We had a crazy year of just coming out of lockdown, training in Miami, not knowing if we’d be able to go to Europe and train with our competitors.
We got letters from the Spanish Sailing Federation, so they let us compete. We were travelling to Europe when Americans weren’t allowed to. So it was just this wild year of just trying to learn as much as we can, but not knowing if they’d have trials or if the Olympics would even happen. Eventually, everything came together and we went to Tokyo.
Andrea: How do you balance aiming for the Games in 2024 and having a normal life?
Lara: That’s a great question. I just moved into Coconut Grove and there’s a community of a lot of sailing girlfriends that we have here, and we’re really good at holding each other accountable for like, a movie night, or we'll go for a bike ride where we go to different houses. I call it the mental health aspect of that. I also feel like coming back after Tokyo, it was really hard, like it was a high followed by a big low, but I feel a weight lifted off my shoulders after going to Tokyo of just like, ‘sail from a place of joy’. Really big things that used to stress me out don’t anymore.
Cleaner Oceans with Lara Dallman-Weiss + TIY
Lara spends a lot of time in the ocean, so keeping it clean and healthy is a top priority. TIY CEO Andrea asked Lara about ocean health and environmental awareness. Here’s a part of their conversation:
Andrea: When you spend so much time on the water, it’s your second home. What are some things that you would want to bring awareness about to us here on land?
Lara: It’s major. We see everything. I think sailing specifically, that’s part of what I love so much about the sport, is that I see flying fish, I see sea turtles. A whale swam under us last year. We just see the most beautiful things. But there’s so much trash. There’s so much that just goes into the ocean. You don’t realize everything that goes down the drain, in the toilet, through the rivers, it all ends up in the water and it all comes back to us.
One of the things we don’t specifically see are the microplastics, so just this culture of ‘everything’s made of plastic’. It just doesn’t ever break down. It’s horrible.
We’re super conscious of the sunscreen we’re wearing and the reef health. I always think about when we travel a lot of times to different places in Europe, there's a different way of life that’s not this quick, easy access culture. We have a long way to go — recycling, reusing all of our own bags at the grocery store. I could go on for hours.
Andrea: How do you think about the products you use — when you use them, and why you choose them?
Lara: I start with the things I use every single day. So one of the big ones is sunscreen for me, just to make sure I at least know where it comes from or there’s something that says “reef-friendly.” I’m just starting to learn about shampoo and conditioner. Of course, you want products that work, but you also want it to be good for the environment if possible.
Andrea: When it comes down to hair ties, it’s something really small that you grab at the drug store and when it breaks or you lose them, you don’t know where they end up. The lifespan of TIY is so long, we feel comfortable making the statement that with one TIY you can reduce the amount of external drug store hair ties that will end up lost. How do you feel about that statement?
Lara: A hundred percent, yes. I have thick hair, so I’m already at a four-loop, but a year later I can still use the same one I’ve been using and just make it a five-loop. Even a very overused TIY is still better than a drug store [hair tie].
Lara’s Pro Athlete Hair Routine
Lara’s TIY hair ties have lasted for as long as a year and a half despite being exposed to ocean saltwater, sweat and high-impact conditions. This lifestyle, however, is also really rough on her hair. After getting frustrated with how dead the top layer of her hair would get, Lara was advised to try the following routine before getting in the water:
- Wet hair thoroughly.
- Apply a conditioner or thick hair mask.
- Style hair in a protective style like a low bun or unibraid.
By wetting her hair and applying conditioner or a hair mask, Lara’s hair follicles can absorb these healthier substances, leaving no room for damaging saltwater to get in. Coupled with damage-free TIY hair ties, Lara says her new hair routine works like a charm.
TIY Hair Ties for Athletes
This December, we’re over the moon to partner with Lara as we launch a brand new TIY hair tie color. In the spirit of Giving Tuesday, TIY will donate a portion of the sales to an organization of Lara’s choice.