7 Top Tips for Beating Helmet Hair Disasters

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Ashley Brown

Cycling Basics, Other


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Let’s face it – whether you’re an avid road cyclist, a city-center bike commuter, or a fan of coasting down to the ocean on your beach cruiser of a sunny Summer day, you’ve probably encountered the dreaded “helmet hair” at some point. You know, that unruly mess of flattened, tangled, or otherwise awkwardly-shaped hair that emerges after wearing a helmet for any extended period. It’s the bane of any active person’s existence, but fear not! We’ve got you covered with seven top tips for beating helmet hair disasters, so you can focus on your favorite outdoor activities while still looking your best.

Start with the Right Haircut

Believe it or not, the foundation for avoiding helmet hair begins before you even put on your cute helmet. Choosing the right haircut can make a world of difference in how your hair reacts to being squished under a helmet for hours. Here are a few tips to consider when you’re at the barber or salon:

  • Opt for shorter hairstyles that are easier to manage and less prone to helmet hair, such as a buzz cut, crew cut, or a short and textured look
  • For those with longer hair, consider styles that can be easily pulled back into a ponytail, bun, or braid, as these will stay more contained under your helmet
  • Avoid heavy, blunt bangs, as these can become particularly unruly under a helmet. Instead, opt for side-swept or feathered bangs

I used to rock a shaggy, shoulder-length hairstyle that I thought looked great – until I started cycling to work every day. After a few too many helmet hair disasters, I finally took the plunge and got a more manageable, shorter haircut. It’s made a world of difference, and I no longer dread removing my helmet in public.

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Prep Your Hair Before Putting on Your Helmet

Taking a few minutes to prepare your hair before you don your helmet can go a long way in preventing helmet hair disasters.

Here’s what to do:

  • If you have longer hair, secure it in a low ponytail, bun, or braid. This will help keep it contained and less likely to suffer from tangling or matting while you’re wearing your helmet. Pro tip: Make sure your hair tie or accessory is flat and comfortable so it doesn’t dig into your head under your helmet
  • For shorter hair, consider applying a light styling product like a mousse or a texturizing spray. This can help give your hair some hold and prevent it from becoming too flat under the helmet
  • Regardless of hair length, it’s essential to ensure your hair is completely dry before putting on your helmet. Wet hair is more susceptible to being flattened and taking on the shape of the helmet

‘Fun’ fact: Did you know that leaving your hair wet under a helmet can also lead to scalp issues, such as itchiness and dandruff? It’s another good reason to ensure your hair is dry before you head out.

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Choose the Right Helmet

Not all helmets are created equal when it comes to combating helmet hair. When shopping for a new bike lid, consider the following cycling helmet selection tips:

  • Look for helmets with proper ventilation, as this will help keep your head cool and reduce sweat, which can contribute to helmet hair
  • Make sure the helmet fits correctly. A too-tight helmet can press down on your hair more than necessary, exacerbating helmet hair issues
  • Some helmets come with removable, washable liners that can help minimize hair friction and static. These can be a game-changer for keeping your hair looking fresh 🙂
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Mid-Ride Hair Check

If you’re taking a break during your ride or stopping for a quick refreshment, use the opportunity to give your hair a quick check. This can help prevent helmet hair from becoming a full-blown disaster by the time you reach your destination. Here’s what to do:

  • Remove your helmet and gently shake out your hair. This can help revive flattened hair and prevent any tangles from setting in
  • If you have a small travel brush or comb, give your hair a quick once-over to smooth out any kinks
  • For those with longer hair, consider re-securing your ponytail, bun, or braid to ensure it stays in place for the rest of your journey
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Carry a Hair Refresh Kit

Having a small hair refresh kit with you can be a lifesaver for those times when you need a quick fix after removing your helmet.

Here are some essentials to include in your kit:

  • A travel-sized brush or comb to smooth out tangles and add some volume back into your hair
  • Dry shampoo or hair refresher spray can help absorb any excess oil or sweat that may have accumulated during your ride
  • A light-hold hairspray can help give your hair some shape and hold after being flattened by your helmet
  • Hair ties, bobby pins, or hair clips for those with longer hair, as you may need to quickly pull your hair back or secure it in place

Pro tip: Consider keeping your hair refresh kit in a small, lightweight bag that can easily fit in your commuter backpack, bike saddlebag, or even the pocket of your cycling jacket.

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Embrace the Power of Accessories

Sometimes, the best solution for helmet hair is simply to embrace it and use accessories to your advantage. Here are a few options that can help you look stylish and put-together, even with helmet hair:

  • Headbands or bandanas can help keep your hair in place and disguise any flat or unruly spots caused by your helmet
  • Hats or beanies can be a quick and stylish fix for helmet hair, especially if you’re heading to a casual event or gathering after your ride
  • For those with longer hair, consider using decorative hairpins or barrettes to add some flair to your ponytail, bun, or braid
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Practice Good Helmet Hygiene

Last but not least, maintaining a clean helmet can help reduce the likelihood of helmet hair disasters. Sweat, dirt, and hair products can all build up inside your helmet over time, leading to unpleasant odors and even potential skin or scalp irritation. To keep your helmet fresh and clean:

  • Regularly remove and wash the liners of your helmet, if applicable. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper care
  • For helmets without removable liners, use a damp cloth to gently clean the inside of the helmet, taking care to avoid damaging any foam or padding
  • Allow your helmet to air dry completely before using it again, as a damp helmet can contribute to the development of helmet hair
  • Consider using a helmet deodorizer or a light spritz of fabric refresher spray to keep your helmet smelling fresh
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Conclusion and summary table

Helmet hair doesn’t have to be the bane of your active lifestyle. With these seven top tips, you can confidently engage in your favorite outdoor activities without worrying about the state of your hair when you remove your helmet. From choosing the right haircut and helmet to carrying a hair refresh kit and practicing good helmet hygiene, these strategies can help you beat helmet hair disasters once and for all.

Remember, the key is to be proactive and prepared, so you can enjoy your bike rides while still arriving at your destination looking and feeling your best.

7 Top Tips for Beating Helmet Hair Disasters

Right Haircut

Choose shorter, easily manageable hairstyles or styles that can be pulled back. Avoid heavy bangs

Hair Preparation

Secure longer hair, use light styling products, and ensure hair is dry before wearing a helmet

Selecting the Right Helmet

Opt for helmets with proper ventilation, a good fit, and removable, washable liners

Mid-Ride Hair Check

During breaks, remove your helmet, shake out your hair, and re-secure it if necessary

Hair Refresh Kit

Include a travel-sized brush or comb, dry shampoo or refresher spray, light-hold hairspray, and hair accessories

Use Accessories

Use headbands, bandanas, hats, beanies, or decorative hairpins to style and disguise helmet hair

Helmet Hygiene

Regularly clean and air-dry your helmet, wash removable liners, and use a helmet deodorizer or fabric refresher spray to maintain freshness

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