While helmet hair is a minor issue in the big scheme of things, I must confess that I find it challenging when riding in the heat and humidity of summer. Most of the year it’s not an issue but come July I’m dealing with fine, curly hair that squishes flat in the damp before drying into frizz.
Here are a few solutions and hairstyles that I found online for different hair types.
Curly hair: Most recently, based on my hairdresser’s advice, I’ve been using a heavily diluted solution of leave-in conditioner (mostly water with just a bit of conditioner) in a little spray bottle that I keep in my desk at work. A few spritzes followed by scrunching of the curls helps bring them back to life. Another tip (new to me) is to wear a silk scarf under your helmet. It’s supposed to cut down on frizz and looks nice to boot. And for those with longer curly hair, Nutcase Helmets enlisted advice from a stylist.
Long, straight hair: There seem to be lots of suggestions for longer or long-ish hair that can be put into a braid or plait, or pulled up into a bun. How to turn sweaty bike helmet hair into sexy bike helmet hair offers some good suggestions and photos, from choosing the right hairdo to parting your hair on the opposite side than usual to keep its body once released.
For specific hairstyles, this slide show from Elle provides step-by-step instructions for the sophisticated knot and the braided pony. (You just have to ignore all the advertising.) Ditto for Refinery 29’s suggested biking hairstyles that include the half up and braided do, sleek side ponytail with a twist, and a trio of knotted buns.
Finally, here are some general tips and styles from Pedal Power ACT in Australia. If anyone should know about heat and humidity, they’d be the ones!
And the fact is, I have way too much fun cycling to let helmet hair stop me. But I might just try a silk scarf. Very 1960s.