What is helmet hair? Helmet hair is the dreaded, flat, sweaty look after wearing a helmet for an extended period of time on a bike ride. It is usually flat, compacted, sweaty, and sometimes matted hair. The flatness, compacting and matting is associated with the extended pressure from the helmet. The dampness, due to sweating and lack of airflow through the helmet during a ride.
Why is there a disdain for helmet hair? Cycling is generally a social sport. More often than not, after a long bike ride, time is spent hanging out and socializing with friends or running errands. Helmet hair complicates this time, as often it is not feasible to style your hair after a ride. This leaves you walking around with matted, sweaty hair.
Giving up errands or time spent socializing with friends is not optimal. Outside of hunting a restroom with a mirror and styling your hair after a bike ride, we must find a low-maintenance solution for said helmet hair.
Here are a few ways to avoid the dreaded helmet hair.
1. Wear a scarf or some other protective cloth beneath your helmet. Most women own some type of scarf or thin head covering in which they can apply beneath their helmet. This should help absorb some sweat and maintain your hair in a specific position for the duration of the ride. It should also be durable to not shift underneath the helmet.
2. Cover your hair after the ride. Carrying along some type of head covering or baseball cap to replace the helmet with after the ride is also a solution. It allows you to just cap and cover the helmet hair and carry on.
3. Wear a cycling cap during and/or after a ride. This is hands down my favorite solution. Cycling caps are the perfect solution to solve for helmet hair. They are thin and flexible enough to fit right underneath a helmet. This helps protect and maintain the hair during a bike ride. In addition, cycling caps are typically made from polyester or some other sweat absorbing material – reducing the sweat accumulating underneath the helmet. Cycling caps also are small enough to roll or fold and fit into the back pocket of your jersey or cycling skinsuit to just pull out after the ride. In addition, cycling caps provide some added benefits including protection from sun in the face, an unexpected rainpour, sunburn on top of the head, and offer some additional warmth during colder rides. That makes for a win-win situation.
No matter what solution you choose, helmet hair is not a suffering that is a condition of cycling. You have choices 🙂. Cycle on free of post-ride hair worries!