I have helmet hair. What to do?

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By helmet hair we don't mean having a hair helmet.

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From long-haired clubwoman sprucecreek

I've been riding for the past 5 years, and I have yet to find a perfect solution to helmet hair (I don't think there is one), but I have come across a few things that work well. I have tried some of these, and some of them are suggestions compiled from other forums. I should preface this post by noting that I'm a wash and air-dry kind of girl; I use cheap shampoo and few hair products, but I do still care that it meets a minimum standard of presentation.

I am of two minds when it comes to concern for helmet hair: in some situations I don't care about it, and in some I dread it. Usually I just bring a baseball cap, but that doesn't work when I commute to the office (my corporate cage isn't very welcoming of hats). Maybe it is vain to worry about my hair, but I can't very well meet with clients looking like I got out of bed and combed my hair with a pineapple or hand grenade.

I want to emphasize that the solution is NOT refusing to wear a full-face helmet because it smothers your tresses. Other helmets do the same, and not wearing a helmet at all will just cause wind damage (and perhaps brain damage).

Helpful Techniques

  • Before you put your helmet on, part your hair on the opposite side of what you normally do. Then, when you take it off, part your hair like normal. I use this trick every day and it helps tremendously. This is definitely my top suggestion.
  • I ride to work in the morning with my hair still partially wet. This keeps helmet removal from making it frizzy. Some people advocate blow-drying, but for me that makes my hair frizzy from the friction created when I pull my helmet off.
  • If your hair is long enough, braid the part that sticks our of your helmet. This will minimize wind damage.
  • This sounds a bit high-maintenance for me, but another female biker on Her Motorcycle suggested it: After washing your hair, make sure you use a styling product (gel, mousse). Dry your hair as usual. Put in a few curls with the curling iron and DO NOT comb them out. Leave them in 'sausages' on your head. Gently pull on a doo-rag and adjust your sausages so they aren't all skewed underneath it. When you take off your helmet for the final time, remove the doo-rag and brush, comb or pick it out. It should be nice and full.
  • Stay away from hairspray. Use mousse instead. Use a couple of sprays of water to reactivate the mousse after helmet removal.
  • Bangs can help or hurt, depending on your hair type. Mine work well to hide the red mark my helmet leaves behind. I bobby-pin them to one side before putting my helmet on, so they don't get matted to my forehead.
  • Experiment with different after-dos. There is likely a way that you can quickly pin your hair up to hide the flatness on top.
  • This only works if your hair is the right length, but you can tie it in a kind of "whale spout" on top of your head. The spout protects your roots from flattening. Just make sure this doesn't affect your helmet fit.
  • A tip from Her Motorcycle: Divide your hair into about 4-5 parts. Take each part and twist it, then coil it and lightly pin it with one small bobby pin. Tie strings to the bobby pins beforehand for easy removal from under your doo-rag or helmet. Do this to each section of hair. Put your doo-rag on and pull the strings to remove the pins. Now, put on the helmet. When you arrive, take off the helmet and "fluff" your hair. If done right, it looks like you just finished doing your hair.

Helpful Accessories

  • Carry a very small spray bottle to mist the top of your head after removing your helmet. This helps calm the frizzies.
  • Try a wig
  • Plastic headbands help with bangs and shorter hair.
  • Sunglasses: Wear them like a headband after removing your helmet. They hide the flatness of your hair (not a method of prevention, but a good remedy).
  • Bandanas: Easy to find one to fit your style
  • The Dannaband
  • HairZing accessories
  • In the Wind is a product that keeps hair from tangling.
  • The Buff is great for hair protection, but not so much for preventing flat hair. A Buff is essentially a tube of stretchy (almost lycra-like, but not quite) fabric. Place it over your head, tuck it under your chin, and tuck your pony tail inside to protect it from the winds.
  • Helmet Liners are designed specifically for your helmet. They protect your hair from static cling and, as a plus, protect your helmet from your sweat.
Bandanas, liners, and buffs all help with helmet lines on your forehead as well.

N250RC E-Z Helmet Hair Prevention Plan




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