Helmet Hair Do’s (and a Don’t)

09 Nov

When I tell people that I ride to work in professional clothes I get a lot of questions, starting with “don’t you get sweaty and need to shower at work?” I explain that since I ride at an easy pace for only 25 minutes, I sweat less than I would if I walked. That seems to satisfy most people, except women, who inevitably ask: “What about helmet hair?” This question is harder to answer.

The short answer: helmets don’t mess up my hair. Whether I leave it in its naturally wavy state, pump it up to super curly or iron it straight into submission, I can fluff or brush my hair at my destination and it’s no worse for the wear. Like riding in street clothes, excessive sweating is the problem, not the helmet per se.

Still, it took a professional to convince me I didn’t need to wash my hair every time I got a little exercise. I once had an afternoon hair appointment and at the end my stylist (and fellow mountain biker) gave me a fabulous blow-out. Silky and straight with a flip at the bottom. I loved it. “Too bad”, I said, “I’m riding tonight and will wash it all out later.” “Don’t wash it,” Kelly said, “just brush it out when you get home and put it up in a scrunchie at night. It will still be great in the morning.” She was right.

Now I’m so confident that my hair will recover post-ride that I take my bike to hair appointments, like I did last Saturday. Kelly O’Dea gave me a great layered cut, then styled it curly by adding a hefty amount of product, scrunching it and blowing it dry with a diffuser. The result: super-super curly and so full I wondered if my hair would fit under the helmet.

It did, of course, fit under the helmet. And even after the making a few stops on the way home, my hair was still full and curly. Thank you, Kelly! So, here are my DO’s for keeping your hairdo intact when you ride:

  • DO Take it easy on the bike. It’s not a race or a training ride.
  • DO Pull over and take a layer off if you start to sweat.
  • DO Take your helmet off and remove any elastic headbands or ponytail holders as soon as you arrive.
  • DO Brush, comb or shake your hair out. Fluff and go ahead on with your fabulous self!
  • DON’T Let fear of helmet hair keep you from riding. If my DO’s DON’T work for you, tweak your technique and try again.

What do you do to keep your ‘do from being a don’t after you ride?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Posted by on November 9, 2011 in Around Town, Cycle Fashions


6 responses to “Helmet Hair Do’s (and a Don’t)

  1. Brian

    November 10, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    There is the option of shaving it all off… (8-)

  2. ladyfleur

    November 10, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    No way, I need my hair. The back of my head is too flat!

  3. Lizabeth West

    March 3, 2014 at 4:25 am

    I have a similar layered hair cut. It helps air flow when I’m riding my bikes. It’s hot a lot of the year where I live so if you have thick hair, layering is the way to go.

    • ladyfleur

      March 3, 2014 at 7:56 am

      My hair is longer not so I put in a ponytail when it’s hot or wet out. When it’s cold I let it hang for extra warmth.

  4. TinLizzie72

    March 3, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    My hair is super short (okay, a slightly longer pixie) so there aren’t many options to do it differently. However, I often brush my bangs the opposite way I prefer to wear them before I put my helmet on, then sweep them back where they belong when I remove aforementioned helmet. I read in a magazine once that if you want to bring a bit of volume to your hair to simply part it on the other side for a while, so this is my theory on the bike helmet-opposite bangs-concept. It generally works.

    • ladyfleur

      March 3, 2014 at 5:30 pm

      That’s interesting. One reason the headband is good for me is my hair tend to grow toward my face. I’ll have to try moving the part too.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Ancestral Pathways LLC

This site features a genealogy blog about the Ville Platte Louisiana area African descendant families of Frank, Jason, Denton, Ruben, Leday, Laughtin, Joseph

Jubilo! The Emancipation Century

African Americans in the 19th Century: Slavery, Resistance, Abolition, the Civil War, Emancipation, Reconstruction, and the Nadir

Grits & Gumbo

Southern family stories with a dash of spice

Granola Shotgun

Stories About Urbanism, Adaptation, and Resilience


Feminist reflections on fitness, sport, and health

madeonmyfingers and design

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

The Independent Bike Blog

A blog for bike shops


A fine site


Living the urban/bicycle life

South Bay Streetscape

Exploring Santa Clara County's urban limits

I'm Jame :)

what's on my mind: food, fashion, marketing, cities, tech & more

Let's Go Ride a Bike

Adventures in city cycling

The Backpack Objective

Exploring with kids in the outdoors and in homeschool

Shop by Bike

How and where to shop by bike in Silicon Valley, California

The Empowerment of the Silent Sisterhood

The blog of the Beautiful You MRKH Foundation

%d bloggers like this: