Cycling enthusiasts with long hair, you’re not alone in your struggle to comfortably and stylishly wear a bike helmet. Long hair can pose unique challenges when it comes to helmet fit and comfort, but fear not. This guide will provide practical tips on how to style long hair to wear with a bike helmet while ensuring both safety and style on your rides. Whether you have thick hair, curly hair, straight hair, or anything in between, there’s a hairstyle that will work for you and your helmet.
Choosing the Right Helmet for Your Long Hair
Before delving into hairstyles, selecting the right bicycle helmet is crucial. Your first step is to choose a helmet that accommodates longer hair. Look for helmets with enough space at the back of the helmet to accommodate your hair length and type. Look for helmets with adjustable straps and a sizeable rear cut-out. This design allows more space for your hair and reduces pressure on your scalp. Ensure the helmet sits snugly on your head without being too tight. Some manufacturers offer helmets that feature a built-in ponytail port. If a helmet with a hair-port fits your needs and budget, it is worth the investment.
Key features to look for include:
- Safety Features: Look for a helmet with MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System) or WaveCel (a proprietary innovation by Bontrager/Trek) technology.
- Adjustable Straps: These allow for a customized fit, accommodating your hair comfortably.
- Rear Cut-Outs: Helmets with significant space at the back help in comfortably tucking in long hair.
- Built-in Ponytail Ports: These allow you to pass your ponytail or braid through, ensuring a snug fit.
- Customizable Internal Structures: Helmets with adjustable internal structures can provide extra room for various hairstyles.
- Ventilation: Good airflow is crucial, especially for long hair, to prevent overheating and discomfort
- Proper Fit: Your helmet should fit snugly, without being too tight or loose.
Now that you know what to look for in a helmet that works with your long hair, let’s dive into the best hairstyles that will allow you to ride in comfort and style as well as ensure your safety.
Wearing a Ponytail with a Cycling Helmet
Ponytails are a popular option among cyclist who wear their hair shoulder-length or longer. After all, there are several ways to style those tresses into a ponytail that will work with your head protection. Wear it low or high. Make it tight or loose. Wear it off to the side. Or center it. But, remember, regardless of how you choose to wear your ponytail, your helmet must still fit properly on your head.
- High Ponytail: Secured at the back of the head, usually with an elastic band or hair scrunchie, a high ponytail can be threaded through a vented opening in the back of the shells. If your helmet has a ponytail hole, a high ponytail can be a comfortable and stylish option.
- Low Ponytail: A classic and straightforward option for long rides. Secure your hair at the nape of the neck with a hair tie. This style keeps your hair out of your face and fits comfortably under any bike helmet.
- Side Ponytail: This is a lovely way to style long hair for rides. Rather than letting the hair fall from the back of your neck, tie it off to the side of your neck in a low ponytail.
- Two Low Ponytails: Better known as Pigtails, this style is popular with female riders. Rather than having hair hanging down your back, this style secures the hair at the side and away from the back of the neck making for a cooler ride.
Wearing a Bicycle Helmet with Braids
- French Braid: Ideal for keeping long hair neatly tucked away. A French braid starting at the back of your head is not only a cute hairstyle but also practical for cycling.
- Side Braids: Divide your hair into equal sections and create side braids. This is an effective way to manage curly hair or thick hair on a bike ride.
- Double Braids: This is an incredibly popular style among female cyclist
Try Wearing Your Hair in a Helmet-Friendly Bun
- Low Bun: Twist your hair into a low, flat bun at the base of your neck. Ensure it’s low enough to sit beneath the helmet without creating pressure points.
- Messy Bun: A great option for a quick and easy hairstyle. Gather your hair into a bun at the back of your head, allowing for a proper fit with your helmet.
Creative Hairstyles and Accessories for Cycling
- Head Sock or Skull Cap: Wearing a thin head sock or skull cap under your helmet can help manage hair, especially for those with fine hair or messy hair. Some skull caps even have a cutout for your ponytail.
- Hair Wraps: For those looking for a stylish twist, hair wraps can be a great way to keep your hair in place and add a pop of color to your cycling gear.
- Headbands: Opt for slim, moisture-wicking materials to manage sweat and keep hair in place.
- Bandana: Wrap a bandana around your head, covering the ends of your hair.
Tips for All Types of Hair
- Bobby Pins: Secure flyaways and shorter hair with bobby pins. They’re essential for a neat look and prevent hair from getting into your eyes.
- Chin Strap Adjustment: Ensure the chin strap of your bike helmet isn’t too tight, as this can affect your hairstyle and comfort.
- Hair Products: Light hair products can help manage flyaways without making your hair too slick for the helmet.
Solutions for Helmet Head
- Pre-ride Hair Prep: Use a leave-in conditioner to manage hair tangles or an anti-frizz serum to keep your hair smooth.
- During Your Ride: Silk or Satin Scarves can be worn under the helmet to reduce friction and help maintain your hairstyle. This can also add a stylish element to your look. Also, consider a helmet liner to protect your hairstyle and also help with sweat management.
- Post-ride Refresh: Keep a can of dry shampoo in your car. After your hair (sweat) has dried, spray a bit of the shampoo into your hair, especially near the roots to boost your tresses.
Finding the best hairstyle for cycling with a bike helmet doesn’t have to be a bad hair day waiting to happen. From a low ponytail to a French braid, or even a stylish head scarf, there’s a solution for every hair type and length. Remember, the right helmet with a proper fit is just as important as the hairstyle you choose. So, next time you gear up for a bike ride, try one of these hairstyles and ride in comfort and style!