Even though plenty of people own and ride bikes and scooters, you only have to step outside to see a significant proportion of them aren’t wearing helmets.
In fact, recent research conducted by Lime found that a worrying one in five (19%) say how they look after taking a helmet off is the reason why they don’t wear one.
We all know helmets are pretty vital safety gear, and when it comes to protecting your head or your hairdo, one is definitely more important than the other.
With that being said, if you’re looking for ways to handle helmet hair, Declan Haworth, a colour director with salon Blue Tit, has shared his top tips…
Top tips for preventing helmet hair for all hair types
1. Find a helmet that fits
This is important for your safety and comfort, as well as your hair.
‘Prevention is always better than cure, so make sure your helmet fits properly,’ says Declan.
‘A helmet needs to be snug to ensure maximum protection when riding, but shouldn’t result in too much pressure or pain on the head.
‘One that is too small or tight can not only be painful but compress the hair and cause friction as a result – which can cause damage to the hair in the long run.’
2. Clean hair goes a long way
Starting with a clean slate can help keep your hair manageable throughout the day.
‘Where possible,’ says Declan, ‘try to make sure that your hair is freshly cleaned and dry before you put on your helmet.
‘It will go a long way in keeping your hair fresh for the rest of the day or night, even after finishing your ride.’
3. Try a bandana or headscarf
Try adding a protective layer over your hair to keep everything under control.
Declan explains: ‘One of my biggest tips for riders trying to prevent helmet hair is to secure a headscarf or bandana over-styled hair, and under the helmet. It will help protect the hair from dirt and grime during the ride, as well as friction.
‘People with Afro and textured hair can opt for a bonnet, headscarf or durag beneath their helmets to protect their hair as well.’
Top tips for short hair
1. Set your style
Now let’s get to some more targeted advice for specific hair cuts and types.
‘It’s important to style and set your hair in place with your usual styling products and a hairdryer before a ride to minimise the risk of helmet hair,’ Declan says.
‘A sea salt spray is great for this, and can be used after you’ve taken off your helmet too. A quick spritz will make the hair easier to tweak or re-style back into place as required, with added volume after your ride if desired.’
2. Bring back texture with dry shampoo
Dry shampoo or similar powdery products can help soak up any sweat that may have accumulated along the way.
‘A texture or talcum powder, or dry shampoo is a must-have for all hair lengths and textures after wearing a helmet,’ explains Declan.
‘It will soak up any and all moisture from the ride, and helps to return thickness and fullness to hair that’s been flattened by the helmet.
‘Simply massage the powder into the roots and run your fingers through to texturise and bring back volume.’
3. Have a comb (or your fingers) at the ready
Try to pack a comb or brush for your journey – if not, your fingers should do the trick.
‘If you can,’ Declan advises, ‘take a small comb or brush along with you on your ride to help style your hair back in place alongside your favourite pomade or wax. If not, your fingers will do the trick.
‘I’d recommend the Oway Boho Pomade which helps with restyling in a jiffy.’
Top tips for Afro and textured hair
1. Protective styles
Certain styles will offer different levels of protection against helmet hair.
‘Wearing your hair in protective styles such as braids or a low bun can work when trying to protect your hair from your helmet,’ says Declan.
‘If opting for a tighter braid style, such as cornrows, be sure that it’s not overly-tight and to change up the style regularly to avoid causing your hair stress at the roots.’
2. Restyling on the go
Supplies like picks should also be prepped for the journey.
‘To restyle and bring life back into your helmet hair,’ says Declan, ‘make sure you pack a brush or pick with you to restyle any flattened portions.
‘The Avlon Affirmcare StyleRight Sensational Edges is a great product that you can run along the hairline and comb through with fingers or a brush until you achieve the style you want. It is also lightweight and non-greasy, which doesn’t add to sebum production from the scalp.’
Top tips for long hair
1. Flip your parting
This tip is especially simple – just swap your parting over to counterbalance any flattening.
‘The top tip for anyone wanting to avoid flattened hair from wearing a helmet is simply a flip of the parting,’ says Declan.
‘By flipping your parting to the opposite side of your head before putting on your helmet, you can help protect your roots from any moisture or oil during your ride. When you remove your helmet you can then flip it back to normal and regain your volume.’
2. Plait it up
Again, protective hairstyles can help keep things simple.
‘Putting your hair into braids (plus a headscarf for extra protection) can minimise helmet hair by keeping long hair secure during your ride,’ explains Declan.
‘Bonus points for wavy hair once the braids are undone after, too. For those who want to keep their hair straight, a clever trick is to use a headscarf as part of the braid to secure the ponytail in place and avoid kinks and flyaways.’
3. Volumising spray is your best friend
Declan says one quick fix for flat helmet hair is packing volumising spray for your journey.
‘Spraying your roots and scrunching them into the hair can easily create an airy texture after the helmet weighs it down,’ he adds.
‘Oway’s Plant Mineral Refresh Powder, or a similar dry shampoo equivalent, will also absorb any excess oil/moisture that can occur while wearing a helmet and revive limp hair.’