Undoubtedly, wearing a bike helmet while you cycle can keep you safe on the road. But it can also leave you with flattened or messy hair, which effectively ruins your hairdo when you arrive at your destination. So, how do you stay safe without harming your stylish look?
Here is how to prevent helmet hair:
1. Clean and moisturize your hair
2. Switch to a bike-friendly haircut
3. Choose an appropriate helmet
4. Keep your helmet clean
5. Don’t wear a helmet while the hair is wet
6. Wear a skull cap
7. Braid your long hair or use a silk scarf
This quick guide will explore the different strategies listed above in greater detail. Want to learn how to avoid helmet hair? Keep reading.
Can Bike Helmets Cause Hair Loss?
First, let’s start with the fear that helmets can lead to hair loss. This is one concern many people– both male and female – have, besides fretting about their hairdo, that is.
The straightforward answer is no.
You can’t have hair loss mainly from wearing a helmet. At least, there is no scientific evidence to show that wearing helmets can lead to hair loss.
Here’s the thing, though.
Wearing a helmet can create hygiene concerns, especially if you wear it for a prolonged period.
Sweat and bacteria can build up if you have your helmet on for a long time. This can weaken and damage your hair. It can also cause fungal infections.
Also, scarring can occur if you repeatedly remove your helmet somewhat roughly.
Without getting all into the nitty-gritty science details, rubbing or hair pulling when you remove your helmet can cause traction alopecia.
Interestingly, this isn’t something that’s strictly caused by helmets. Instead, it is a form of hair loss resulting from repeatedly pulling the hair.
Anyone can have traction alopecia if they often wear their hair in tight buns or ponytails. This is especially true if they use heat or chemicals on their hair.
How to Prevent Helmet Hair
Now that we are clear on the relationship between helmets and hair loss, it’s time to see exactly how to prevent helmet hair.
Keep in mind that there is no helmet on the market that will completely leave your hairdo intact unless you are bald.
However, not wearing one at all will make your hair worse.
The wind! Of course, you won’t worry about your hair flattening out, but the wind will definitely undo your stylish hairdo if you ride your bike without a helmet.
With that said, here are the strategies you can use to prevent helmet hair and hair fall.
1. Keep Your Hair Clean and Moisturized
Regularly cleaning your hair is important for improving hair health, regardless of your routine and whether you are male or female.
However, regular hair cleaning is more crucial if you plan to wear a helmet. That’s because cycling with a helmet on exposes your hair follicles to a different kind of problem.
Dust and debris from the road are trapped inside the protective headgear. All of these can cause dandruff when the particles accumulate in the hair root.
In addition to this, sweating inside the helmet can contribute to fungal infections, and in turn, contribute to hair loss.
For this reason, it is essential to clean your hair using natural shampoo regularly.
Consider using good-quality moisturizers, too. If possible, massage your scalp with warm oil to promote hair regeneration.
2. Don’t Wear Helmet While the Hair is Wet
Even if you are in a hurry, never wear your bike helmet with your hair still wet. Make time to properly dry your hair before putting a lid on it.
Why is this super important?
In one word: bacterial growth!
Okay, that’s two words, but you get the gist.
Wearing a helmet on wet hair can make the insides of the protective lid damp, even if it has plenty of vent holes.
And as you probably already know, bacteria thrive in damp or humid environments.
That’s not all.
Germs and infection-causing fungi can start to develop on your scalp. If this happens, you will be dealing with bigger problems than mere helmet hair!
In a nutshell, take out a few extra minutes to dry your hair properly before wearing a hard hat.
Here is something else you should keep in mind.
Using curling irons, flat irons, and hot rollers may likely weaken your hair, cause hair breakage, hair loss, and even lead to traction alopecia.
So, what’s a more effective way to dry your hair?
Use a blow-dryer setting that is not too hot, even if you are in a hurry. In any case, you want to minimize the use of these hair tools.
3. Keep Your Helmet Clean
Dust, debris, and sweat don’t just affect your hair. They can also affect the helmet, especially when these mix with hair oils and other cosmetic products.
The insides of the helmet can quickly start to deteriorate if you allow dirt to accumulate.
For this reason, it is important to regularly clean your helmet. Make sure to clean both the inside and outside of the lid.
It’s a good practice to wipe the interior with an antibacterial solution to keep it sterile. And remember to store it in a place with enough air circulation.
4. Choose an Appropriate Helmet
Helmets should fit snuggly but not too tight. In addition to flattening your hairdo, a tight-fitting lid can pull your hair from the roots when you take it off.
If you continue to use a helmet that’s too tight, it can eventually lead to a recession of your hairline.
And since this is not what you want, it is best to choose a helmet that fits your head nicely. Remember to go for something that offers adequate ventilation.
5. Switch to a Bike-Friendly Hairdo
You may want to consider altering your hairstyle to suit the use of a helmet. This is especially the case if you ride every day.
For most men, a short-hair hairstyle might be necessary. However, if you prefer long-hair haircuts, consider the tips in strategy number 7 below.
6. Wear a Skull Cap
If you keep short hair, it is a good idea to wear a skull cap or head socks before putting on a helmet.
Alternatively, you can place a cloth between your head and the helmet to reduce friction.
The cloth can also absorb sweat and prevent a buildup of dirt. Plus, it makes cleaning the insides of the helmet a breeze.
7. Braid your long hair or use a silk scarf
If you have long hair, you’ll need a little more planning to keep your hair intact with a helmet and prevent hair fall.
One of the best things you can do to keep your hair intact from the effects of wearing a helmet is to wash and braid the hair.
If you prefer, you can style it or make it into a ponytail.
Whatever hairdo you prefer, make sure to choose a good-quality helmet that supports long hair or ponytails.
You will still flatten or mess up your stylish look if you wear the helmet directly on your hair.
What to do?
Wear a silk scarf, bandana, or headband.
Putting any of these between your hair and the hard hat shell can help maintain your hairdo to a large extent. This is particularly true if you keep the hairstyle simple.
How Do I Protect My Hair Under My Bike Helmet?
You can maintain your hairstyle under your bike helmet by wearing a silk scarf, bandana, or headband.
Any of these will prevent the lid from rubbing against your hair and disheveling it and causing hair fall.
If you have particularly long locks, it is a good idea to tie up your hair, pin it up, or pull it back to avoid tangles that can happen during bike rides.
Another way to protect your hair under a bike helmet is to braid it or make it into a ponytail.
More: Do Bike Helmets Expire?
Can Helmet Cause Baldness?
Here’s a short answer: no!
Wearing a helmet for prolonged periods can aggravate hair loss. That is if you already have an existing hair condition.
But by itself, a helmet can make you go bald.
Simply take proper care of your hair and clean the helmet once or twice weekly, and you shouldn’t have to worry about hair fall or anything else.
What Do You Wear Under Your Bike Helmet?
Wear a head wrap, bandana, or cycling cap under your bike helmet. Any of these will protect your hair in any type of weather condition.
A beanie is also a good option. However, you want to make sure to choose a breathable, comfortable, and lightweight beanie.
Regardless of what you wear underneath your bike helmet, it is important to go with something that won’t affect the helmet’s fitting.
It might be necessary to loosen the straps slightly when you wear something under the helmet. This will prevent the lid from squeezing your hair.
There you have it – seven effective strategies on how to avoid helmet hair. Follow these suggestions, and you won’t have to choose between protecting your noggin and maintaining your good looks.