You are currently viewing Combating helmet hair

Combating helmet hair

  • Post category:Know How / Lifestyle
  • Reading time:4 mins read

Hair[dropcap]M[/dropcap]ost horse riders juggle their passion with a full-time job, a family and a social life. Fitting in all of these can be a struggle, especially since we’ve all found out the hard way that ‘horse time’ goes by faster than other time and mysteriously swallows up all the spare hours you have. In our busy lives, it’s often the case that we’ll race straight from the stables to work, or from the stables to an evening out, without being able to spend enough time getting ready. This can be a particular problem after we’ve ridden for an hour or two with our hair under a helmet. ‘Helmet hair’ really can be a challenge, but with the right cut, a good strategy and a few must-have products, you can avoid sporting that sweaty, squashed-down look for the rest of the day.

Don’t give in to vanity

Rule number one of helmet hair – don’t leave your helmet in your car just because you don’t want your hair to be ruined. It’s easier to manage the problems caused by bad hair than it is to manage the problems caused by a traumatic brain injury. If your helmet is very hot and you start sweating under it as soon as you put it on, then rather look for another, better-ventilated helmet that still complies with proper safety standards. The fit, shape and ventilation of a helmet really do make a difference, and a lighter, well-fitting one can set you up for success and better hair.

Cut is keyHair

Donne Christof, owner of Bscene Hair Designs in Durban, explains that the first step is to find a hairdresser who cuts well. “A good haircut will always look good together with the right styling aid,” she explains. The cut can also make the difference between having to blow-wave your hair every day, and having it naturally fall into place without needing to spend the time on blow-drying. “A cut should suit your lifestyle, as well as your hair type and texture,” Donne says.

Cow’s licks

Cow’s lick is the term given to hair that grows in a certain direction – you might find you have a stubborn section of hair that insists on falling a certain way across your forehead and reverts to that after riding. If you have a cow’s lick, a shorter precision cut or a fashionably straight fringe will not be your friend, because it will revert to its preferred direction whenever you sweat under your helmet. Rather go for a longer, textured look that is more forgiving.


If you have to rush straight from riding to an important meeting, pre-prepare by washing your hair and blow-drying it before you ride, using a styling product to help hold the style in place – and, if necessary, put it in a ponytail while you ride. The blow-dry will give it shine, and the styling will mean that the mid-lengths and the ends of your hair look good instead of straggly or windblown. You might even find that you retain some volume in your roots after the ride.

Water spray

“Keep a water spray bottle in your bag, so that you can lightly spray your hair damp if you do not have time to wash it after riding,” Donne advises. Some of the bonds in hair are formed by water, and if hair has been squashed down by a helmet, you can’t reform those bonds without wetting the hair again – this will help you to reshape your style.

By: Jassy Mackenzie

The full article appears in the Winter Guide issue of HQ (June 123) > Shop now