How to Avoid Helmet Hair

An Asian woman takes a cycling helmet off of her head outdoors.

Ababsolutum / Getty Images

If you’re hemming and hawing about riding a bike because of the way your hair looks after a ride, hem and haw no more. I’ve got a solution to helmet hair. And it’s not chopping off your hair.

For me, riding a bike inevitably means that my hair is going to be a sticky mess when the ride is over, especially here in Florida, where a ride around the block makes your hair look as if you’ve just stepped out of the shower — minus the fresh scent.

So what’s a bike-riding gal to do?

A young white woman adjusts her helmet beside her bike by a canal.

Yelizaveta Tomashevska / Getty Images

First, if your hair isn’t too long, you can try tucking it up under your helmet while you ride. This way, it doesn’t stick to your neck, and when you arrive at your destination, you can take it out of your helmet, toss it around Sofia Vergara-style (hey, a girl can dream, right?), and tease your scalp with your fingertips. This will help give it a little lift after it mats onto your scalp while you ride.

Here's another trick. You know that hole in the back of your helmet straps? Well, the folks over at Sacred Rides call that the “helmet hair hole.” If you’ve got long enough hair, they suggest you braid it and then pull it through that hole. This tactic will help ensure that the helmet sits low enough on your head (where it needs to be to protect your head in an accident). You could even take out the braid when you get to where you’re going and shake your hair around a little to get those tousled waves. (In fact, even just putting your hair in a ponytail will help your hair hold up better than wearing your hair down underneath a helmet.)

Also, if you don’t use dry shampoo yet, it might be helpful to pick up a small travel bottle to keep on hand if you plan to ride this summer. It can help dry your hair out after a ride, prevent it from sticking to your head, and bring limp locks back to life again.

A white woman carrying a mountain bike with a scarf and helmet on her head.

Saro17 / Getty Images

One more trick — wear a scarf under your helmet to keep your style in place while you ride. This will prevent your hair from getting static-y and frizzy.

Incidentally, while we’re on the topic of bikes, I’ll share my favorite little secret about riding a bike in a skirt — conceived last year in Glasgow, Scotland. All you need is a rubber band and a penny. It is so simple, yet absolutely brilliant. Seriously. Bike-riding skirt wearers everywhere will rejoice at this little hack that help you avoid flashing the world as you mount, ride and dismount your bike.

There you have it, folks. No helmet hair? No flashing? No excuse not to get out there and ride!