If you didn’t know it yet, at Nutcase Helmets we are all about making helmets that are intrinsically fun to wear.
And, being bikey people, we also know that there are those who avoid helmets – especially for city riding or bike commuting – because they are worried about helmet hair.
So we cornered an expert – Kym Lanzetta, stylist at Kiss Kiss Salon – to get a better idea of how to avoid, or at the very least minimize helmet hair.
Kym is a curly hair expert, cutting and styling hair that is on a continuum from mildly wavy to tightly curled.
As a long-time motorcycle rider, she’s also expert at keeping her locks looking good at the end of a helmeted ride.
Kym uses and teaches three main strategies to avoid helmet hair.
“Basically curly hair is ‘wrinkled hair’,” she said. “Instead of smashing down those pretty wrinkles, we gather them up in different ways.”
The first way is in what is called a ‘buddha’ bun – using a soft, scrunchy-style fastener, Kym gathers the hair on the top of her head into a soft and loose bun before she puts the helmet on. This works best on curly hair that is just beyond shoulder length or longer. When she takes her helmet off she loosens the bun and ‘reveals’ her curls.
In the second au naturel method, Kym simply tips her head all the way forward and gathers her hair together in the same top-of-the-head bun, but she has the helmet in hand, and when her hair is loosely gathered, she brings the helmet to her head and then straightens up. This method is great for slightly shorter hair.
With very long or very curly hair, Kym uses a soft or silky triangle of scarf as under-the-helmet ‘Rasta’ headdress. With the long flat edge of the scarf pressed to her forehead she flips her head over and lightly wraps the scarf around back and then forward, bringing the ends of the scarf to the front and twisting them back around to tuck them in (no knots!) before putting the helmet on.
In each of these methods Kym’s curls are at the helmet’s crown where they have the most room to retain their shape.
Once she takes the helmet off, she scrunches and ruffles her curls with her fingers but without pulling her fingers through the curls (a big no-no).
While she is not overly product oriented, Kym recommended a dime-sized dab of styling cream (from Deva Curl or Aveda) to help gently refresh curls at the end of the ride. Or, for the product phobic, just wet your hands before re-ruffling.
The key point for avoiding helmet-y hair, Lanzetta stressed, is packing the hair for its trip in a helmet in a way that least flattens those attractive curls.
“This works on wet or dry hair,” she said. “In all three of the methods we are directing the curly hair upwards instead of flattening it down so that the curls themselves stays as intact as possible.”