The Chainlink

Brian Kennedy

Ladies! How do you avoid helmet hair? I almost have a coworker committed to trying bike commuting!

I've been given three bike commuting obstacles I must overcome before a female coworker will agree to try bike commuting. I've overcome two of the obstacles for her but I don't know anything about the third. What are your strategies for avoiding or fixing helmet hair? I guess the guys could chime-in here but the more specific the better.

Please no "go bald" responses, as I know all about that and it's not an option.

Please! Please! Please! Don't turn this in to a helmet debate. She wears a helmet, period.

I searched the forums and only found scattered indirect commentary on the subject. If there was a specific thread about this in the past that I didn't see, please link me to it and I will check it out.

Thank you.

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I have short curly hair and I have a technique that works for me: I put on my helmet upside down. So I bend forward and flip my hair upside down, then put my helmet on while my head is bent forward. So my hair is kind of tucked up under my helmet, preserving the curls.
there's a technique for every hair dew! it really depends on whether she has short, long, curly, or straight hair. for straight hair, make sure it's dry and never put the product in before your ride... style when you arrive.

if you are downtown near randolph, maybe she could shower and style at the cycle center? otherwise, i would try another entry point... try convincing her she can have extra afternoon snacks with no guilt... or that calorie-wise she has earned herself two beers. (in addition to all of the more important pluses).
Baby powder and baby wipes are the two most important parts of my cycle-commuting kit.
I have short bobbed hair that's layered at the top. There's volumizing spritz that I use (at base of the hairshaft) once I get to work if I actually care about my look that day, and then comb it out. If she's really perfectionist she can also put a travel-size hair dryer at work. Totally reverses any helmet-hair for bobs. Having a haircut that's layered at top also really minimizes the helmet hair (but I have very straight hair so it works in general). Also what kind of helmet does she have? Ever since I switch to a lighter more airy helmet my hair is looking much more decent than those old heavier helmets.

Can you also share your first 2 tips for commuting? I would love to hear them!
wear a bandana or scarf on your head under the helmut
or even wear a scarf after you have taken your helmut off for the day. It is a lovely
accessory to jazz up your day at work!
I'm fortunate enough to have a free gym/showers here at my work and have been thinking of looking for a new job - but not very seriously at all... Any openings where you work? The whole showers thing would be a very sad thing to lose... haha ;)


Trachea said:
I have very thick, medium length hair and I've taken to leaving it wet in a ponytail (after conditioning and adding gel or mousse for control) when riding to work. We're fortunate enough to have a gym with showers at my job, so I rewet my hair in the shower, twist sections of it and let it air dry wavy. If I've blown dry my hair straight, I put it up in ponytail and poke thru the back of my helmet. With a bob, you could just keep a blowdryer & brush and/or flat iron for styling at work, if the restrooms at work have an outlet. There are some really small dryers and flat irons out there, that you can easily keep at your desk.
I rock pretty short hair, but it has been the bob length your friend has...here is the #1 trick.

****do not use product in your hair if you plan to work up a sweat on your bike. It will make the helmet hair even worse than if you go without ****

Here is my routine
1) At home, wash and dry hair
2) bike to work...whheeeeeeee
3) cool down (this is important and some forget this...if you style your hair before you stop sweating, it wont last through your morning meetings...so slow down and check your chainlink or something) on the really hot days, a wet cloth on the back of your neck for 5 min will do the trick.
4) Baby wipes to the hair line (under bangs especially), underarms, under knees and back of neck...ahhhh refreshing
(INSERT Hair dryer if raining or snowing)
5) clean white towel to wipe up the moisture from the wipes
6) Style as regular (it helps to buy doubles of your products and keep them in your office so you don't have to carry them and risk goop on your outfit)
Oh yea, Brian please share your folding magic on the board...I would love to see what you have come up with.

Brian Kennedy said:
Sorry it took so long to respond, Amy. Do you mean what I recommend wearing for a commute and how to pack clothes so they don't wrinkle? I'd be happy to email you a reply on that. If you do want to know, hit me as a friend or write a message on my wall and I will gladly respond. Thanks for your input!

Amy Yang said:
I have short bobbed hair that's layered at the top. There's volumizing spritz that I use (at base of the hairshaft) once I get to work if I actually care about my look that day, and then comb it out. If she's really perfectionist she can also put a travel-size hair dryer at work. Totally reverses any helmet-hair for bobs. Having a haircut that's layered at top also really minimizes the helmet hair (but I have very straight hair so it works in general). Also what kind of helmet does she have? Ever since I switch to a lighter more airy helmet my hair is looking much more decent than those old heavier helmets.

Can you also share your first 2 tips for commuting? I would love to hear them!
I cycle to work with a helmet. I prevent helmet hair by keeping a wet/dry flat iron at my office.

I shower usually at night (after getting home from whatever sports related activity), so my hair is relatively dry before I get on the bike. The wet dry funtion takes care of any moisture from rain or sweat. Five minutes and any helmet hair is taken care of.

I also wash my face and use a baby wipe to remove sweat from my body.
I think this is generating more ideas for next thursday's party...leah and julie : whaddaya'll think?

(and I think Sarah's (from West Town Bikes) little pigtails are way cool....just my $.02)


Brian Kennedy said:
Sorry it took so long to respond, Amy. Do you mean what I recommend wearing for a commute and how to pack clothes so they don't wrinkle? I'd be happy to email you a reply on that. If you do want to know, hit me as a friend or write a message on my wall and I will gladly respond. Thanks for your input!

Amy Yang said:
I have short bobbed hair that's layered at the top. There's volumizing spritz that I use (at base of the hairshaft) once I get to work if I actually care about my look that day, and then comb it out. If she's really perfectionist she can also put a travel-size hair dryer at work. Totally reverses any helmet-hair for bobs. Having a haircut that's layered at top also really minimizes the helmet hair (but I have very straight hair so it works in general). Also what kind of helmet does she have? Ever since I switch to a lighter more airy helmet my hair is looking much more decent than those old heavier helmets.

Can you also share your first 2 tips for commuting? I would love to hear them!
What song is that?

Brian Kennedy said:
Bonus points to whoever can name the song.
Bike warrior music?

Brian Kennedy said:
GWAR- "Short History of the End of the World (Pt. VII- The Final Chapter)" from the album, "We Kill Everything". You know, happy music!

Erin said:
What song is that?

Brian Kennedy said:
Bonus points to whoever can name the song.

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