How to Avoid Helmet Head

Love cycling but hate helmet head?  Here’s how to get sexy Hollywood waves, with little time, effort, and styling products which won’t get messed up under a helmet.  This style is ideal for those with natural wavy or curly hair.  For those with naturally straight hair you may need to use some styling products at the end to hold the look in place. 

 Before 1 Before 2
 Before 3 Before 4

The night before:

Start with clean , towel dried hair.  You want your hair to be slightly damp, but not soaking wet.  Start by twisting your hair piece by piece around your fingers and secure with a pin.  For soft gentle waves, twist the hair around 3 fingers, for corkscrew curls twist around 2 fingers, for 20s flapper inspired curls 1 finger, etc. For today’s modern look, it’s all about curling the hair away from your face.  For example, if you are working on twisting the pieces on the right side of your face, start by placing the hair in front of your fingers, wrap around the back of the finger and keep wrapping in the same direction until you get to the ends of the hair.  Then slide the hair down your finger so it looks like a donut and secure the hair with a pin.  For the left side of your head, repeat the same steps, always wrap the hair by starting with your fingers behind your hair, wrap outwards away from your face, around the back of the finger.   

The next morning:

Depending on your level of embarrassment of being “caught in your curlers” you can decide to either cover your pins with a scarf before putting on your helmet, or in colder climates you might wear a coat with a hood to protect you from the elements.  A work colleague once caught me in the bathroom at work taking out my pins and thought that I was going for a cute pixie look, not realizing that she’d caught me unawares.  So it’s up to you whether or not or how you want to hide your pins. 

After Arrival at destination:

Once you’ve arrived where you wanted to go, remove the pins.  Run your fingers through your hair a few times to separate your curls.  If your hair is naturally straight or fine you might want to apply some styling products to hold the curls. 

Keeping your hair fresh:

If you’re just cycling to and from 1 destination like to work and back, you’ll probably want to pin your hair back up at the end of the day before you cycle home.  However, if you have multiple destinations throughout the day you can decide just to pin up the top pieces or a few critical pieces in between destinations.  If you find your hair is getting a bit greasy, equal parts of orrisroot and arrowroot powder with a few drops of rosemary essential oil used as a hair powder is a quick fix.  Also if you are recycling the do for the next day, after you have pinned the curls back up and before you go to sleep spritz your hair with 2 parts rosewater to 1 part lemon juice.

Learn more about Katherine McKenney at


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