Bangs, fringe, breakage — whatever you call it, it'll fit in some butterfly clips.
Have you seen ridesabike.tumblr.com? I can’t stop looking at their photos of classic Hollywood ladies and gents riding bikes. They all look so fresh, and that makes me both happy and sad (#internet). Why can’t I look that good when I ride my bike?
Really, though. These babes on bikes were killing it. Like, get out of here, Vera-Ellen, with your polka-dotted dress and your heels and your gorgeous curls blowing in the wind behind the bike you are probably not even riding because I was a tween model so I know the secrets.
Don’t even get me started on this photo of Twiggy. I mean, no. I can’t.
But here’s the thing: none of them are wearing helmets! None of them!
Ah, those were simpler times indeed. What I would give for the days of no helmets, endless cigarettes, a liquor cabinet in the office! My grandma’s always like, “We just had less to worry about then!” and I’m like, “Cool, Grandma. I gotta go buy my lunch with quarters and hope. BYE.”
Helmets are pretty controversial for reasons I don’t particularly understand, but if you want to know more, please talk to my boyfriend or a Dutch person because they have strong feelings about bikes and helmets. Apparently.
I’m not opposed to helmets. I have a big, awesome, sexy brain, and since all the other things I do for fun involve mostly killing brain cells, I don’t mind protecting them while I’m cycling. Also, the city I live in just passed a law making helmets mandatory for folks of all ages, and I love obeying the law.
Anywho, helmet hair. It’s a bummer. Like, I basically ride my bike for three reasons:
- Gas is expensive.
- Exercise, endorphins, etc.
- So I can brag about riding my bike and be like, “Oh, you drove here?”
But it’s hard to be the bitch I wanna be when my hair’s sticking to my forehead. Alas, you must be the bitch you want to see in this world, so I have developed a method for avoiding helmet hair even in the dead of summer sweat. (And I live in the Deep South, so I know sweat. The Mississippi River was created by folks down here vigorously wiping their brows in the same direction. Fun fact.)
The helmet pressing down onto your pretty hairs and squashing them with heat creates helmet hair. But if my middle school friends (my mom) taught me anything, it’s that heat is GOOD for your hair! So the trick is to use the helmet. Work the helmet. Be the helmet.
I have relatively big hair, which works in my favor. If you have small hair, I suggest adding texture to it before riding. I curled a couple of pieces of hair in the front of my head and around the crown with a one-inch curling iron. Then I stepped outside, and my hair expanded. You know that scene where the Grinch’s heart grows three sizes?
Before putting my helmet on, I like to froof my hair and add some product. I usually just create a cloud of really strong hairspray around myself so my hair knows I mean business. I use BioInfusion Daily Rosemary Mint Hair Spray, which gives me a lot of hold without leaving a whole bunch of gunk behind. Oh and it smells GOOD! Make sure to spray it everywhere, but not too heavy. Flipping hair upside down is important. And fun!
Before putting my helmet on, I like to put all my hair in a clump on top of my head. This keeps my hair from getting flat under the helmet. I don’t suggest using clips or pins in your hair while riding because the helmet pushes them into your scalp, and it hurts a lot, and if you close your eyes to wince in pain you could run into a tree or something.
Also, having all your hair inside the helmet helps with the whole removing the helmet and flipping your glorious hair around like the shampoo commercial goddess you are.
I can’t get all my hair in the helmet because it’s too short. I’ve been growing out a pixie cut for about a year now. The pixie was way easier to maintain underneath a helmet. Lucky gals.
Then I went for a bike ride around my beautiful little neighborhood. It was a super-hot day (Hell is real and it’s August in Mississippi) and it had been raining for a few days, so the humidity really upped its game. Seriously, I had to pedal extra-hard just to push through the air. I’m only kidding a little bit. What I mean to say is, I was sweating a lot and I need to move somewhere colder.
I tried to ride for about 30 minutes, because that’s the time of my average bike ride, whether I’m going to the grocery store or downtown or to work. I really like going for rides around my neighborhood to clear my head sometimes, too.
When I got back to my house and removed my helmet, my hair stuck in a sweaty little mess on top of my head so I immediately flipped my head upside down and froofed it up. When I flipped it back over, I separated more pieces with my fingers. And froofed some more.
I have some bangs, and those were real sweaty, so I used Oscar Blandi Dry Shampoo to spray the front of my hair and the pieces around my ears that were touching my face. I buy dry shampoo in travel sizes so I can always have it with me. I hate showers.
The front of my hair looked a bit flat still, so I used a small comb to push my bangs back and I pinned them into place with Jane Tran bobby pins, which are large enough to hold my unruly hair, but they’re also really cute and patterned. I hate happiness, though, so I flipped them over to the plain white side.
After all of that, my hair actually felt and smelled nice. It hadn’t lost a lot of volume, and I was able to convince the sweat that it is a hair product. Sometimes, you just have to work with what you’ve got.
On long rides, I usually make sure to apply antiperspirant to the back of my neck to keep my hair from sticking to it. Sometimes I also apply it to my hairline and then some loose powder over it to keep from getting too sweaty.
Then I hopped off my French bike and crawled on top of my boyfriend’s Cadillac because I do what I want.
Do you ride a bike? And are you an absolute jerk about it like me? How do you combat helmet hair? Do you want to ride bikes together sometime? Let me know!