Cycling comes with its fair share of adventure and thrill. However, things can get messy quickly, especially in the rain. The biggest challenge is finishing your ride with your hair still dry and in good condition.
Here’s how you can keep your hair dry when cycling:
- Choose a protective hairstyle like braids or a low ponytail.
- Use a quality helmet with good ventilation.
- Wear a waterproof helmet cover.
- Put on a silk scarf or cycling bandana.
- Put on a cycling cap.
- Make use of your cycling jacket.
- Dry your hair before wearing your helmet.
If you’re keen on cycling without letting the weather ruin your hair, continue reading as I show you how to do it in great detail.
1. Choose a Protective Hairstyle Like Braids or a Low Ponytail
Although it may not sound like much, your hairstyle can determine how the weather affects your hair.
One hairstyle that will make you effortlessly chic while still keeping your hair dry is the low ponytail.
This hairstyle is functional, easy to style, and keeps your hair in place. It also works for both long hair and short hair.
If you’re opting for a low ponytail, it’s best to keep it around the nape of your neck. You can keep it voluminous, full, messy, or straight and sleek. There’s no shortage of ways to style low ponytails.
Here’s a short video on different ways to wear a ponytail with a bicycle helmet:
Another go-to hairstyle for many cyclists is the French braid. This classic hairstyle is one of the easiest to make, and it’s great for keeping your hair neat and dry throughout your ride. It’s perfect for every occasion, whether you’re touring, racing, or just commuting to work.
Other hairstyles that can protect your hair are the two-strand twists, low bun, and double braids.
2. Use a Quality Helmet With Good Ventilation
A good helmet is probably the most important item to protect your hair from unwanted moisture.
Besides preventing and reducing the risk of a head or brain injury during a crash, a good helmet should also be comfortable, lightweight, and breathable.
To keep your hair dry when cycling, I suggest choosing a helmet with several air channels that allow cool air to flow into it and hot air from your head to escape. This feature allows for maximum ventilation in hot conditions and prevents irritation and sweating on your scalp.
Conversely, if you’re riding in the rain, it’s best to choose helmets with fewer ventilation holes for water to pass through or use solutions like helmet covers, silk scarfs, or cycling caps. We’ll cover these options later in the article.
An even better solution for cycling while keeping your hair dry is to use an adjustable helmet like the Giro Timberwolf Helmet from Amazon.com. This helmet features a slider that allows you to close and open the vent holes based on your needs.
So, you can close the vent holes to seal water out when there’s rain. If things get too warm and you need more air, you can open them again.
When choosing your helmet, keep in mind that the helmet should fit comfortably on your head. It should easily come off your head without causing any damage to your hair.
3. Wear a Waterproof Helmet Cover
Waterproof helmet covers are designed to protect your hair and helmet from the elements. They’re typically made of elastic waterproof-coated nylons. Some manufacturers produce their helmet covers using Gore-Tex material. Also, the seams of the helmet covers are tape-sealed to prevent water from getting in.
A water helmet cover can come in handy if your helmet has many vent holes. Many brands include a pull cord and elastic edge to their helmet covers to ensure the cover fits perfectly no matter the size or style of a helmet.
For added functionality, look for a helmet cover made of reflective material to keep you safe and visible, especially in rainy or foggy conditions.
One product I recommend for cycling in the rain is the Ayamaya Waterproof Helmet Cover from Amazon.com. This helmet cover is made of super waterproof and rip-resistant nylon fabric, so it’ll keep your hair and helmet dry all day long.
It also comes with safety reflective strips for increased visibility in the rain and at night.
While a helmet cover may not make you stylish, it’s functional and can keep your hair dry when cycling.
4. Put On a Silk Scarf or Cycling Bandana
A silk scarf or cycling bandana can be a great way to protect your hair and keep it dry. They’re a versatile and straightforward solution that works on both rainy and sunny days.
These materials act as a protective barrier between your helmet and your head. On a rainy day, they prevent water that enters through your helmet’s vent holes from reaching your hair.
Similarly, they soak up the sweat that forms on your hairline and eyebrows on a hot, sunny day.
Plus, they dry very fast and are available in a range of colors.
Remember that a scarf or cycling bandana can get dirty quickly and accumulate bacteria, so ensure you wash and dry it as often as possible.
5. Put On a Cycling Cap
Wearing a cycling cap under your helmet allows you to focus on cycling without worrying about your hair getting wet.
It’s made of a thin material that prevents water from getting into your hair when you’re cycling in the rain. It also keeps your head cool on sunny days and prevents sweat and oil from building inside your helmet.
The cap’s visor protects your eyes from the scorching sun on a sunny day and keeps rain away from your eyes on a rainy day.
In the winter months, a cycling cap adds a little bit of warmth to your head to protect your hair from the cold air entering through the helmet’s vents, without overeating your head, of course.
A baseball cap offers similar protection, but it may soak up under heavy rain.
A skull cup or shower cap may also help keep hair dry. However, it doesn’t come with the added protection of a visor.
6. Make Use of Your Cycling Jacket
If you don’t have a waterproof helmet cover, silk scarf, or cycling cap, your waterproof cycling jacket can double as protection for your body and head.
Cycling jacket technology has seen rapid improvements over the years, with many manufacturers now using highly breathable, lightweight, and waterproof materials.
So, besides keeping out external moisture, your cycling jacket should be able to prevent sweat buildup inside the fabric.
If you’re looking for a product that fits this description, I recommend the BALEAF Waterproof Cycling Jacket from Amazon.com. This jacket is fully waterproof as it’s made from 100% Polyester. It also features an advanced ventilation system that wicks away moisture and keeps you cool and dry.
In addition to being waterproof and breathable, the BALEAF cycling jacket is also lightweight and comes with reflective strips to ensure your safety when you’re cycling in low-light conditions.
Whether it’s heavy rain or just a drizzle, whenever you find yourself needing protection for your hair, pull the hood over your head and wear your helmet over it. It’ll keep your hair dry and keep water out of your eyes.
7. Dry Your Hair Before Wearing Your Helmet
If you’re trying to keep your hair dry when cycling, it only makes sense to dry it properly before wearing a helmet.
Wearing a helmet on wet hair blocks airflow and makes it difficult for your hair to breathe. It gets even worse during hot weather when your body produces more sweat.
Besides making you uncomfortable, sweat mixing with your wet hair creates the perfect breeding environment for harmful bacteria. This can lead to scalp infections, dandruff, and other hair problems.
To prevent discomfort and infections, you should wait a few minutes to allow your hair to dry before putting on your helmet. If you’re in a hurry and need to get on your bicycle quickly, use a hairdryer.
Also, avoid applying products like gel, pomade, or styling wax to your hair until you get to your destination. If you must use wax products, look for water-resistant ones that your hair won’t sweat out.
Other tips that can help keep your hair dry when cycling include:
- Keeping your helmet clean and dry
- Properly maintaining your hair
Whether you’re commuting to work, racing, or just training, you can keep your hair dry by using some of the suggestions above.
Here’s a quick rundown of how to keep your hair dry when cycling:
- Wear a protective hairstyle like a low ponytail, French braids, or two-strand twists.
- Invest in a good helmet and use a waterproof helmet cover.
- Wear a silk scarf, cycling bandana, or cycling cap under your helmet.
- Wear the hood of your cycling jacket under your helmet
- Ensure your hair is dry before wearing your helmet.