According to a recent article in Grist about the significant gender gap in bicycling, “Much is also made of another concern women often express in surveys – that cycling to work will impede our ability to conform to professional norms in clothing, makeup and hairstyles. The response can be seen in the proliferation of the “Cycle Chic” brand, tweed rides, and the commingling of bicycling and high fashion in advertising.”
The advice out there on the interwebs is generally buns and low ponytails, blah, blah, blah. However, we did find this sweet guide to some celebrity-inspired solutions that are allegedly easy to whip up post-helmet.
The common theme among these artfully tousled ‘do’s seems to be “As a matter of fact, this is the look I was going for.” My hunch is that unless you are visiting my mom, any of these styles will work for you.
A post on one of our favorite blogs, Let’s Go Ride a Bike, echoes the merits of the deliberately messy coiffure. Dottie writes, “Sometimes, I do get tired of my boring ponytails and Little House on the Prairie braids…For times when I want to be a bit more stylish…I’m mentally filing away these two super easy “messy” hair styles I came across.”
A good cut does make a difference, of course. One woman helmet-tested her razor-cut bob. Layering with a razor helps to improve volume in a haircut, so when she removed the helmet and fluffed her hair out a little, it looked pretty much the same as before. Her hair stylist added her two cents about the similarity of human sweat with styling products. Gross, but interesting. Hadn’t heard that before, but maybe you can make it work for you. But razor-cut or not, it almost goes without saying that a simple wash-and-wear haircut is going to be the easiest, especially for those who have access to shower facilities at work. Zanna Worzella of BikeArlington (right) has the perfect cut for bicycling to work that manages to be low-maintenance but professional looking at the same time.
Helmets can be especially problematic for women who have chemically relaxed hair says Veronica Davis, founder of the group Black Women Bike DC. Natural is definitely the way to go to avoid hair hassles for women with thick, curly hair she says, also noting that a satin scarf can be a girl’s best friend. Just wrap up your hair under the helmet with the scarf, then remove it and comb through your hair and fluff it a little upon reaching your destination.
Helmet hair might not be an issue for you, and if not, that’s great. But it is for some people, especially women. If this is the case for you, just remember there are ways to work around it to find flattering, creative solutions.