October 18, 2018

How to Preserve Curls Under a Helmet

If you have shiny, poker straight hair, this post is going to be moderately irrelevant.  If you don't, hopefully you find this helpful!

I've followed the Curly Girl Method for over a decade now.  In the interest of this post not being four hours long I won't go deep into it (see here for a primer) but the idea is that curly/wavy hair reacts poorly to hair product ingredients that straight haired people don't have an issue with.  And almost every single product in the hair aisle contains those ingredients. 

Without the Curly Girl Method...

With the CGM, my curls have never looked better or needed less work.  I have a "wash day" once every 3-5 days where I co-wash, condition, and add product, and then in between wash days I can just "refresh" with a spray bottle and a tiny amount of product, which takes under 5 minutes.

With the Curly Girl Method

But.

The only time this system breaks down is when I'm riding or CrossFitting (so like, all the time) because as soon as my hair goes into a ponytail or under a helmet, the curl gets destroyed, and I can't get it back until my next wash day, which means I end up washing a lot more than I need to.

Some destroyed, pre-wash day curls.  And Rocky.

This summer, I've done a lot of experimenting with ways to keep my curls nice while working out and riding, and here's what I've found:

For CrossFit

First, make a pineapple.
1. Flip your hair upside down and gather it at the top of your head with your hand
2. Secure it there with an Invisibobble (which doesn't leave a line or damage curls the way a regular hair tie does)



Next, put a buff over your pineapple
3. Carefully pull the buff over your pineapple and down around your neck
4. Pull it up around your head into a wide headband.  This is how I sleep too, I tend to pull it high while sleeping and lower while working out.

A buffed pineapple!

After you're done working out:
5. Wait until your hair is dry before taking the buff or Invisibobble down
6. Refresh using whatever method works for you

Mmmm sexy sleeping glasses

For Riding and Bicycling
It's similar to what I do for CrossFit, but minus the Invisibobble since I don't want plastic between my head and the helmet.  I also pull the buff up a lot higher to completely cover my curls.  I basically use it like the no-knot hairnet I love(d), but that hairnet's fabric was causing friction that was destroying my curls.  The buff is a much more curl-friendly fabric.

1. Pull the buff down around your neck
2. Flip your head upside down and pull the buff up until your curls are entirely covered
3. Lay the extra fabric of the buff down on your head until it's evenly distributed
4. Put your helmet on and shove the fabric up until you can't see it anymore

Legit ringlets on day 4 hair after riding and CrossFit!

I should probably cut a buff down to use specifically with helmets, but I haven't tried that yet.

Anyone else fight the struggle of nice looking hair and helmets?

17 comments:

  1. Is this the curly girl method you mentioned or is that an extra step? Does the part covered not get flat? I need this...my hair is a curly mess in the summer lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Curly Girl Method is a separate thing, although this could be considered to be part of it. Think of it as a set of guidelines for caring for curly hair, from washing to conditioning to styling to keeping it nice like this. If you're interested, The Curly Girl Handbook book is a great place to learn more about it.

      The covered part gets a bit flat, not too bad, but I refresh afterward and it fluffs back up. And if you'd told me that was possible a few years ago I would have laughed at you.

      Delete
  2. My hair is wavy, rather than all out curly, but letting it air dry and washing it less regularly and with natural products without all the additives has made a HUGE difference - it's went from so dry and frizzy looking I was considering cutting it off, to soft and shiny. I'm going to try out your system for the gym and under my riding helmet - it would be exciting to me if by day two or three I could still leave my hair down and have it look decently wavy rather than randomly flat in parts and curly in others.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Fellow Curl head here! Your curls look lovely!I've gotten so lazy with my hair though I definitely have found new products in the last year that I absolutely love. Washing it less has always been key (much to my mom's chagrin but damn it she has flat straight hair so what does she know.) T has wavy hair and omg the way he treats it drives me batty. SO MUCH BLOW DRYING.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! Yeah Nick is wavy too and he's always like "Why does my hair look best after multiple days of not washing?" I tried to explain all this to him, but it hasn't stuck so far.

      Delete
  4. Super curly girl here. Think pencil width spirals with a very full head of hair. Over the years I have found that the product I use is super important, though I have found several that work really well like Shea Moisture, but the biggest thing is how much I shampoo. I rinse, condition(finger comb in shower with conditioner in), rinse with cool water, put up in towel turban for 2-5 minutes, apply gel in a scrunching motion and allow to air dry. Every 5-7 days I add shampooing before conditioning and use a wide tooth comb to detangle with everything else the same. With this system my hair is not dry at all, almost no split ends going a year between trims, and I have nice defined curls. I can also rinse after riding and working out. Just what works for me after 40+ years of experimentation, your system sounds good as well and your hair looks great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, your routine sounds very much like mine! I just didn't want to get into the whole nine yards on here. Right now I am alternating low poo and co-wash every other wash day, rinsing, then scrunching in a ton of conditioner (right now Shea Moisture JCBO), leaving it in for 5 minutes, then rinsing upside down, and putting in my stylers upside down (a leave in, a curl activator and a gel). Then I plop for 1.5 hours using a t-shirt turban, then I blow dry on low/cool with a diffuser upside down, then I sleep in the pineapple.

      My curls are a bit too delicate to rinse after riding, I'm jealous!

      Delete
  5. My hair is hybrid - half straight, half curly (the underneath). I always blow dry and flat iron due to this, but I'm with you on not washing it daily. I can go about 3 nights and ALWAYS use sulfate-free products. Makes a huge difference!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep! Sulfate free AND silicone free. Very important to not use either one, because you need sulfates to remove the silicones. If you don't, you'll have buildup.

      Delete
  6. Thanks for this! I'm hair-challenged in that I know how to do NOTHING with mine, so I'm working on developing a new system and letting my hair be more natural (which is curly). I'll have to try this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah! It's definitely one of those things that requires getting educated on it and doing a ton of trial and error, plus your hair has to transition, so don't get discouraged if it doesn't work right away. And feel free to bounce questions off of me if you want!

      Delete
  7. I can't even imagine going that long without washing... my hair is a greasy, stringy mess if I don't wash daily. It *can* be wavy, but it's long enough that the weight usually pulls any waves out. I might look into changing shampoos though... interesting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Depending on if you actually are wavy or not, and what your individual strands of hair is like, it may not be for you. If a straight haired girl did this her hair would be gross, because her hair strands have an easier time conducting oils from the root to the ends.

      Delete
  8. I have the worst of all worlds; neither straight nor curly, just fine and prone to frizz :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of people who say that try the Curly Girl Method and find out they're actually wavy! You might give it a shot.

      Delete
  9. WHAT IS THIS MAGIC???? OMG. I have given up completely on caring about my hair in the summer due to helmet head and refusing to wash my hair two days in a row so it's been a french braid all day every day. But this post has given me hope! For riding AND working out? GASP. SWOON. I DIE! I mean, it's cold out now BUT STILL.

    But seriously. Ordering those thingamabobs and the buff this second.

    I am a pretty sweaty person though - does the buff help absorb that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! Awesome! I know, I used to think it was witchcraft too. Honestly for a long time I would completely wet my hair in the shower every day and reapply products because I thought Day 2 hair was a myth. But learning about refreshes helped a ton!

      I have not needed this myself, but I've read that if you're super sweaty, you have to leave the buff and the Invisibobble in until your hair is completely dry, then take it down and refresh. Let me know if it works!

      Delete

How to Preserve Curls Under a Helmet

If you have shiny, poker straight hair, this post is going to be moderately irrelevant.  If you don't, hopefully you find this helpful!


I've followed the Curly Girl Method for over a decade now.  In the interest of this post not being four hours long I won't go deep into it (see here for a primer) but the idea is that curly/wavy hair reacts poorly to hair product ingredients that straight haired people don't have an issue with.  And almost every single product in the hair aisle contains those ingredients. 

Without the Curly Girl Method...

With the CGM, my curls have never looked better or needed less work.  I have a "wash day" once every 3-5 days where I co-wash, condition, and add product, and then in between wash days I can just "refresh" with a spray bottle and a tiny amount of product, which takes under 5 minutes.

With the Curly Girl Method

But.

The only time this system breaks down is when I'm riding or CrossFitting (so like, all the time) because as soon as my hair goes into a ponytail or under a helmet, the curl gets destroyed, and I can't get it back until my next wash day, which means I end up washing a lot more than I need to.

Some destroyed, pre-wash day curls.  And Rocky.

This summer, I've done a lot of experimenting with ways to keep my curls nice while working out and riding, and here's what I've found:

For CrossFit

First, make a pineapple.
1. Flip your hair upside down and gather it at the top of your head with your hand
2. Secure it there with an Invisibobble (which doesn't leave a line or damage curls the way a regular hair tie does)



Next, put a buff over your pineapple
3. Carefully pull the buff over your pineapple and down around your neck
4. Pull it up around your head into a wide headband.  This is how I sleep too, I tend to pull it high while sleeping and lower while working out.

A buffed pineapple!

After you're done working out:
5. Wait until your hair is dry before taking the buff or Invisibobble down
6. Refresh using whatever method works for you

Mmmm sexy sleeping glasses

For Riding and Bicycling
It's similar to what I do for CrossFit, but minus the Invisibobble since I don't want plastic between my head and the helmet.  I also pull the buff up a lot higher to completely cover my curls.  I basically use it like the no-knot hairnet I love(d), but that hairnet's fabric was causing friction that was destroying my curls.  The buff is a much more curl-friendly fabric.

1. Pull the buff down around your neck
2. Flip your head upside down and pull the buff up until your curls are entirely covered
3. Lay the extra fabric of the buff down on your head until it's evenly distributed
4. Put your helmet on and shove the fabric up until you can't see it anymore

Legit ringlets on day 4 hair after riding and CrossFit!

I should probably cut a buff down to use specifically with helmets, but I haven't tried that yet.

Anyone else fight the struggle of nice looking hair and helmets?

17 comments:

  1. Is this the curly girl method you mentioned or is that an extra step? Does the part covered not get flat? I need this...my hair is a curly mess in the summer lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Curly Girl Method is a separate thing, although this could be considered to be part of it. Think of it as a set of guidelines for caring for curly hair, from washing to conditioning to styling to keeping it nice like this. If you're interested, The Curly Girl Handbook book is a great place to learn more about it.

      The covered part gets a bit flat, not too bad, but I refresh afterward and it fluffs back up. And if you'd told me that was possible a few years ago I would have laughed at you.

      Delete
  2. My hair is wavy, rather than all out curly, but letting it air dry and washing it less regularly and with natural products without all the additives has made a HUGE difference - it's went from so dry and frizzy looking I was considering cutting it off, to soft and shiny. I'm going to try out your system for the gym and under my riding helmet - it would be exciting to me if by day two or three I could still leave my hair down and have it look decently wavy rather than randomly flat in parts and curly in others.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Fellow Curl head here! Your curls look lovely!I've gotten so lazy with my hair though I definitely have found new products in the last year that I absolutely love. Washing it less has always been key (much to my mom's chagrin but damn it she has flat straight hair so what does she know.) T has wavy hair and omg the way he treats it drives me batty. SO MUCH BLOW DRYING.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! Yeah Nick is wavy too and he's always like "Why does my hair look best after multiple days of not washing?" I tried to explain all this to him, but it hasn't stuck so far.

      Delete
  4. Super curly girl here. Think pencil width spirals with a very full head of hair. Over the years I have found that the product I use is super important, though I have found several that work really well like Shea Moisture, but the biggest thing is how much I shampoo. I rinse, condition(finger comb in shower with conditioner in), rinse with cool water, put up in towel turban for 2-5 minutes, apply gel in a scrunching motion and allow to air dry. Every 5-7 days I add shampooing before conditioning and use a wide tooth comb to detangle with everything else the same. With this system my hair is not dry at all, almost no split ends going a year between trims, and I have nice defined curls. I can also rinse after riding and working out. Just what works for me after 40+ years of experimentation, your system sounds good as well and your hair looks great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, your routine sounds very much like mine! I just didn't want to get into the whole nine yards on here. Right now I am alternating low poo and co-wash every other wash day, rinsing, then scrunching in a ton of conditioner (right now Shea Moisture JCBO), leaving it in for 5 minutes, then rinsing upside down, and putting in my stylers upside down (a leave in, a curl activator and a gel). Then I plop for 1.5 hours using a t-shirt turban, then I blow dry on low/cool with a diffuser upside down, then I sleep in the pineapple.

      My curls are a bit too delicate to rinse after riding, I'm jealous!

      Delete
  5. My hair is hybrid - half straight, half curly (the underneath). I always blow dry and flat iron due to this, but I'm with you on not washing it daily. I can go about 3 nights and ALWAYS use sulfate-free products. Makes a huge difference!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep! Sulfate free AND silicone free. Very important to not use either one, because you need sulfates to remove the silicones. If you don't, you'll have buildup.

      Delete
  6. Thanks for this! I'm hair-challenged in that I know how to do NOTHING with mine, so I'm working on developing a new system and letting my hair be more natural (which is curly). I'll have to try this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah! It's definitely one of those things that requires getting educated on it and doing a ton of trial and error, plus your hair has to transition, so don't get discouraged if it doesn't work right away. And feel free to bounce questions off of me if you want!

      Delete
  7. I can't even imagine going that long without washing... my hair is a greasy, stringy mess if I don't wash daily. It *can* be wavy, but it's long enough that the weight usually pulls any waves out. I might look into changing shampoos though... interesting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Depending on if you actually are wavy or not, and what your individual strands of hair is like, it may not be for you. If a straight haired girl did this her hair would be gross, because her hair strands have an easier time conducting oils from the root to the ends.

      Delete
  8. I have the worst of all worlds; neither straight nor curly, just fine and prone to frizz :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of people who say that try the Curly Girl Method and find out they're actually wavy! You might give it a shot.

      Delete
  9. WHAT IS THIS MAGIC???? OMG. I have given up completely on caring about my hair in the summer due to helmet head and refusing to wash my hair two days in a row so it's been a french braid all day every day. But this post has given me hope! For riding AND working out? GASP. SWOON. I DIE! I mean, it's cold out now BUT STILL.

    But seriously. Ordering those thingamabobs and the buff this second.

    I am a pretty sweaty person though - does the buff help absorb that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! Awesome! I know, I used to think it was witchcraft too. Honestly for a long time I would completely wet my hair in the shower every day and reapply products because I thought Day 2 hair was a myth. But learning about refreshes helped a ton!

      I have not needed this myself, but I've read that if you're super sweaty, you have to leave the buff and the Invisibobble in until your hair is completely dry, then take it down and refresh. Let me know if it works!

      Delete

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