Margaret e-mailed me this question:
Minneapolis is cold. Syracuse is cold. To leave the house without a hat on your head when it’s 12 degrees outside is just insane. But what hat? And what do you do about hat head? Is there something I’m supposed to do to my hair to prevent hat head (like braid it)? Will I end up looking like Heidi? And if you just surrender and wear a hat all day in order to prevent hat head what type of hat should that be? If I wear a sock cap will I look like I stepped out of a grunge concert circa 1993? If I wear a beret will I look pretentious? Should I just be using the hood on my jacket?
For starters, do check out Audi’s guest post on selecting a flattering hat to fit your head shape, body, and style! Then come back here. Are you back yet? OK, good.
Now. Hat-head. There are as many ways to deal with this wintry condition as there are haircuts and hair types, and many techniques that work for some women will fail miserably for others. Remember to take what applies to you, discard the rest, and assume positive intent! Now let’s dig into a few possible hat-head work-arounds:
Do braids and ponytails
A cop-out? Perhaps. But wearing your hair up in a fairly tightly bound style is one of the only methods guaranteed to prevent hat-head. Your hat cannot crush your hair into a limp, frizzy mess if your hair has been stylishly pre-crushed.
Wear loose hat styles
Stiff brimmed hats like fedoras and close-fitting styles like stocking caps are among the most likely to mess up your ‘do. Knits with looser stitching – seen in certain trendy beanies and caps – won’t do as much damage. And unless you’re walking miles in a high wind, there’s no need for your hat to squeeze your noggin. Even a looser-fitting version will help you retain body heat.
Fluff upon arrival
I cannot braid my own hair, or throw it into a ponytail of any sort without looking deeply odd. But I CAN swing by an obliging bathroom whenever I arrive at my destination and do a quick touch-up with a splash of water and a comb. If your hair isn’t interested in water and combs, nab a travel bottle from the drug store and fill it with your preferred hair-fluffing product: Gel, pomade, cream, you name it. This means, of course, that you must hit your final destination a bit early to primp so if you’re chronically late, consider another solution!
If you’re someone who can do curly/wavy or straight, you likely already know that straight or straightened hair is less susceptible to hat-head. Not helpful to anyone who cannot or does not want to straighten her locks, and equally unhelpful if it’s snowing or raining since straightened hair tends to curl when wet, but if you’ve got the option …
Wear your hood instead
If you’re outside for mere minutes – dashing from building to car – consider doing a hooded coat instead. It’ll block the wind and keep you from freezing, but do less hair-crushing than an actual hat. If you don’t have a coat with an attached hood, you could also try a loosely tied scarf or a snood!
Don’t worry about it
We are our own worst critics. Unless your hair goes from perfectly coiffed to mangled mess once touched by a knit cap, your case of hat-head is probably very minor. And no one will point or laugh. If they do, throw your hat at them.
Image courtesy A Crafting We Will Go.
Originally posted 2013-01-28 06:44:31.