Cycling with Long Hair: Ponytails + Bike Helmets Tips

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If you happen to have long hair then you’ll know that in everyday life, your hair can get in your way and annoy you no matter what you are doing. 

The same can be said for when wearing a helmet while riding a bike. All that wonderful long hair, but what to do with it? 

What Do You Do with Long Hair When Cycling?

If you are wondering what to do with your long hair while you are cycling and wearing a helmet, then you’ve come to the right place. You no longer have to be partly blinded nor unintentionally eat your hair while it blows in the wind mid ride. 

As you may have seen, many people with long hair opt to tie it up to ensure it’s out of the way and not causing havoc. However, if you enjoy the feeling of your hair blowing in the wind while riding then, you do you. At the end of the day, it always comes down to personal preference. 

But, speaking from years of experience, having your hair down can be uncomfortable as well as hot. So if you do so choose to tie it up, there are some easy ways to get it out of the way.

How Do You Tie Your Hair When Cycling?

There are a fair few reasons as to why you should tie your hair while riding a bike. One of the biggest reasons is so that your hair is out of the way and not blowing in your face while riding along.

Next, tying your hair up can also help prevent getting helmet hair whereby wearing a helmet with your hair down creates a bit of a messy style to say the least. But, with tying it back, it reduces the likelihood of getting helmet hair; some helmets are also better than others at reducing this. 

For those that race bikes, having your hair tied is is a more aerodynamic option in comparison to having it left down with a helmet down. Additionally, having your hair up also offers better breathability as well as helps you to feel cooler and less sweaty while riding.

Another reason for tying up your hair when riding is so that you don’t catch your hair in any clothing such as zips. It’s a little less important than the other reasons, however, you’ll definitely be thankful for not getting your hair caught and pulled in any clothing.

Hairstyles for Bike Riding

While riding a bike there are many hairstyles that you can adopt. Depending on the type of hair you have, some hairstyles will suit your hair type better than others. Therefore, it may be a little bit of trial and error if you are new to cycling or riding with a helmet. 

But, the good news is that regardless of your hair type, you should be able to find a style that suits your hair. For example, if you have really long and thick hair, tying your hair in a bun may not be as easy as popping your hair up in a plait.

Therefore, only you will know which is easiest and most suited to you. Also, you may not be able to plait, in which case – a ponytail or tutorial online on how to plait will be your best bet.

Can I Wear a Ponytail with a Bike Helmet?

You can wear a ponytail while wearing a bike helmet thanks to many helmets coming with a ponytail compatible design feature: in short, a hole/space at the back of the helmet where you can feed your hair through without it getting in the way of the mechanism to tighten. 

But, some helmets are better than others at accommodating for ponytails. Therefore it’s always a great idea to try on some helmets in a bike shop if possible before buying one if you want to know if it is compatible or not.

Alternatively, you could just look at our pick of best helmets for those wanting to tie their long hair up…

Ponytail Bike Helmet Tips

1. Ponytail 

First and foremost, the easiest of the helmet compatible hairstyles for those with long hair, is tying your hair up in a ponytail. 

This hairstyle is simply tying your hair around one bobble, just as you would with any regular ponytail, and then passing all of the hair through the back of the helmet via the ‘ponytail’ hole.

2. Plait 

Next up, another really great hairstyle that is a little more complex than the previous one, and is arguably favored the most among many cyclists who happen to have long hair, is the plait.

Similar to the ponytail, tying your hair in a plait can be done using two bobbles (pictured). First tying your hair into a ponytail then plaiting the hair below and securing with a bobble. Alternatively, you can just plait your hair and have your plait laying flat to your back and tying only at the end. 

3. Bun 

If the two previous options aren’t for you, and instead you want your hair completely out of your way then putting your hair up in a bun is a great way to tie your hair while wearing a helmet.

When tying your hair in a bun it’s important to position the bun far enough down the back of your head so that you can feed it through the ‘ponytail’ hole at the back. This is to ensure your helmet is in the correct position on your head and not too far forward or too far back. 

Are There Bike Helmets with Ponytail Holes?

The good news is that there are many helmets that are ponytail compatible thanks to the way that they have been designed towards the back of the helmet. 

Helmets designed in such a way allow for those with long hair to comfortably and easily fit a ponytail etc through the back without having any issues.

Best Bike Helmets for Ponytails

1. Kask Protone Icon Helmet

This is a great all-round helmet that is really long hair friendly. The older version of this helmet is the one I have been wearing for a long time now and I like how adjustable the back of the helmet is as it makes whatever hairstyle I choose really effortless to do. 

It’s also just a great looking helmet which of course, is important. It’s mainly focused towards road riding but without a doubt you could wear it for commuting or leisure riding. But, this one is a little on the pricey side to say the least, but classy either way. Overall, long hair friendly and a great option.

2. Giro Women’s Agilis Helmet

Giro have pretty much always offered great helmets that have enough space at the back of the fastening system to put your hair through, however you’ve decided to tie it up. Therefore it isn’t much of a surprise that their Agilis Helmet is on this list.

It’s a mid range women specific helmet that is great for pretty much anyone who is looking for ponytail compatibility. Not to mention. The price point for this one is much more pocket friendly in comparison to the aforementioned Kask. 

3. Specialized Align II MIPS Helmet

Last but certainly not least in our pick for the best bike helmets for ponytails, is the Align II MIPS helmet from Specialized. Given Specialized have been well known for their research and development with clothing and accessories this will likely come as no shock that one of their helmets is in our list.

Not only is this helmet compatible with ponytails thanks to the gap above the fastening system at the back, but it also has the added benefit of MIPS. The Multi-directional Impact Protection System is an added safety feature which, in short, improves protection of the head upon crashing. The Align II is also really reasonably priced, which is great for anyone on a budget.

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