With the end of Velo City 2014 in Adelaide and the resulting rash of cycling stories in the media, I thought it was time to examine a cycling myth: The notion that people (particularly women) can’t ride to work (or anywhere else) because their hair will be messed up. This is frankly just too ridiculous for words. I’m no hairdresser but I’m certainly not going to let wearing a helmet and the effect (sometimes it’s actually a taming effect) that it may have on my ‘clowning glory’ (to quote Australian icon Kath Day-Knight) stop me from riding my bike where ever and whenever I please.
The article in The Advertiser which claimed that bike helmet laws are sexist and that women won’t ride because of helmet hair is laughable at best (particularly when the interviewee’s hair may have benefited from the taming effects of a helmet). Ask most women why they won’t ride in the city and you’ll find safety concerns a much higher priority than hair.
Nonetheless, there are a myriad of options for coping with helmet hair for those of us game enough to brave the traffic and the haters and ride our bikes in the city. So here they are:
- Helmet = safety, hair = hassle, therefore shave your head and be done with it.
- Shower at work… then style your hair.
- No facilities to shower at work? Keep a spray bottle of water and a travel hair dryer in your desk and sort it out in the bathroom.
- Product, product, product – I have 12 different styling products in my bathroom cabinet, any of which would tame my hair perfectly after a quick ride
- Put it up – apparently helmet hair is more of a concern for women than men so why not stick it in a plait, ponytail or bun before you get on your bike and make that you hairstyle for the day. A burst of hairspray when you hit the office and you’ll be good to go.
Of all the excuses not to ride your bike, helmet hair has got to be one of the lamest so don’t stress about your tresses, just get on your bike!
But before you head out, why not let us know what you think