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View Full Version : options to doing "hunter hair"



KateKat
Apr. 8, 2009, 06:09 PM
so I usually just toss my hair into a pony tail and ride but at one of my barns ALL the women do hunter hair, except for the little kids :winkgrin:

I have started liking the look and realized that not only does it look cleaner and more presentable, it would also be more comfortable in the summer as opposed to having my long, heavy hair laying against my neck and getting nasty. Issue is I know I won't be able to fit all my hair under my helmet...so what are some options that others may do for the hunter hair look that don't necessarily require shoving everything under my helmet?

Philosopher
Apr. 8, 2009, 06:14 PM
Bigger helmet or cut the hair. I've done both. :)

theroanypony
Apr. 8, 2009, 06:17 PM
If I'm just schooling, I do hunter hair but rather than putting the pony tail in the end of the net and flipping it up on my head, I just let it hang out. Your hair still looks nice and isn't flying away everywhere, you just have the end of your pony tail out (which you could braid if it's really long and thick). Or you can do the other option; cut your hair. I did that option at the beginning of the year, definitely fit better but wasn't worth it. :no:

joiedevie99
Apr. 8, 2009, 06:19 PM
Bigger helmet or cut the hair. I've done both. :)

Ditto. We also all ride in hunter hair at home- no ponytails, etc.

Madeline
Apr. 8, 2009, 06:35 PM
Can't resist. Sorry.

Shoving the hair up under the helmet is a bad idea unless your hair is the same density as your skull. Perfect helmet fit closely matches the shape and size of your skull. Ask any brain surgeon.
If you want to tuck your hair up, tuck it under the harness only, not the shell. If you're going to go to the trouble of getting a good helmet and wearing it, you might as well wear it as designed for maximum safety. Despite current hunter princess fashion...

fancyfooted
Apr. 8, 2009, 06:44 PM
If you don't want to cut the length off your hair, have your stylist thin it out. Don't think old style thinning with the thinning shears, nowadays stylists use single razor blades and cut the hair vertically down the shaft to help take the bulk out, and keep it looking natural. I have to have it done because my hair is crazy thick and curly! Even thinned out to half its bulk it is super thick, but it makes a huge difference when I'm trying to put it up under my helmet. My hair hangs well below my shoulderblades too, but fits comfortably under my GPA :)

theroanypony
Apr. 8, 2009, 06:53 PM
Can't resist. Sorry.

Shoving the hair up under the helmet is a bad idea unless your hair is the same density as your skull. Perfect helmet fit closely matches the shape and size of your skull. Ask any brain surgeon.
If you want to tuck your hair up, tuck it under the harness only, not the shell. If you're going to go to the trouble of getting a good helmet and wearing it, you might as well wear it as designed for maximum safety. Despite current hunter princess fashion...

When I flip my hair up, I fan it out across the top of my head. Both the hair on my head and the pony tail hair together might be equal to someone with thick hair. I don't really see how that's dangerous, especially if you buy the helmet to fit with that amount of hair. Even with people who have thick hair, if the helmet is bought to fit with the hair up, how is it dangerous?

Mach Two
Apr. 8, 2009, 07:21 PM
I used to fit helmets at a tack shop, and we always kept a hair elastic and hair net handy for trying on helmets with "hunter hair."
So, like some one else said, smaller the hair or bigger the helmet.
Hair is nature's way of providing head protection. People with thick hair do not shave their heads to get a better fit...so I do not agree that putting the hair up makes a helmet less safe. And putting it under the harness? Nooooooooo. that makes the harness unstable, and looks like a mess.
However, if one is trying to shove waist length hair into a net and helmet, it is probably not going to work. Shoulder length is getting close to the cut off point of being able to put the hair up.
The look of hunter hair is sleek, workmanlike, and beautiful. Floppy ponytails, or trying to do a bun that falls below the harness...it just does not work. Pigtails on kids on ponies are still acceptable, aren't they? Cute on kids, stupid on adults.
Put it up.

IsolaBella09
Apr. 8, 2009, 07:28 PM
If I'm just schooling, I do hunter hair but rather than putting the pony tail in the end of the net and flipping it up on my head, I just let it hang out. Your hair still looks nice and isn't flying away everywhere, you just have the end of your pony tail out (which you could braid if it's really long and thick). Or you can do the other option; cut your hair. I did that option at the beginning of the year, definitely fit better but wasn't worth it. :no:

I do this sometimes, but I usually just end up flipping my hair up and putting it underneath. I think once you get used to doing hunter hair for a while, it becomes automatic to you.

kateh
Apr. 8, 2009, 07:52 PM
My hair isn't particularly thick, but it's curly so it looks massive and unruly if I wear it in a pony tail. My helmet fit gives me two options (a) hunter hair or (b) ponytail with earwarmer/headband on. When I do the earwarmer option I braid to keep it looking neater. I've also done a kind of messy bun where you make a ponytail but don't pull the ends all the way through. It gets it off my back but depending on length can still look a little messy.

indygirl2560
Apr. 8, 2009, 08:37 PM
I had to buy my helmet one size up to accommodate my hair! I have really thick, curly hair, so it was kind of necessary, esp. since my barn requires that everyone have their hair up in their helmet. I think it looks more professional and neat and I'm so used to doing it, it's become second nature! I just put my hair in a low pony tail, flip it up, and shove the pieces that come down back into my helmet! :winkgrin: At shows I use hairnets, but I can manage without them at the barn, although so girls use them all the time.

Paragon
Apr. 8, 2009, 08:48 PM
I keep my hair short so that my helmet fits properly against my head. I can pull off a hairnet and some semblance of hunter hair, but it requires finagling. And lots of flippy-clips. :D

I don't trust the whole big-helmet-for-long-hair business.

Pirateer
Apr. 8, 2009, 08:52 PM
When I flip my hair up, I fan it out across the top of my head. Both the hair on my head and the pony tail hair together might be equal to someone with thick hair. I don't really see how that's dangerous, especially if you buy the helmet to fit with that amount of hair. Even with people who have thick hair, if the helmet is bought to fit with the hair up, how is it dangerous?


Ugh don't get Madeline started on how nobody who puts their hair up can POSSIBLY have a helmet that fits...

To the OP:

Cut your hair if it doesn't fit. My hair has been every length from short and layered, right at my ears, to mid-way down my back, and I can ALWAYS do hunter hair, and my helmet fit doesn't suffer because of it.

KateKat
Apr. 8, 2009, 11:10 PM
hmmm...sadness! I just grew my hair back out dangnabit! I am in the market for a new helmet so I guess I'll have to do my searching with hunter hair in mind!

make x it x so
Apr. 8, 2009, 11:12 PM
You might be able to tuck up your hair so that the 'bump' of the pony tail is not in the helmet, but the rest is tucked in. Although it won't look AS neat, it may solve your problem because usually the hardest part is getting the part with the rubberband to fit into the helmet.

RugBug
Apr. 9, 2009, 12:42 AM
hmmm...sadness! I just grew my hair back out dangnabit! I am in the market for a new helmet so I guess I'll have to do my searching with hunter hair in mind!

I have VERY thick hair...probably 1/3 of my hair is about as much as a 'normal' person's hair. I've also had the length be from my waist (I would occasionally tuck it into my pants...nice :no: :winkgrin:) to short, short (Was the Dharma cut of Dharma & Greg fame) and anywhere inbetween. I could do hunter hair no matter the length. I just have two different helmets: one for long hair, one for short.

Tilly
Apr. 10, 2009, 01:12 PM
Bigger helmet or cut the hair. I've done both. :)

:yes: I am a slave to my helmet. I can't afford to buy a new one, so I just cut my hair. It's very thick, and I have to have it be a specific length for my helmet to fit. I wanted to cut my hair really short, but my helmet won't fit, so it stays shoulder length or a little longer.

ETA: I do hunter hair every ride. I like how it looks [much nicer than a pony tail sticking out, IMO that looks sloppy], and it keeps me cooler.

melody1
Apr. 10, 2009, 01:26 PM
I have very thick, curly hair that I straighten. I have a Charles Owen (long oval) that fits me well whether my hair is up or not. I did cut my hair a few months ago, but I have never had a problem getting my helmet to fit over my hair. I put my hair up every time I ride and it is snug like helmets should be, but not tight or uncomfortable by any means.

zahena
Apr. 23, 2009, 05:10 PM
Just curious.... Is there any video anyone can recommend on how to do this? My girls are befuddled on how to make it happen and honestly, i want them to do it themselves because I just don't really have time to show them how to do hunter hair and braid, and bathe and..... You get the idea....

klmck63
Apr. 23, 2009, 06:11 PM
Don't have a video, but the process is pretty easy to explain!

1. Put hair down, make sure no hair is tucked behind the ears.
2. Put on hairnet, it should reach to the bottom of your hairline in the back and your nose in the front.
3. Gather all hair including the hairnet into a pony tail, don't tuck the hair behind your ears as you put it into the pony tail, cover the top of your ears instead.
4. Slide the hairnet off of your face up to your hairline.
5. Flip head upside down and lay the pony tail on the top of your head. If your hair is very thick it helps to fan it out a bit across your head.
6. Put on the helmet making sure that you have gathered all of the pony tail and the extra hairnet into the top of the helmet.
7. Tuck in any pieces you missed!

All it takes is practice and a mirror to learn how to do it quickly! :)

HARROLDhasmyheart
Apr. 23, 2009, 08:27 PM
I do this sometimes, but I usually just end up flipping my hair up and putting it underneath. I think once you get used to doing hunter hair for a while, it becomes automatic to you.

Agreed! When I moved to a show barn and started doing "hunter hair," it was so weird to me at first...it felt funny and took a few minutes to get right. Now, after about 6 years of doing it every time I ride (hack, lesson, show...any time I put my helmet on really), it's become automatic.

My hair is a little longer than shoulder length and quite thick and curly...I find that it fits in my helmet more easily when it's straightened (like it usually is) rather than when I let it have a mind of it's own. Nothing urks me more than to have just put my hair up and helmet on to find a curl trying to escape from my helmet behind my ear :lol:

zahena
Apr. 24, 2009, 12:24 PM
Thanks y'all! I need to show my moms how to do this. My girls always get flustered when it's close to show time and they haven't done their hair yet. I've told them now that they need to get their hair ready in the morning and walk around ALL DAY like that until their class is over.....

one of them wants to wear their hair in pigtails with bows and she's showing in the 2'3" division. I was like yeah no...... You're not in short stirrup anymore!

Bogie
Apr. 24, 2009, 12:28 PM
You beat me to it! Exactly what I was going to write.

I've never understood the compulsion of hunter hair. Yes, I can understand being neat, but not at the expense of safety.

Someone asked how it can not be safe if the helmet fits? I borrowed some text from a site on bicycle helmet safety as most manufacturers of equine helmets won't touch this subject even when you send them an inquiry.

"Raising the helmet on the head destabilizes it by moving the sides, that normally keep the helmet steady, up and away from the sides of the head. Combined with the loss of coverage from the helmet perched up higher on the head, this has potential for disaster in a crash, where the helmet must be stable to remain in position and actually be between the head and the hard place upon impact!"

So, I suppose that it's not impossible to get a good fit with your hair under your helmet, but given how many people ride with saddles that don't fit properly, I think I'd win my bet that most people are riding with helmets that don't offer them optimum protection because they simply don't fit.

Okay, off my soapbox.

As for me, I have my hair layered and styled so that I can wear it under my helmet with a hairnet and look neat without compromising safety. But then again I'm a foxhunter and despite the fact that "hunter" traditions supposedly evolved from foxhunters, none of the members I hunt with are quite so fixated on their hair.


Can't resist. Sorry.

Shoving the hair up under the helmet is a bad idea unless your hair is the same density as your skull. Perfect helmet fit closely matches the shape and size of your skull. Ask any brain surgeon.
If you want to tuck your hair up, tuck it under the harness only, not the shell. If you're going to go to the trouble of getting a good helmet and wearing it, you might as well wear it as designed for maximum safety. Despite current hunter princess fashion...

melody1
Apr. 26, 2009, 08:01 PM
You beat me to it! Exactly what I was going to write.

I've never understood the compulsion of hunter hair. Yes, I can understand being neat, but not at the expense of safety.

Someone asked how it can not be safe if the helmet fits? I borrowed some text from a site on bicycle helmet safety as most manufacturers of equine helmets won't touch this subject even when you send them an inquiry.

"Raising the helmet on the head destabilizes it by moving the sides, that normally keep the helmet steady, up and away from the sides of the head. Combined with the loss of coverage from the helmet perched up higher on the head, this has potential for disaster in a crash, where the helmet must be stable to remain in position and actually be between the head and the hard place upon impact!"

So, I suppose that it's not impossible to get a good fit with your hair under your helmet, but given how many people ride with saddles that don't fit properly, I think I'd win my bet that most people are riding with helmets that don't offer them optimum protection because they simply don't fit.

Okay, off my soapbox.

As for me, I have my hair layered and styled so that I can wear it under my helmet with a hairnet and look neat without compromising safety. But then again I'm a foxhunter and despite the fact that "hunter" traditions supposedly evolved from foxhunters, none of the members I hunt with are quite so fixated on their hair.

I have pretty long (though not as long as it has been), thick hair. When I put it under my helmet, as I do every time I ride, it is spread out pretty evenly over my head and in any one place, it is not thicker than half a centimeter. There is no way that that little hair is going to impair the fit of my helmet. If I had a BUN on the top of my head, that would be different, but that is not "hunter hair".

Twisting
Apr. 26, 2009, 09:42 PM
Somewhat off topic but how long has "hunter hair" been fasionable. I was showing regularly a little under 10 years ago and never heard of anything so silly as "hunter hair". Neat and tidy yes, but not the hair over the ears thing. While I have nothing against people who swear by it I just can't bring myself to tuck my ears under my hair. Guess I'll have to be a fashion faux pas

Brown Horse
Apr. 27, 2009, 02:06 PM
Somewhat off topic but how long has "hunter hair" been fasionable. I was showing regularly a little under 10 years ago and never heard of anything so silly as "hunter hair". Neat and tidy yes, but not the hair over the ears thing. While I have nothing against people who swear by it I just can't bring myself to tuck my ears under my hair. Guess I'll have to be a fashion faux pas

When I did hunters/eq I never did 'hunter hair' simply b/c my hair is thin and doesn't hold a style like that. Even with bobby pins, hairnets, hairspray, etc, it doesn't stay over my ears. Plus, when it's hot out...it's SO much cooler not to have something covering your ears. How annoying! Of course I put my hair up under my helmet, but like I said, it's so thin that it really didn't make much of a difference when it comes to how my helmet fits.

To the OP - what if you just put your hair in a low bun when you school? Not like a perfect ballerina bun, but just so that it's not laying on your neck. It still looks nice and neat b/c it doesn't bounce around like a pony tail would, but you don't have the hassle of putting it under your helmet. Or am I completely misunderstanding the question? lol

Couture TB
Apr. 27, 2009, 02:10 PM
Ok this may sound stupid, bt what is hunter hair? I am an eventer, and I might have to show a few hunters this year. I usually just put a hair net on and put my helmet on top of that, or I french braid my hair.

HuntJumpSC
Apr. 27, 2009, 04:03 PM
OK, I'm having the opposite problem with my hair. I have always done hunter hair, at least since the day I learned at VIC. Of course, my hair has always been long and easy to get up under the helmet. Now I'm the mom of a 5 month old, and have gotten the fashionable "mommy cut" from my sis-in-law (who's awesome with color by the way!). It's just above shoulder length, with some long layers for some bounce.
I'm just now easing back into the horse scene and just started looking last week (starting with a craigslist ad that sounded great, but as usual wasn't as advertised, and to the point of being rank) I had a devil of a time getting my wispies under my GPA and rushed out without a hairnet, so it was near impossible. (Of course, we weren't impressing the seller anyway, but I'm a stickler for my hair being up)

I'm trying to recall that there was a certain girl at VIC when I was there, who was a jam-up rider, but sported a multicolor mohawk. I want to say they required her to wear a strip of pantyhose around her head under her helmet. Anyone seen it done, and do you think it would work on mine? I hate to have to give up my new shorter 'do for the sake of neatness. Lots of hairspray, perhaps? :confused: