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View Full Version : Do I *really* need to buy a new helmet to fit my hair?



overthemoon
Nov. 3, 2011, 06:43 PM
So, I have a lot a hair. This isn't news... I've been blessed/cursed with very thick hair my whole life. However, I haven't had it as long as it is now in a very long time. It no longer fits comfortably under my helmet, so when I ride now I have to have it down my back.

Here are the problems:
1) I like my long hair. Quite a lot. People tell me I have mermaid hair.
2) While I don't mind rocking a ponytail at home, it's not quite show attire.
3) I'm a student, and I really don't fancy spending $200-$400 on a new helmet to tame my mane.

Please tell me one of you has some ingenious idea for how to contain excessive amounts of hair that's tasteful enough to be rocked in the show ring...

Tap2Tango
Nov. 3, 2011, 06:50 PM
Do you do the traditional hunter hair? If so, try doing it with wet hair. I notice a difference if my hair is wet or dry, curly or straight, frizzy or not-as-frizzy-as-usual. Just play around with it.

danceronice
Nov. 3, 2011, 06:50 PM
Um...well, if you don't want to wear it down and it's not fitting under your current helmet, your options are a dressage bun (I'm not sure how well that would work if you have really thick curly/wavy hair, which is what 'mermaid hair' makes me think of, anyway) or buying a helmet it fits under. If you are REALLY good at getting it into a bun and REALLY restraining it that can look tasteful if "nontraditional" :rolleyes: but if you want it up under the helmet and it really won't squish down...well, um, find a cheaper helmet brand?

pattnic
Nov. 3, 2011, 06:51 PM
Have you tried using a flat iron on it to reduce volume, and then putting it up under your helmet?

danceronice
Nov. 3, 2011, 06:53 PM
Another thing besides really wetting it down--using a styling gel (firm hold) while it's wet would keep it flat. Though if by "mermaid" you mean really curly that still might not work....

overthemoon
Nov. 3, 2011, 06:56 PM
I know the real answer is to suck it up and buy a new helmet, but you can't blame a girl for trying, right?

And yes - by mermaid hair I mean thick, long, wavy/curly hair. It comes to an inch or two above my bum.

Straightening for show days might work! I'll have to do a dry run of that someday.

danceronice
Nov. 3, 2011, 07:03 PM
*sigh* I wish I had mermaid hair...mine is so heavy it takes an absurd amount of product, rollers, and a curling iron to hold a curl for longer than five minutes....

Tap2Tango
Nov. 3, 2011, 07:06 PM
*sigh* I wish I had mermaid hair...mine is so heavy it takes an absurd amount of product, rollers, and a curling iron to hold a curl for longer than five minutes....

My hair is naturally curly but if I wanted to curl it with a curling iron it won't hold...go figure :confused:

Everyone wants the hair they don't have. I like that mine is thick, but if I don't attempt to do something with it, it tries to take over the world.

overthemoon
Nov. 3, 2011, 07:21 PM
I like that mine is thick, but if I don't attempt to do something with it, it tries to take over the world.

Meeee too! My SO has super thick, super curly, almost shoulder length hair. We are a treat in the morning, haha.

I've gotten to the point that I'm okay with my hair and its strengths (nice wave, thick) and weaknesses (BIG, frizzy regardless of how many lbs of product go in it). Though I think the cherry on top is that it's strawberry blonde, so even when I think it looks like sh*t, people tend to like it, haha.

Tap2Tango
Nov. 3, 2011, 07:27 PM
Meeee too! My SO has super thick, super curly, almost shoulder length hair. We are a treat in the morning, haha.

I've gotten to the point that I'm okay with my hair and its strengths (nice wave, thick) and weaknesses (BIG, frizzy regardless of how many lbs of product go in it). Though I think the cherry on top is that it's strawberry blonde, so even when I think it looks like sh*t, people tend to like it, haha.

Usually when my hair is wild I just tell myself that if it's ok for Shakira to do it, it's ok for me too!

Effie1221
Nov. 3, 2011, 07:31 PM
My daughter's friend has 'mermaid hair' too and shows in hunter over fences. She does just fine with braids packed in an oversized bow-net.

Skydog
Nov. 3, 2011, 07:43 PM
Dear Ariel -

You might have to buy a new helmet if you have that much hair. You sure don't want the fit of your helmet compromised by trying to jam all your hair up into it. Aside from being uncomfortable....

I, too, have thick, curly hair. Not as long as yours, but about to the middle of my back. It's still challenging to arrange it under a helmet, though. I don't shampoo it the morning of a show (I know, ewww, but slightly dirty is more handleable). I wet it down and apply lot of some kind of gel and start the low ponytail with a hairnet. The second hair net goes over the whole thing, once the ponytail is pinned up. Just make sure you have the baseball hat handy when you get ready to take off your helmet - it's not going to be pretty!

Or, you can do what I've seen one woman do around here at shows. I don't know how long her hair is, since I've never seen it unbraided, but she keeps it in a long braid and runs it down her back, under her coat. I think that would be rather uncomfortable, but she's done it for years.

Good luck!

joiedevie99
Nov. 3, 2011, 07:44 PM
Try it with your hair soaking wet. If that doesn't work, blow dry your hair as straight as you can, then flat iron it. See if that fits. If not, the only show-acceptable solution is to buy a new helmet.

harkington
Nov. 3, 2011, 07:46 PM
I, too, have thick, curly hair. While right now its short (much shorter than I like but that's a different story), I showed hunters with VERY long hair in 2010. I found straightening really helped. While it may seem a little silly to spend half an hour on hair the morning of a horse show, tamed, sleek locks are definitely easier to work with than curls. Also straightening at night is always an option- funny kinks and whatnot don't really matter if the purpose is to fit it all inside a helmet.

I had a friend that refused to do her hair for shows- she instead cut off about 5". Her hair was still really long, but losing a few inches made hunter hair much easier.

Best of luck... it is "only hair", but think before any drastic changes as it is not actually "only hair"!!

Rel6
Nov. 3, 2011, 08:14 PM
Easy answer: try flat ironing it.

Hard answer: buy a new helmet.

I feel your pain. I had a bad fall at HITs two years ago and had to buy a new GPA (bye bye $500.) My hair is super thick (especially for straight blonde hair) and was, at the time, long enough that I could sit on it.

I chopped off about 14'' inches a year later, and have spent the past year pushing my helmet back into place every few strides. I am now (finally!) sucking it up and getting a smaller helmet. I figure no matter what I do with my hair in the next few years at least I'll have a helmet that fits.

SSacky
Nov. 3, 2011, 08:30 PM
flat iron.

also when you're doing hunter hair you can split it so more hair goes over your ears = less packed on top of you're hair

but remember, the more you pack under there, the less effective the helmet because of the bouncing space :)

overthemoon
Nov. 3, 2011, 08:38 PM
Alright, so it looks like the leader is: Flat Iron. Shove hair under helmet. Do not fall off for fear of ineffective head protection. Got it.

Rel6, maybe we should swap GPAs, haha.

LOKMom
Nov. 3, 2011, 08:50 PM
My daughter has SUPER thick hair - I always kid her that she needs to be a Housewife of (insert city) when she grows up.

We do two helmets one for showing and one for schooling. But when for some reason we have the wrong helmet at a show we put her hair in the hair net and make her ponytail as low as we can (at the very bottom of her hairline on the neck). We then tuck the hair up in the helmet (trying to make it sit as flat as possible) but leave the portion of the ponytail with the elastic out of the helmet. She has a little rubberband bump sticking out, but we use black rubberbands and her hair is a dark brown so it works. :)

saje
Nov. 3, 2011, 08:55 PM
I have butt-length, very thick hair, and I event so I need it tidy for dressage and stadium. (For XC I just tuck a single braid down under my vest) This is my solution:

Part it and put it into 2 braids, braiding all the way to the tippy ends and securing with a mane braiding band or similar.

Take the end of the right braid and poke it up through the left braid up high (about the 2nd crossover), pull it through so it tucks up under the base of the skull.

Now take the left braid and poke it through the right, pull 'til it's snug. Keep going back and forth weaving them in wherever you can, and then tuck in the last ends into a braid if you can. The rubber bands will help them stick. You should have a nice tight but not too bulky bundle just at the nape of your neck.

I put 2 hairnets over it all, and it stays nice and snug and doesn't bounce or pull the way a bun can. I'm told it looks tidy and not at all like I'm cramming way too much hair into a net.

And my helmet fits properly and the same way every time. :)

Lets see if this link (http://www.hoofclix.com/Chattahoochee/2011-05-22-USEA-HTCIC/SarahJenkinsononKeogh139/i-2JmzdjD/0/M/110522CH-10831-M.jpg) works - this is a too-loose version. I usually get it tighter than this. Keep in mind that I can just about sit on my hair when it's loose! (Oh and a thousand thank you's to Hoofclix photography, they do a fabulous job!)

Tap2Tango
Nov. 3, 2011, 08:56 PM
Dear God whatever you do don't buy a show bow!!!!! I'm sure people would pitch in for a bigger helmet just so you don't commit fashion suicide!

smokygirl
Nov. 3, 2011, 08:58 PM
I have the same hair type. Thankfully, french braids are appropriate for what I do. I used to try flat irons, but they are hard on hair (and being thick and curly.. i don't need any help getting it to be frizzy and dry and yucky). can you braid it and do a twist under the nape of the helmet?

pictureonemore
Nov. 4, 2011, 01:41 AM
Dear God whatever you do don't buy a show bow!!!!! I'm sure people would pitch in for a bigger helmet just so you don't commit fashion suicide!

Oh my, that made me laugh...and made my soda come out of my nose. :lol: :lol:

i have super thick hair, but it's only just past my shoulders. If you straight iron it, my advise (and this works really, really well for me!!) would be to wash and condition it the night before the show. Try to find one of those anti-frizz serums (I use bed head) and put it on your damp hair then blow dry. Then spend the next however many hours straightening it.

It will be flatter in the am, and if need be, go over it again.

Good luck, and I wish my hair had curl to it!! *sigh*

DarkStarrx
Nov. 4, 2011, 01:50 AM
I'm sure if you took a few inches off an flat ironed it, you'd be alright. I know I have about a half inch of split ends!!

myrna
Nov. 4, 2011, 02:08 AM
if you have long,heavy hair buy what ever helmet fits. or cut your hair to fit under what you have.

TheJenners
Nov. 4, 2011, 02:38 AM
I want to see pictures of some of you ladies' hair! :)

I have thick hair, hairdresser said once it was like five people's worth of hair, and it's to the middle of my back. However, I am not a looks-over-safety kind of person, so I create the hunter look (http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/199113_1958515204155_1281017695_2366422_1772541_n. jpg) by making a very tight bun at the back of my head and hair netting it thickly. Until I'm showing at the point where a camera will be following me around course and might get the back of my head, I don't think I'll have a problem.

Sarah Rachel
Nov. 4, 2011, 02:34 PM
I have had the same problem forever! Except, my hair is not too long, just very curly and big. When I do the hunters I straighten it or do the hunter hair while it's wet.

wendy
Nov. 4, 2011, 02:42 PM
why would you have to spend $200+? good helmets can be had for $35. Some of the safest brands cost well under $50.

BAC
Nov. 4, 2011, 02:56 PM
I don't like long hair anyway, especially as long as you describe, so I say cut it. And I think its absurd to spend so much time and effort the night before/morning of a show on straightening your hair. This thread is making me happy I have thin, limp hair. :D

There are lots of very attractive helmets out there that are very inexpensive, buy one of those if you don't want to cut your hair.

meupatdoes
Nov. 4, 2011, 03:04 PM
I agree with The Jenners - just do a tight bun and use your same hairnet over it.

I have one helmet that fits better w/o my hair up so I just use the hairnet over my ears the same way I would for putting my hair up, and then make a bun and wrap what's left of the hair net around it to keep flyaways contained.

Personally, if I saw you at a horseshow with your hair like this I
a.) probably wouldn't notice and
b.) if I did, I wouldn't think anything of it.

There was a while where all the eq kids had short little pony tails sticking out the back and that was fine, so...

HGem
Nov. 4, 2011, 07:45 PM
Didn't read it all. I saw someone else mentioned a flat iron. I too have started sporting longer hair. Also blessed with thick hair. Did not want to buy another helmet either. But I was starting to get headaches when showing. So - now I have to flat iron the night before to reduce the volume. And keep it thinned out via hair dresser. Kept my long hair. And my helmet :)

billiebob
Nov. 4, 2011, 09:02 PM
I don't have long hair anymore, but it's very thick and I have an oddly shaped big head. My hair is layered like there's no tomorrow so I can fit it in neatly without giving myself a headache. If your current helmet is pretty close to fitting it might work without sacrificing length.

bits619
Nov. 4, 2011, 10:31 PM
i was going to suggest what's already been said here:
flat iron or style when it's wet,
or go to a good stylist who will remove some of the 'bulk' of the hair. My stylist is frikkin' awesome, but he scared the cr@p out of me when he first cut it. He took a thumb's width of hair, twirled it a bit then just started randomly nipping into the twist all down the length. Then he took another bunch of hair and did the same thing. I normally don't even bat an eye over my haircuts (it'll grow!) but that made my heart stop!

But anyway, it looks great when he thins it out for me, and it's easy to fit into my helmet. (just above bra-strap length now, but it was 3 inches below and im growing it back out to that length now).

holaamigoalter
Nov. 4, 2011, 10:48 PM
I take all the padding out of my helmet on the rare occasion I have to have my hair up.