The weather is growing chillier and that means updating your style with layers and hats. And while beanies add an instant cool factor to any outfit, the hat hair they’ll no doubt leave behind can also lead to bad hair days. Wearing a hat can quickly take you from good hair to hot mess; flattening and creasing strands in some spots while causing them to stick up in others. So read ahead for the tips, tricks and products you need to help prevent and fix hat hair.
Hat hair typically flattens your hair and creates creases, cowlicks, frizz and flyaways. This is the result of the hat pressing down on your head, against your strands, shaping them and causing them to flatten. The natural oils at your roots concentrate, matting hair down even more. At the same time, the hat rubs against your hair, creating static, lifting strands and creating frizz and flyaways. And while hat hair can certainly lead to a bad hair day, it’s not permanent and it doesn’t contribute to hair loss like it was once believed. Hair thinning, loss, and balding are caused by things like genetics, medical conditions and hormonal changes. If you’re concerned about hair loss, your dermatologist, doctor, or stylist can help you determine the cause and create a treatment plan.
Hat hair is flat hair. Especially if you have thin or fine hair to begin with, it'll flatten even faster. So it only makes sense to plump up your strands at the very start of your hair routine — in the shower. Preventing hat hair by using a volumizing shampoo and conditioner every time you wash your hair. Replumping Shampoo and Replumping Conditioner for fine hair helps add body for fuller, thicker-looking hair.
Even a slightly damp head can increase your chances of hat hair happening. When your hair is wet, it's very malleable and will easily take on the shape of whatever hat you’re wearing once it dries. By completely drying your hair you’re lessening your chances of limp strands, unwanted creases, flyaways and frizz. So apply heat protection and blast your crown with high heat one more time before putting on your hat.
First use a sea salt spray or dry shampoo at the roots of your dry hair to preemptively to zap sweat and oils that can make your hair flat. These products help build texture to combat against hat hair — they also help prevent the staticky hair of the season. Next, a hairspray should always be the final step of your cold weather hairstyles because it controls frizz and prevents hat hair. Keep hairspray on hand to make sure it’s fully dry before putting on your hat.
Even if it isn’t your intended hairstyle, wearing a loose braid or sleek ponytail under your hat (during your commute or until you plan to take your hat off) can prevent hat hair. Loosely braiding your hair before putting on a hat helps keep the tension of the hair taught. This means the strands of hair are unable to form to the shape of the hat. A sleek ponytail is a simple style that’s easy to put back into perfectly groomed strands once the hat is removed.
When it comes to staving off hat hair, the material of the hat is just as important as the fit. Make sure it’s made from smooth fabric. Rough materials can snag strands causing static and frizz. Additionally, the heavier the material, the faster your hair will flatten or trap heat and set your hair in the shape of the hat. Dermatologists say a loose fitting, lightweight hat is the healthiest for your hair and scalp.
Much in the same way it gives second-day-hair new life, dry shampoo can revive hair that’s been sitting under a hat for a few hours. Focusing at the root, spray 10 inches away from hair to eliminate sweat, oil and product build-up. This will give your flat strands the volume they need and eliminate hat hair. So if you take off your baseball or beanie and your hair is plastered to your head, give your roots and spritz and massage the dry shampoo into your scalp.
It can be tempting to grab a brush to fight frizz and flyaways, but this will only further flatten your strands and make it worse. Instead give your head a flip upside-down and gently use your fingers to tousle up your roots. If you have a travel hairspray on hand, spritz it under sections of your hair at the roots, then flip your head back up and smooth your hair into place.
In a pinch, a dryer sheet can be used to quickly get rid of static. You can keep one in your hat and use it when you take the hat off to wipe your hair down where staticky hairs are sticking up. You can also use dryer sheets to wipe down your brushes and combs, helping prevent static; line the drawer you keep your brushes in with dryer sheets; or stick a dryer sheet under your pillow at night while you’re sleeping to help prevent static. There are even anti-static sheets specifically designed for getting rid of static in your hair.
One clever way to fight the flattening power of your favorite hat is to change the direction of your hair’s part. Parting it on the opposite side before putting your hat on will create a barrier between the hat and your desired style, like a shield from the dreaded hat hair. When you take your hat off, flip your hair back to your original part and your strands should bounce back into place.
If your hair is always a mess after removing your hat, a few drops of an anti-frizz serum will put it back into place. Keep a small bottle of serum in your bag to smooth cowlicks and creases and help fight static and flyaways when you take off your hat. Applying serum to damp hair can also be used as a static-proof styling aid.
We’ve have good news for any winter hat lovers out there: with the right tips and products, you can work to stop hat hair before it happens. In addition to the hair hacks above, here are a few of our favorite products for for protecting your hair in the cold weather:
All of our formulas are free of harmful toxins, use natural ingredients, and are made with renewable energy and packaging that minimizes the environmental impact. Our hair care isn’t just good for your hair, it’s good for the planet. To book an appointment with a Davines stylist in your area, see our salon locator.
by Jaclyn LaBadia, featured contributor