Let’s Discuss: Taming your Mane

Let’s face it- most of us here in blog land are women, and for women, hair can be a statement. Whether that statement be polished and professional, casual and carefree, or “doesn’t give a damn”, it’s often something we think about.

Even in the utilitarian helmet-donning world of equestrianism (please wear helmets guys, k?), I’m going to guess you make some kind of decision about what to do with your mane before you ride.

For instance, I have a friend who wears hairnets for every ride, show or no show, audience or not. She insists it’s the way to go, but I just can’t imagine rocking the lunch-lady look at the barn.

There is a science to putting on hairnets

There is a science to putting on hairnets

Or there’s the fabulous dressage rider at the barn who plaits her thick beautiful hair into a stylish braid before getting in the saddle.

For me, hair is a complicated thing. I have naturally curly hair, which means I have my own personal hygrometer sitting on my head. If it’s above 55/60% humidity, straight hair is a non-option.

Curly hair in action in London, because, you know, rain.

Curly hair in action in London, because, you know, rain.

Curls for days

Curls on a tame day in Scotland

Because my hair au naturale is so much thicker than when straightened, it has an effect on my helmets. Too many rides with curls means that my normal helmet fits significantly looser with straight styles. So in the summer time, when curls are a given, I switch to an Ovation helmet that not only is more breathable than my IRH, but also is adjustable depending on how 90’s-Country-singer my hair is that day.

Sept. 2013

Sept. 2013 – Rockin the braid and Ovation helmet combo

Besides that, I usually end up braiding my hair, since I don’t care for the Daniel Boone look of a furry creature tail (aka poofy curly ponytail) draping my neck, and it’s fairly hot to boot. No matter what, helmet hair happens, and I always bring a hat with my to hide my post-ride tresses.

What do you do with your lovely locks when you ride? 

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29 thoughts on “Let’s Discuss: Taming your Mane

  1. That’s pretty funny that you have to have two helmets! 🙂
    I pretty much hate doing my hair, so I almost always rock a low pony tail and pin my bangs back. If I am doing something more formal like a clinic, I braid it and tuck the braid in. That’s the extent of it, though!

    • I’ve never had bangs (curly bangs? yikes! 😉 ) so I’ve never thought about wearing a helmet with bangs- I guess pinning them makes sense!

  2. I do the low pony tail like Emily. However, as far as hairnets go, I was recently introduced to this wonderful variety that is open at one end. Much easier to adjust than the traditional kind. I might even considering wearing one for every ride. http://www.doversaddlery.com/rwr-no-knot-hair-net/p/X1-3660/?eid=X18A00U1000&utm_source=froogle&utm_medium=CSE&utm_campaign=MerchantAdv&zmam=1460880&zmas=1&zmac=114&zmap=0003660488689X1-3660&mkwid=0tfaxTMw&pcrid=75877028047&pdv=c&gclid=Cj0KEQjw7r-rBRDE_dXtgLz9-e4BEiQATeKG7HRNEPICsFmV4Zkg94rIHm9FAyxReKL8lZFv6ZiK3IwaAh378P8HAQ

    • These. are. the. best. hairnets. ever.
      I used to have long, super thick hair and before I got a No Knot Hair Net, there were not enough bobby pins on the planet to keep a respectable bun in, and besides, the bun at the base of my neck looked really silly. These are so easy and fast to put in, no bobby pins needed, and they stay in really securely, no matter how much hair you have. Cannot say enough good things about them!

  3. I am a hairnet every ride kind of girl! My hair is often somewhere between chin and shoulder length, so I can’t just put it up in a ponytail or braid and still be able to put my helmet on properly and have my hair stay put. Like Susan I LOVE the RWR hairnets.

  4. OMG – 2 helmets would be a great idea! I too have naturally curly/wavy hair that I straighten frequently. Low pony tail for every day rides – ball cap for after the ride. For shows – also low pony tail in a net bun holder attached to a blingy bow clip.

  5. I only wear helmets when I show. I probably should wear them all the time, because I have very thin, very straight hair and it’s easy to put up… but honestly I’m lazy. My problem is that I’m a profuse head sweatter who lives in TX, so basically I look like I’ve taken a shower after I ride. Disgusting!

  6. i wear a hairnet every ride, with my longish curly hair tucked up neatly in the harness. i get tons of strange looks – esp when our trainer needs to borrow my hat to school someone’s horse (bc i apparently am the only one with a man-sized head in our group…) and i just stand there with this weird hairnet situation going on… but whatever. it’s my habit and it means that there’s one less thing to worry about while getting dressed at a show

  7. Hairnet 4ever. Hairnet 4lyfe. I’ve had every length hair from boyish-ly short (not a good look on me) to oh-god-get-a-haircut-you-look-like-a-hippie long, and I always always always wear a hairnet and tuck my hair up under my helmet. I feel like it helps keep my head toasty in the winter and my neck cool in the summer haha. Honestly though, it’s just such an ingrained habit that I never considered doing it any other way.

  8. I’ve always done a french braid to keep my hair off my face and tamed under my helmet when I ride. I don’t love how it looks all the time, but it works! When my hair was super long my braid would hang down almost to my belt. It was absurd especially because I had no idea it was quite so insane.

    My hair is also SUPER slippery (I think Carly also mentioned this problem in the past?) and slips and slides out of my helmet unless tamed by a SERIOUS braid or SERIOUS hair net. I put mine in a low pony, and flip that over my head and kinda spread it out over my scalp so there are no pressure points under my helmet. I definitely like the look but it’s quite the ordeal.

  9. Ugh, someone help me keep my hair in a hair net and under my helmet without getting a mind of its own and slowly creeping down my ears and touching me in inappropriate places that feels like spiders on my neck ahhhhhhhhhhh.

    I keep my hair in a super tight braid for every ride unless it’s the perfect temperature/wind speed/humidity level, and then I MIGHT let it chill in just a pony tail. Otherwise it’s like yours and just takes on a mind of its own and goes floofing everywhere. I’ve literally come back from trail rides with branches hanging in my ponytail and not even known it.

  10. I don’t think I even own a hairnet! I have my hair in a regular ponytail, sometimes a braid. I have lots of thick hair, so I’ve never been able to successfully scrunch it under a helmet, even an adjustable one (which is the only kind I own). For shows I normally do a bun below my helmet.

  11. Also a hairnet-every-ride girl… Unless I’m on Lucy western, in which case I’m in a ponytail and ballcap and yeah, not wearing a helmet, but that’s for another day. My hair has some layers to it and if it’s not tucked up into something, the wispies will inevitably find their way into my face and in my eyes and up my nose and in my mouth and usually in the middle of a line or four horses deep in traffic. Awesome.
    When we show western, it’s tightly pulled back, hairsprayed into a helmet-like shell and put into a tight low bun at the nape of your neck. Unless you’re a reiner/cowhorse person and then whatevs, ponytails for everyone.

  12. Yeah. No. Hairnets never. I don’t even think I used them for the last few shows. My hair is getting pretty long and it’s gotten pretty thick (Biotin, FTW!). I just put it in a ponytail at the nape of my neck, so it doesn’t press into the helmet. I did buy my helmet with the intention of being able to hide my hair, but it needs to break in a little more. Eventually, I’ll put it in a loose, loose bun on the top of my head and shove the helmet on. Painfully.

    I really haven’t given much concern to how it looks afterwards, which is saying something because I’m not even guaranteed to wash it that night (shhhh…). If the bangs aren’t manageable after being trapped next to my sweating forehead for an hour, I bobbypin them to the side and keep on trucking.

    • It’s taken me about 10 years to figure out how to not look like Hermione on a daily basis. For holding the curls without getting crunchy, I use Not Your Mother’s Kinky Moves (I swear, I swear, that’s the name of the product). For frizz, I use Garnier Sleek & Shine Anti-humidity Smoothing Milk.

      It’s a heck of a process, no doubt!

    • I also forgo shampoo until about every 3rd day when it’s curly haired season, and have noticed some difference too. I like the idea of a cleansing conditioner though- I’m going to look into that!

  13. If I come right from school, where I always wear a high ponytail, then I’ll throw it in a low ponytail but if I had time, French side braid of French Dutch braid. I can’t stand hairnets

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