Whether you are a male or female rider, your hair inevitably takes a beating throughout the summer. We are outside as much as possible for long, hot, sunny days, and while this is a great time for training and competing, it can wreak havoc on your locks. We won’t even get into the kind of abuse your skin takes; that’s a whole other can of worms!
Overexposure to the sun causes dryness and bleaching, sweat can dull your color, and it’s ponytail/man bun season as we try to keep the hair off our sweaty necks. Hair ties can cause breakage, and wearing a tight ponytail in the same place too much can actually cause hairline damage.
While helmet hair is no excuse or valid reason to not wear a helmet when you ride, the thought that your hair will never be the same may definitely cross your mind when you peel a sweaty helmet and hairnet off your scalp.
Here are a few tried-and-true tips from and for riders to help your mane recover from a summer of horses.
Don’t overwash. In the summer, you sweat constantly, making daily washing a necessity. But come fall, try to back off of the washing, and see if you can go every other day. A good dry shampoo that is scented (to kill the helmet odor) can be a life changer.
Invest in a good conditioner. Shampoo is only in your hair for a few seconds before it is rinsed out, but conditioner is supposed to sit in your hair for a couple of minutes before rinsing. A proper conditioner suited to your hair type can help prevent split ends or the dry, itchy scalp that comes with cooler weather.
Coconut Oil. Yes, it’s kind of messy and maybe you think this is sort of a hippie tip. But it works, and it’s cheap. There are tons of tutorials on how to use coconut oil in your hair (and on your skin) online, so we’ll leave it to the experts.
Braids and Bobby Pins. The pony tail is the fastest and easiest way to toss up your post-ride messy hair, no doubt. But the repeated use of a hair tie in the same place, and the constant pulling back of your hair to the back of your head, is no good. It causes breakage and weakening of the hair strand. Try doing a braid so that you’re tying your hair at the ends, or even better, wrap your hair into a bun and secure with bobby pins instead of a hair tie. Because we all know the horror of pulling your pony tail out at the end of the day, only to find approximately 800 of your precious strands of hair attached to your hair tie and no longer your head *shudder*.