Curly Hair Dude and Using a Helmet – Ask Rogelio

On of our readers asks about using a helmet with his curly hair. Fitting the helmet on the head can squash your curls, so here’s the answer to such a common issue!

How to use a helmet with your curly hair as a rider

Hi Rogelio,

I have medium blonde curly type II and III hair. I’ve got your book and have seen a big improvement so far in my hair. One area where I struggle though is with wearing a helmet. I ride a motorcycle regularly, and every time I take my helmet off it unveils a dead rat. Do you have any tips or tricks to keep my mane awesome when using a helmet?

Much appreciated,


A picture of a motorbike helmet used by a guy with curly hair

Hi Craig,

First of all, thanks for buying my book!

With regards to using a helmet with your curly hair, a good trick to prevent your curls from turning into a dead rat from being squeezed by the helmet is to do this:

  1. Add extra leave-in conditioner to your curls while damp. You can use a watered regular conditioner instead if you currently don’t use a leave-in conditioner in your routine.
  2. While your curls are still damp with the leave-in conditioner or regular conditioner, use a bandana and tie it across your head, in effect providing a cushioning for the curls.

I have used this trick in the past when riding motorbikes and using helmets and it does the job pretty well. Ultimately the curls will still get a bit squeezed from the pressure of the helmet, but this trick will make your curls hold up better and it doesn’t jeopardize your safety as a rider.

As an extra tip related to the use of helmets with curly hair, make sure to use a soft headband (see the link for your options) that pulls your curls back if your hair is any longer than a medium length. This is so that the curls on your forelock (i.e. front of the head) do not get pulled down over your eyes when you fit in the helmet. Likewise, this will help to avoid the curls moving inside the helmet and blocking your vision if the helmet isn’t fitted tight enough. Even if you don’t have curly hair but still have medium-length hair, it’s still a good idea to get a headband to pull your hair back.

Happy riding and let me know how that goes for you!



P.S. This is a question from one of our readers which was sent to me sometime ago. If you’re interested in having your hair-related questions answered and featured at Manly Curls, then feel free to send your question through the Contact Form. You can also post your question in the comments section of the site’s article that is relevant to your inquiry.

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Rogelio is the go-to guy when it comes to men's hair. Having embraced his natural curly hair for over a decade while living in 5 countries, Rogelio has learnt a thing or two along the way. Rogelio is the author of the two bestselling men's books "The Curly Hair Book" and "The Men's Hair Book", and his motto when it comes to hair is, "Gentlemen, having a good head of hair should not cost us our testosterone".

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3 comments for “Curly Hair Dude and Using a Helmet – Ask Rogelio

  1. Viswa
    November 7, 2017 at 3:12 am

    Hi ,

    What is the best hairband type for curly hair that curls to the inside and takes time to grow long.

  2. Minh Phan
    June 7, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    This is a question that I want to ask Rogelio for a long time ago. I’m a medium type II Asian that my work required me to travel by motor and wear a helmet for at least 4 hours a day. I usually have a dead rat (that looks like an ugly fro) if I put a helmet on when my hair is dry. As my hair grows longer now (6 inches) I usually let my hair damp before I put it on (with water or after a warm shower) and when I take off my helmet, my curls are gone and I have the best straightened hair in my entire life. I guess I will use a bandana like Rogelio suggested.

    One more question for my Maestro Rogelio, since you have inspired me so much with your books: does damping your hair many times a day with cool water will have bad effect to your hair (and curls)?

    Thank you so much for answering my question.

    • Rogelio
      June 9, 2015 at 10:07 am

      Hi Minh Phan,

      Thanks for the words, my man! I too use a helmet a lot for long rides (I usually spend whole days riding to discover new places) and, like you, my curls lose some of my curliness. However, I have very long hair, so it’s only the hair that has been inside the helmet that loses the curliness. Don’t worry about it as the effect is only temporary until you wet your hair again. As a matter of fact (and to answer your second question), water/dampness returns the curliness to temporarily-straightened hair that has been straightened through this method (i.e. hair inside the helmet).

      Dampness (and water) is the best thing for curly hair as it restores the curly shape of your locks, but make sure that you’re trapping that moisture with some kind of conditioner, either a normal/regular conditioner or a leave-in conditioner. What you can do is carry around with you a small spray bottle with a blend of a leave-in conditioner and water. Every time that you remove the helmet, you can quickly spray your hair with that blend until the hair is damp, shake your head and you should restore back your curliness. I’ve done crazier stuff than that, so don’t worry about this being a bit extreme; every time I’ve done it no one gave a damn as I stood there spraying my hair. Obviously, don’t spend half the day spraying your hair; a couple of good sprays will do just fine as your hair is still not very long.

      Ride fast and safe, my friend, and watch out for those damn oil spills on the road!


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