cycling · fashion

Athletic hair, helmet head, and summer time curls

Do you remember Beautiful Crissy the doll? (Warning: Answering this may date you.)

“Everyone knows that beautiful hair makes a girl look beautiful.”

1969. I was five years old.

It struck me as a terrific idea, still does. Long hair that you pull out when it’s useful, store away when it’s not.

Today this, 26 Badass Short Haircuts To Inspire Your Summer Look, came across my Facebook newsfeed and I was tempted to go shorter for the summer. But the thing is, I like my curls, and I only really get to appreciate them during the summer.

Here’s the winter problem: I’m at the gym, I workout and shower, and then there’s a polar vortex going on outside, and if I leave with wet hair, it freezes. I hate icicle head. So I blow dry it and then it’s straight. I don’t have the patience for marathon hair drying sessions so in the winter I keep my hair straight and short.

In the summer I have the luxury of letting it dry naturally curly, though I haven’t done the full on “curly girl” thing. So I tend to let it grow long and shaggy in the summer months, which kind of fits my not teaching, few meetings, some camping, lots of time on the bike summer program. Yes, I get lots of writing done but I can do that wearing summer dresses at work (see Riding bikes in skirts and dresses, totally fine if that’s your thing, here’s how) or shorts and tank tops at home. Not much of a dress code.

I tend not to stress over helmet hair. I’m not one of those people who is too cool to wear a helmet. But if you do worry about helmet hair there’s a great series of articles on the Total Women’s Cycling page about helmet appropriate hair styles. See

There’s also lots of very funky bike helmets out there. These from from the giggle guide are pretty cool.


But I’m still looking at the short hair pictures (though I know there atre advantages to pony tails they’re not my thing) and wondering how short I could go and still have curls….

Oh and I have complicated views about helmets. I’m opposed to laws requiring them for adults and in London I generally wear one. I don’t need a law to force me. But I rent bixi bikes happily in Montreal and go helmet free, ditto Amsterdam etc. I’ll blog about this issue sometime.


What’s your solution for combining an active lifestyle and summer time hair?