If the world were perfect, you’d be able to accessorize a fabulous outfit with a cute hat and, later, take it off to reveal completely unaffected hair. But alas, that’s not the way things work—the term “hat hair” exists for a reason. Whether you hold a deep love for baseball caps, only breakout the occasionally floppy fall look, or reserve hats for shielding your ears from cold weather, you’re likely to experience flat hair with flyaways each time you take off your hat. It’s an unfortunate fact of life, but there are ways to prevent and fix hat hair. Below, you’ll find our guide on how to prevent hat hair and tame any ensuing flyaways. Read on so you can happily and fearlessly don your favorite hat this fall.
Why Do You Get Hat Hair?
First things first, let’s talk about why hat hair happens. It’s a pretty predictable scenario when you think about it: You have a hat pressing down on your head, and it shapes your hair, causing it to flatten. This is similar to the way hair is often crimped when you take out a hair tie.
Flyaway hair can also be the outcome of wearing a hat. It occurs when the hat rubs against your hair, lifting the strands. If the hat is staticky (this is particularly common with winter hats), that can also create flyaways.
Is Hat Hair Bad?
While hat hair isn’t exactly desired, it’s not awful either. The effect you see isn’t permanent. You can either take steps to revive your hair after taking off the hat (more on this later), or you can expect your mane to go back to normal after your next wash day.
How Do You Prevent Hat Hair?
With the right tips, you can work to stop flat hair (hat-induced, of course) before it happens.
1. Use a Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner
Hat hair tends to also be flat hair. To help curb that effect, pump up the volume before you wear a hat. If your hair doesn’t have much volume to begin with, it’s going to flatten faster and look more limp than if you start with voluminous locks.
To start things off right, cleanse and condition your hair using Rice and Wheat Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioning Rinse. Formulated with honey and hydrolyzed rice and wheat proteins, this duo helps add body for fuller, thicker-looking hair. They coat your strands with a special volumizing complex to impart a healthy appearance while also ridding your hair of weighty residue and helping to detangle.
After you wash your hair, you can boost volume at your roots even further with the help of your blow-dryer. Learn how in our article How To Blow-Dry Your Hair For Gorgeous Strands.
2. Choose The Right Hairstyle
Certain hairstyles can be topped off with a hat and look virtually the same when said hat is removed. Others, not so much. If you’re planning to take a hat on and off, consider choosing one of the below. Styles that are well-secured and can be easily smoothed are great options, whereas something like a loose bun or curls is likely to be crushed. Here are three hat-adorned hairstyles we recommend:
Low side braid: A braid that starts at the top of your head is likely to be mussed by a hat. But a low braid side-steps that issue. Gather all of your hair to one side and plait it in a fishtail braid that cascades over your shoulder. Top with a floppy hat for a boho look or a ball cap to rock a casual-cool aesthetic.
Super straight strands: Channel your inner Y2K with strands that are perfectly straight, courtesy of your flat iron. This look doesn’t rely on volume, which makes it easy to take your hat off as you please without disrupting your style.
Messy waves: This style veers away from the rules we shared above (wearing secure, smoothable hairstyles), but it’s worth mentioning. If your look is already on the messy side, a hat may actually enhance it even more. That flyaway hair will look intentional. Plus, it’ll look so good peeking out from under your hat that you may not want to take it off at all.
3. Spritz With a Static Spray
The friction caused by pulling hats on and off can cause staticky disasters. Nip that in the bud with a static-shielding spray. You can use the product on both your strands and your hat for double the protection. To apply a static spray to your hair, spritz it onto a round brush, then gently smooth the coated bristles over your hair.
4. Never Skip Hairspray
If you don’t already use hairspray to complete every hairstyle, this is your cue to start. A light misting can help prevent hat hair. Use a strong-hold spray and make sure it’s dry before popping on your cap.
How To Fix (or Disguise) Hat Hair
Prevention is great, but all hope isn’t lost if hat hair has already happened. Follow these tips to turn things around for your tresses.
1. Apply a Kiehl’s Hair-Smoothing Treatment
There’s an easy answer as to how to tame flyaways: use a smoothing treatment or serum. If your hair is a mess after removing your hat, a few drops can smooth it into submission. Try Smoothing Oil-Infused Leave-In Treatment, which helps tame frizz and add shine. Formulated with fairly-traded argan oil, the treatment can be used on dry hair to simultaneously nurture, smooth, and style. It can also be applied to damp hair and used as a styling aid.
2. Flip and Fluff Your Hair
For flat hair, we know an easy fix. Flip your head over, and use your fingers to lift at the roots. When you flip it back, you should have a nice, instant volume boost. If you have a volume spray handy, even better. Spritz it under sections of your hair at the roots, then do the flip and fluff.
3. Try a Quick Hairstyle Change
Sometimes, hat hair calls for a transformation. Instead of trying to make the hairstyle you were sporting pre-hat work for you once more, switch things up. You can toss your hair into a fast ponytail, use a bit of gel and slick your strands back into a top knot, or weave your hair into a French braid (or two).
4. Start Fresh In The Shower
Hat hair isn’t forever. As we mentioned, a good shampoo session will revive your locks. If your hat comes off at the end of the day, you can jump straight to this solution. Or, if your day isn’t nearly over, you can use one of the immediate fixes above and wash your hair when you’re able.
When it is time to wash, for an extra treat, you can also use Amino Acid Scalp Restoring Treatment Mask. The mask made with an amino acid complex and coconut triglycerides creates an optimal environment for stronger, fuller hair. After cleansing, apply it and wait three to five minutes before rinsing.