I don’t know about you but, hands down, one of my absolute favorite things about the fall season is all of the cool accessories that I’m able to wear, especially my hats. Brims. Golf caps. Wool beanies. Believe me, I’ve got quite the collection.
But I must admit that, in times past, sometimes I didn’t make the direct correlation between my autumn-themed hat wear and my dry hair and split ends. That’s because it wasn’t until I decided to get really serious about length-retention, that I noticed something. Without “prepping my hair” for all of the different things that I was putting on top of it, although I would look cute, my locks would also end up getting pretty damaged in the process. Geeze. No wonder I’d need a major trim come spring.
If you adore hats during this time of year, just about as much as I do, here are some ways to keep your own tresses in great condition while you’re out here being all stylish and beautiful.
Line your hats with satin.
I’ve got some hats that, even I must say, couldn’t be more dope. A lot of them, I actually found either at a thrift store or an antique mall. The problem with several of them is they have no lining though. Not only does that mean that they aren’t the most sanitary hats on the planet, but they are the perfect storm when it comes to drying out my hair and putting unnecessary tension around the band part of them. If when you look inside of your own hats, you notice that there is no satin in them, don’t assume that means they need to remain tucked away in their boxes. Simply set aside a couple of hours one weekend so that you can line them. That way, your hair will remain cleaner, retain moisture and experience less friction whenever your hats are on. If you’d like some tips on how to line your hats like a pro, click here and2 for some step-by-step instructions.
Put your hair in a protective style underneath.
Let’s be honest. Something that is so awesome about hats is we can take the “Hmm, what’s that?” approach to bad hair days. When our locks don’t seem to want to act right—especially during high humid days that happen due to inclement weather—all we’ve got to do is put our hair in a protective style, throw on a hat and call it a day. That style can be braids, twists or even a wig if you want to be “doubly protected”. Whatever it is, the outcome will result in less manipulation of your hair and, less hair that will feel the tension that can sometimes come with wearing a hat.
Keep your ends sealed.
Whether your hats are satin-lined or not, you still run the chance of some part of the hat that isn’t lined running up against your hair. Between the roughness of materials like wool and then your hair also rubbing against your sweaters, blazers, and coats, these things could “rub the dryness” right on out of your hair’s ends should you put a hat on top of long hair or a blowout. One way to protect your ends from drying out is to seal them. For the best results first, do it on your wash days. Then “back that up” by applying a little sweet almond, grapeseed, jojoba or even shea butter on your ends at night and/or the days when you plan on putting a hat on. It’s a great way to “weather-proof” your ends all fall and winter long. (Check out a video on how to seal on wash days by clicking here.)
Keep your ends trimmed too.
One of the biggest problems I’ve had with my fall hats is trying to take them off without snagging my hair on the fabric they’re made out of. Snagging isn’t good because that’s something else that could cause breakage over time. You know what else? Snagging can also be a bit of a red flag that your ends either have fairy knots or that it’s time for a trim. So yeah, if it’s been three months or more since you’ve trimmed your hair, either schedule an appointment with a professional stylist, or at least dust your ends at home. Not only will your hair remain healthier that way, but it will also be easier to put your hats on, move them around and take them off once you’re ready as well.
Don’t always position your hats in the same way.
One of my favorite fall hats, last year, after wearing it for a week or so, I started to notice a little bit of breakage around the sides of my forehead. When I retraced my steps, I realized that it was 1) because my hat was wool (and not lined) and 2) I had been tilting my brim the exact same way. Between the pressure of the positioning and then scratching my scalp on top of the hat, the wear and tear on my hairline was starting to take its toll. This is just one more reason why lining your hats are so important. This is also a reminder to not always wear your hats the same way; especially if you’re planning to wear a few of them back-to-back.
Don’t wear them all of the time.
“Too much of a good thing” can apply to just about anything in life—including your amazing hat collection. So, no matter how much you may adore your cashmere cloche, your felt beret or your wool fedora, just make sure that it’s not an all day, every single day, part of your style routine. Just like positioning your hat the same way can put too much pressure on your hair over time, so you can constantly wearing your hair under them.
No doubt about it—hats are a great accessory, especially during the cooler months. But there are other accessories that you can—and should—try too. Ones that will be gentler on your hair so that come spring, you’ve got a little more length to show off. Enjoy your hats, yes, but don’t forget to throw some other things into the mix too. Your hair—and outfits—will thank you!