Gretchen Bleiler

Gretchen Bleiler

You’re soaring down the ski slopes with your curls flowing out from under your hat, flying back in the wind. As you slide across the finish line, you realize you just may have beat the Olympic record! The crowd holds its breath. You whip off your hat and wait for the announcement… the cameras…the excitement. Good thing your personal stylist is on hand to is on hand to get rid of that flat, hat-crunched look!

Okay, that might not be happening to you soon, but Olympic contenders don’t have personal stylists at the finish line either; it’s just a little fantasy. With the Vancouver Winter Olympics beginning tonight, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of what hard-core contenders really do about “hat head.” In the meantime, we’ve got a few ideas you can use against curls’ nemesis.

Whether you’re going from the car to a conference room or want to revive your tresses before settling down at the lodge, those hats, headbands and even ear muffs leave trace evidence behind. What you can do about it depends on your hair length and how much curl you have.

Says Rocky Plateroti, owner of Artista Hair Colorgroup in Scarsdale, NY, “If you have loose waves like Olympic contender Gretchen Bleiler, it’s easy to bring them back. Cocktail a drop of linseed or silicone oil with a drop of leave-in conditioner, then mix them well between your palms. Bend at the waist and run your hands through your hair. Outdoor air lacks moisture, and doing this adds back the moisture, condition and gloss.”

Guys (or women with short hair and moderate curl or wave), can do the same by starting off with smoother hair to begin with. Before you add the hat, advises Plateroti, cocktail a product like Kaaral Cristal Care (a silicone and linseed mixture), with leave-in conditioner and a lightweight gel. Comb and smooth it through, then add the hat, which now helps set-in a smoother wave. To loosen it up post-hat, mist-on a spray gloss or anti-frizz like Kaaral Anti-Frizz Shine and run your fingers from front to back, lifting the roots ever so slightly. This works great for a smoother look when wearing a headband-style ear warmer.

What are other ways you can bring your X Game to the battle against helmet head?

Get Game-Ready

White Sands Volumizing Shampoo & Conditioner

Olympians work out daily to build strength. To ready yourself for your own winter games, create the perfect styling foundation. “Dry scalp can augment the problem of hat hair,” explains White Sands founder Fernando Salas. “It’s vital to maintain a healthy, daily conditioning routine that combats the effects of winter’s drying cold.” To create fuller, body-infused locks with bounce-back, he advises using White Sands Volumizing Shampoo & Conditioner. The shampoo’s ingredient blend includes an anti-static element, while the conditioner soothes scalps and helps prevent chemical dandruff.

Grab This Gold-Medal Idea

Celebrity stylist Kimmi Hendrix, who has styled for the Access Hollywood team, Jennifer Hudson, Gayle King and Shaun Robinson, will soon (hot scoop!) open a namesake salon in Brooklyn, NY. She says moisture depletion is curls’ worst winter adversary. “Always use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner,” stresses Hendrix. “Don’t over-shampoo your hair! Also, during winter, let your hair air dry. Outdoor elements are already drying, so avoid adding blow drying to the mix.”

UnCrush Your Curl

Near Vancouver, at Good Hair Day salon in Whistler, British Columbia, Joan Novak (who skis, snowboards —and blogs about it—, knows that half-pipe snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler’s trademark “Crippler 540” involves 1½ aerial rotations and a back flip. When you pull off your toque (hat) for your close up, she says, make a simpler move by misting on Bumble & bumble Reactivating Mist into the areas that need to be reset. “You can also pick up the pieces that have been sprayed, work the mist through to the ends and give your hair a twist to encourage your curl to dry in a perfectly formed bundle with no frizz,” she says. “ to Apres, looking fabulous.”

Throw Down a Hat Trick

Going from the lodge to the slopes and back to a cozy fire requires planning. Completely dry your hair before you slip on your hat—if hair’s still damp, it’ll take on a hat line as it dries. For longer locks, these styling tricks are winners. Section your hair off into 2 or 3 ponytails, then loosely twist them around and secure with a soft hair band. “Before twisting ponys, mist on a dry shampoo to help the hair easily restyle,” suggests Philip Pelusi, owner of namesake salons in Pittsburgh and creator of Tela Beauty Organics. “Once you remove your hat or helmet, untwist each pony and shake it loose. Or, wrap the front of your hair up into a twist and leave the back down. Once you go hats-off, simply release the front. This helps preserve the front that cameras see most—by pulling it upward, you maintain some volume at the root. If needed, apply a bit more dry shampoo to refresh and revive curl.” (Try Tela Beauty Organics by Philip Pelusi Dry Shampoo: You can also use it to piece and separate individual curls, giving them soft and resin-free control.)

Banish the Band

Headbands and earmuffs leave lines behind. If you have wave or curl, mist dry shampoo onto dry hair and tousle through with your fingers tips. Focusing on the indents, lightly scrunch to help move the product thru the hair. Or, says Richard Zuccero of IT&LY Hairfashion, warm your hands with a small amount of IT&LY Hairfashion Purity Design Pure Water Drops and smooth those lines. The combo of warmth from your hands and the high level of hydration from the drops helps remove telltale lines.