Long Hair, Don’t Care! Find Out How To Rock a Ski Helmet With Your Locks

by Alaina Johnson | Published: December 22nd, 2022 |  Skiing Articles

Helmets are one of the most protective pieces of gear that you can wear while skiing. If you have long hair, this can often cause a conundrum when deciding what to do with your hair underneath the helmet.

When wearing a ski helmet with long hair, some skiers opt to tie their hair back to keep it out of their face. Others choose to leave it down, which can cause a bit of a distraction when going downhill. You can braid it or wrap it in a balaclava.

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How to Style Long Hair When Wearing a Ski Helmet

woman skier
Photo by Eric Ward under CC BY-SA 2.0

Key Takeaway: Oftentimes, skiers with long hair choose to braid their hair as this is one of the most protective hairstyles.

When planning a ski trip, you'll want to save a few ideas for how to do your hair.

Long hair that's left loose can become knotted and disheveled a couple of hours in. It also is at risk of getting in your field of vision and flapping around in the wind, causing a distraction as you're trying to get down the hill.

There are a few key tips to consider when deciding what to do with your long hair and it comes down to personal preference. Some prefer to braid their hair or keep it in a low ponytail. This prevents the style from interfering with the fit of the helmet.

skier snow winter

Other options include a low bun, two dutch braids, or even tucking your hair into a balaclava to contain it. You want to keep the hair near the base of the neck, as opposed to the crown of your head where the helmet needs to sit against your head to protect your skull.

The most important thing to keep in mind when styling your hair for a long day of skiing is your helmet and how snugly it fits.

Important: If your hairstyle is preventing your helmet from sitting on top of your head correctly, consider another style before heading out.

Ways To Wear Hair While Skiing

BraidsBraiding the hair can keep it out of the face and prevent tangles. It also allows the helmet to fit properly on the head.
Low ponytailA low ponytail can contain the hair and keep it from getting in the way while skiing.
Low bunA low bun can also contain the hair and keep it out of the face.
Two dutch braidsDutch braids can keep the hair in place and prevent tangles.
Tucking the hair into a balaclavaTucking the hair into a balaclava can contain it and protect it from the elements.
Leave it downLeaving the hair down can be distracting while skiing downhill and can lead to tangles.

It is important to keep the helmet fit in mind when styling long hair for skiing. Hairstyles that are too high on the head may prevent the helmet from sitting properly and compromise its protective function.

In my experience, using dry shampoo and tying the hair back in a comfortable yet firm hairstyle to prevent tangles and helmet hair.

Protecting Your Long Hair While Skiing

holding skis

While helmets are arguably one of the most important pieces of gear in your bag, they can also cause the dreaded "helmet hair." Nobody enjoys this look and it's near inevitable if you wear your hair in an unprotected hairstyle all day long.

Skiing for hours on end accumulates sweat on your scalp, which can cause greasy and flat hair. This affects men, women, children, and anybody with a head of thick hair.

A quick and efficient way to combat this is to add a touch of dry shampoo to your hair before skiing and tying your hair back in a comfortable, yet firm hairstyle. This allows you to take it out later on after your helmet is removed and enjoy your wavy and untangled hair.

An important reminder for those who haven't skied before and who may be unfamiliar with what freezing temperatures can do to damp hair — snap it.

Advice: You don't want to wash your long hair before you head out to ski, as the hair can freeze solid and snap off.

Before putting your helmet on, make sure your hair is fully dry and safely tied back. This prevents any mishaps on the mountain and keeps your lengthy locks from becoming a source of debacle while you're showing off your moves.

Dangers of Wearing Long Hair Down While Skiing

Cross country skiing
Photo by Mitch Barrie under CC BY-SA 2.0

If you opt to leave your hair down underneath your helmet, you may be getting not a situation where you are blinded by the hair while skiing downhill. If the weather is windy, your hair can fly in front of your goggles and cause you to lose sight momentarily.

At the end of a long day on the mountain, you will likely find your hair to be a matted mess if you opt to leave it down. The high speeds of downhill skiing can cause your hair to get tangled and you may need to devote an hour to two to detangle it.

Nobody likes dealing with a nasty case of helmet hair. Packing a bottle of dry shampoo can be the perfect solution to the flattened hairstyle that is common back at the ski lodge.

You don't want to make a half-blind run down the slopes, hoping that you don't run into anything or anybody. This can be a reckless way to ski and puts those around you in danger, as well as potentially causing an avoidable injury.

If you're not confident in your braiding abilities, a low ponytail or a loose bun will do. Some people choose to wrap their hair back in a balaclava or neck gaiter, which can be an effective means to keep your long locks out of your field of vision.

Bonus Tips for Wearing a Helmet Over Long Hair


Some skiers opt to use a headband over the crown of their head while skiing. This keeps the hair out of their face while protecting it from rubbing directly against the inside of the helmet. This can prevent any breakage from the constant friction.

Before and after skiing, you'll want to moisturize your hair. The cold and dry weather can be damaging to long locks, especially if you generally live in a warmer climate. Leave-in conditioner can be your best friend while at the ski resort.

Those who aren't at all confident in their ability to braid their hair may want to ask a friend if they would mind throwing in a couple of braids. This hairstyle can be worn for a day or two before needing to be redone.

Do You Have Long Hair?

ski energy

If you have long hair and you're concerned about what to do with it when skiing, don't be! There are thousands of skiers every year who are managing their long hair underneath a helmet and it's tradition to experience helmet hair at some point.

To avoid an unsightly head of hair after a day on the slopes, you can try braiding your hair back. This is the most protective hairstyle and it keeps your locks from becoming tangled and from interfering with your goggles.

Hair & Helmet Questions Answered

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Q: What are the main options for styling long hair when wearing a ski helmet?

A: Braids, a low ponytail, a low bun, two dutch braids, tucking the hair into a balaclava, or leaving it down.

Q: How can long hair be protected while skiing?

A: By using dry shampoo and tying the hair back in a comfortable, yet firm hairstyle.

Q: What should be kept in mind when styling long hair for skiing?

A: The fit of the helmet on the head should be considered to ensure proper protection.

Q: Is it safe to wear long hair down while skiing?

A: It can be distracting and lead to tangles. It may also get in front of goggles and obstruct vision.

Q: What are the problems with "helmet hair"?

A: Helmet hair can be flat and greasy due to sweat on the scalp. It can also lead to tangles and the risk of freezing and snapping off if the hair is wet.

Q: Is the decision of how to wear a ski helmet with long hair a matter of personal preference?

A: Yes, skiers can choose the hairstyle that works best for them and it will take a bit of trial and error to get the right fit that works for you and your hair.