Hair out of helmet in Hunter Ring

I know some people are going to go on about tradition. However for some people like myself with unruly wavy/curly hair putting it up and maintaining helmet safety is not an option (have had a few concussions over the years and would prefer to avoid getting more). I normally show in the hunters so have been cramming my hair up in my helmet for years.

Do you do a braid? A bun(mine would be large but could work)?

Now that we are pushing more and more on safety I wanted to see what other people are doing in this situation!

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I used to show AQHA, and (at least in my area) people didn’t really use hairnets/stuff their hair into their helmets. So I always just put it into a nice, tight and low bun. Occasionally with a hairnet over the bun to keep any stray hairs tidied up. It can be a little tricky depending on how far down your helmet comes, but as long as it’s neat, with minimal flyaways, I don’t think it matters much how you get it into a bun (braiding, twisting, gently “squishing” like a ballerina bun, etc).

The last show I was at I somehow managed to cram all my hair into a hairnet and under my helmet, but honestly, it was so much harder to do (my hair is quite long), and I think I’m able to keep it neater and nicer looking in a bun anyways. Just bring a fine tooth comb to lock down any flyaways near your ears with lots of gel and hairspray.

edit to add: Depending on how long and unruly your hair is, you could probably braid it tightly and tuck it into your shirt collar before you go in the ring. It might not be the most comfortable thing, but then again, neither is stuffing it all in your helmet.

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There is a trend that might happen. Hair can be out of the helmet. Some safety surveys have said its safer for women to wear their hair out. Mary Babbitt, President of USHJA is in favor of it. Old trainers hate it and say its messy looking. I agree with them. In International competition, only women from the US do their hair up, the rest of the world put it down. Its like braiding or no braiding. Some horses need it like mine, others look okay as is. Again, old judges want braiding. Younger don’t care. Dressage they put their hair up since they have been wearing helmets. We’ll see where this goes. Remember, in the Hunters, its about tradition

I have done a french braid as neat as possible, and left the braid out… making sure it lays neatly is key. It would have been unsafe in the helmet and that was over a decade ago. Nobody batted an eye because it was certainly no messy.

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While my hair isn’t curly, it is extremely course and thick. It used to be extremely long (I could sit on it), and it could not possibly be contained in a helmet nor a bun with a helmet. I used to French braid it, and just put my jacket on over it. No one was the wiser. Don’t know if that would work for you, but I thought I’d offer you the idea.

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Don’t dressage riders put their hair in a low tight bun? Thinking of Charlotte Dujardin. I think it looks really clean/tidy

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Yep, many of them do. It’s admittedly a little easier if they’re wearing a top hat since there’s more space for the bun, but it can still be done with a helmet.

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I put my hair in a low, tight bun with a hairnet over it. There is a good tip for extra long hair where you twist it and then literally tie it in a knot at the nape of your neck, then secure the end with a rubber band. It makes a very nice “donut” bun and stays secure under a hairnet. I think it looks more like a dressage hair style, but if you keep it loose enough to hide your ears, it’s more of a hunter look.

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Exactly. Nobody noticed.

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Riding helmets are designed to fit safely with hair out. I once asked the Boss of Charles Owen about people stuffing hair into the helmet. He rolled his eyes and said “Only in America. And I wish they didn’t”.

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If you can do a bun without interfering with the helmet harness, that looks more conventional, and won’t interfere with anyone reading your back number. Otherwise, braid it neatly and ride well and have fun!

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I know someone who has a long braid and shoves it down the back of her coat. She puts a hairnet over the top, winds the bottom of the net around the braid at the neck and secures it with a bobby pin to hold everything down. Somehow, it works.

If you have a large bun, it will affect the way your helmet fits. The back of the helmet is designed to protect your neck. If a bun is in the way, or is causing your helmet to lift in the back, the safety is compromised.

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This!

It’s been years since I’ve owned a helmet that would have allowed a bun of any sort.

I’ll have to try the braid method! I’ve done the bun but never been 100% happy because of the reasons you mention. You couldn’t pay me to tuck my hair in; a concussion isn’t worth it.

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Truth. I’ve never been a fan of the weird 1850s hairnetted ear flaps seen in the US. Who invented that “tradition”? In the UK you do a bun, real or fake, net it, and go. Or a show bow.

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Good point on the ear flaps, I have always wondered about that. Are ears unsightly or something?

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:rofl: I do, mine stick out like wings. I love the ear patties, it’s the only way I can tame my ears! I part my hair, most of it gets strategically placed over my ears, below the helmet (which makes my pony tail quite short). Then it gets fanned and flipped up. Because of the ear patties there’s probably less hair under my helmet compared to putting it in a low ponytail and leaving it out.
When it was longer I would do the ear patties and a braid that was under my jacket.
I have the Tipperary Windsor wide brim, so it has the dial at the back to adjust the fit. The location and type of my hair elastic has far more effect on fit than the hair itself.

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I have always done a low bun, coming from dressage. I have long, wavy, but fairly thin hair. I use a bun donut thingy - I got a pack of various sizes from Amazon - and roll my ponytail through/around it, then put a hairnet over the top. A few long bobby pins secure it so it stays snug and doesn’t bounce around. I’ve worn this style with a variety of helmet brands and they’ve all worked well.

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Yes, dressage riders put their hair in a bun at the base of the neck, put the net over it, and then you can put an elastic over the net. For most people the bun just disappears between helmet and jacket collar.

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Hmm well, I event, and I typically wear a vest everyday whether jumping or not. I’ve had multiple previous injuries and am on a blood thinner, so I feel a lot safer wearing it, though I don’t fall off frequently. I’ve tried just putting my hair in a low ponytail, but the edges of my hair get snagged on my vest and get pulled out. Thus, I’ve been riding with my hair under my helmet for almost 20 years. I put it is a low ponytail and the rest of it goes underneath the helmet. The elastic is inside the harness but not under my helmet. I don’t know if that makes a difference. I just use an elastic that matches my hair so you can’t see it through the harness.