Keeping My Western Hat from Falling Off

I got a new show hat for Christmas and it fits well but not as tight as my old hat. Any tips to help me keep my western hat from falling off? I mainly have issues in reining or working cow when we are going faster. Right now I use lots of hair spray but any other suggestions are appreciated.

A folded paper towel inside the hatband


The hatband meant there is that leather band inside the hat that fits against your temples.

I told just that, put a folded papwer towel inside the hatband, if still too lose, fold it again, to a 4H kid.
Next I looked over, he was trying to stick the paper towel under the outside band/ribbon around the crown.

When I told him the inside band, he said, I wonder how that was going to work …

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Double sided tape on the sweat band can working your not sweating horribly or have oily skin.
I used to use bobby pins pushed through the stitching of the sweat band works the best.

The best thing that ever happened to me was a custom hat. Spendy but I don’t need to any of the above. :wink:

You can get foam inserts that stick to the inside of your hat.


Thanks for the suggestions. I have some foam but I was just checking to see if there was anything else. Two sided tape sounds like something I need to try.

Bobby pins are definitely best… just remember to remove before you go to tear your hat off. :slight_smile:


Lol! Yes! But I promise, you’ll only do it once.

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I used a combination of icky sticky hairspray and bobby pins. Some helmet companies offer what is basically weather stripping foam to adjust the fit when you are between sizes. It’s nice and fairly thin, and adhesive on one side so it can be permanently attached inside the hatband.

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When I did wear a western hat I just used a stampede string to keep my hat on worked great and pretty simple too.

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Liked the bobby pins best. Get the big, longer ones, insert the flat side between the stitches and under the band right next to the felt. Watch the spray or goop, make the headband sticky, attracts dirt and sweat, will leave a smudge on your forehead…it can get stinky plus still can fly off. Pins work better, keep hat band cleaner and non stinky.

I used two, one on each side about the temple. Never had the hat fly off. No smudges, no sweaty shoe odor.


I have two custom-made hats from my rodeo queen days and I was told that HAIR SPRAY will ruin a good hat over time because it is damaging to the natural animal fur. My hat sponsors would have killed me if they ever saw me using hair spray on their hats, LOL.

If the hat doesn’t fit as well, obviously, there’s that to deal with. As others have suggested, get the hat to fit as good as you can using foam, tissues, etc to fill in behind the hat band where you need to.

Double-sided tape will get the job done, but I’m kinda picky and don’t want tape residue on my nice hats. Therefore, I go the bobby pin route when I need my hat to stay on. I find that one in front of the ear and one behind the ear, on both sides, give the best hold and is usually plenty. (And the more they hurt, the better your hat stays on. :smiley: A little bit of scalp gives good hold!! haha )

On extremely windy outdoor rodeo days, I’d have as many as 10+ bobby pins in my hat, to get it to stay on. But I never once lost my hat.


I have never been able to envision how you bobby pin a hat onto your head…the hat band isn’t really permeable with a pin so how exactly does this technique work?

I’ve always just used really sticky hair spray on the inner band, spray it, let sit for 30 seconds before you put the hat on so it’s nice and tacky when you put it on your head. Your forhead will look disgusting when you take it off but who cares.

^ Then again, my hats were never expensive so I never had the worry about the hairspray ruining the material.


Think of it this way. When you buy bobby pins, they come “packaged” on a thin piece of cardboard. Imagine your hat band being the cardboard. You slip the bobby pin onto the hat band itself, in-between the stitching.

The bobby pin will also effectively grab some of your hair and “hold” the hat to your hair.

I would always flatten the end of the bobby pins a bit – they are less painful that way if they are not flared.

I didn’t listen to the audio on this video, but if you fast forward to about 2:00 into the video, she has her bobby pins “pre-stuck” into the hat band. I don’t do this myself (I put my hat on first and then put the bobby pins in) but you could do it this way too. But it at least might give you a visual on how the bobby pins work.

If you are guy with super short shaved hair … then the bobby pins may not do you any good! They have to have some hair to hold onto.

A smaller size.

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Smaller size was too small.

I took a picture on my work hat. Stick one side of the pin in between the stitches of the sweat band.



I see! Thank you for that! Makes sense now!

OP, Please don’t wear a stampede string in the reining, or they will think you are a total dweeb.

hairspray directly on my forehead right before I shove the hat into place, and then bobby pins poked up thru the leather hat band, jagged side of pin against scalp. I usually use two per side, one above temples and one somewhere behind the ear.


On my nice straw hat, I put a thin strip of duct tape on the inside…when you fold the hat band back into position, it gives just enough of a layer to snug it up.