How to Avoid Hat Hair (And Look Amazing in the Process)

Aly Walansky
Getty Images

Getty Images

Winter hats can pull together a look—and are definitely an asset as the weather gets colder. But trying to cope with hat hair is another situation entirely. We don’t want to freeze our ears off, but we don’t want to have sad, flat hair all day either. With that in mind, we got experts to share how to avoid hat hair. From hair prep to the fit itself, these tips will help you look amazing (without freezing).

Nail down the prep
A dry scalp can aggravate hat hair, so it’s crucial to maintain a healthy, daily conditioning routine as temperatures cool. To create fuller hair with bounce, use a volumizing shampoo and conditioner, says celebrity hairstylist George Gonzalez of Chicago’s George the Salon.

Fatten your locks
If you decide to wear a more form-fitting hat like a beanie, a simple trick can keep your hair’s volume. Simply section your hair the opposite way of your go-to part, says Gonzalez. If you always go to the left, try a deep side part to the right. This way, when you flip your hair back and over after you take off your hat, it will have more volume. Also, invest in a salon quality root lifter. A little bit of teasing paired with this type of spray will keep any style intact—especially if you opt for a hat with a little more room at the top, like a fedora.

MORE: Hat Hair: 8 Celebrity-Inspired Hairstyles to Try

Christine Carbone, hairstylist and owner of A Prima Salon in Gig Harbor, WA, says the trick to a great look with a hat on is lots of volume at the ends of your hair. You can achieve that with a large barrel curling iron or by putting sections of your dry hair, prepped with medium-hold hairspray, in large Velcro rollers. Adding a halo-type hair extension also helps instantly add length, thickness, and volume, which can fight the effect of hat hair. “With a halo, your hair will have lots of gorgeous body throughout the ends of your hair that shows through underneath your hat!” says Carbone. If you want a more simple option, try braiding your hair before you put your hat on. It’s super-simple and an easy way to quickly get out the door.

Put your hat to work for you
Cotton or cashmere materials will help to avoid that dreaded static after-effect. If you tend to struggle with fly-aways, make sure to carry travel size hairspray and a mini brush. A clean new toothbrush can also do the trick and save space in your bag. Simply mist the brush with hairspray and lightly run it over your hair. Short on time? Mist the palms of your hands and glide over your hair for a quick fix, says Gonzalez.

You can also use your hat to help create heat-free waves and curls. Braid your hair, then place your beret or fedora on top with your hair tucked underneath. Once you unbraid your hair and shake out, you’ll be left with waves without the time and effort of a curling iron, Gonzalez says.

Choose the right hairdo
It’s best to avoid overly-voluminous hairdos, since hats will fight against them, says Dora Berrios, stylist at Pierre Michel Salon. But if you’re going for a sleek straight look, covering your hair when you’re outside will help keep moisture and humidity out, preserving your look.

Hats also work great on anyone with naturally curly hair as your hair already has the natural volume. A hat will help keep your curls from frizzing, but won’t flatten them down.