What isn’t there to love about a hat during the summer … or any other season, TBH? Not only are there a handful of weather-friendly styles to choose from (straw, beret, dad), but none of them require that your strands suffer underneath, too. The phrase hat hair is often associated with all of the things that take a hairstyle from fab to drab: flatness, frizz, and tangles to name a few.
But there are just as many ways to keep it cute and healthy underneath headgear, too. If you plan on upping your accessory game this season, we’ve got the fast, expert-approved styling tips for making it happen, sans all of the unnecessary trial and error.
The Best Hat & Hairstyle Match-Ups
Regardless of texture, Jonathan Colombini, L’Oréal Paris celebrity hairstylist and colorist, recommends pairing your hat with a ’do that not only works with the shape, but also reflects the style or origin of your accessory choice.
For instance, if you’re rocking a straw hat, braided pigtails “keep the farmer vibe on parallel” and also prevent your hair from expanding in the summer heat. When wearing a dad hat, “a low, messy bun is a great way to keep your hair off your neck and out of your face.”
Beanies and berets provide a can’t-miss opportunity to channel your grungier side or inner French girl. If you’re wearing the former, leave the hair down and out and experiment with a low chignon if you’re wearing the latter.
The Best Style & Hair Texture Match-Ups
On the other hand, if you’re not as concerned with the hat style but want a look that will work best with your texture, there’s a whole other set of options:
For textured or natural hair, Colombini warns that hats may create unwanted frizz. “Textured hair is best to let live in its natural state,” he says. If you’re not married to the idea of wearing a hat, he “would suggest finding a hair accessory that shows your personality, such as a ribbon or statement clip to ensure the hair stays off your face.”
Alternatively, there are a handful of companies that now provide hats with satin lining—such as Grace Eleyae—so you can avoid disrupting your coils and kinks, while rocking an accessory.
As for softer curls, he also recommends letting them be wild and free. “A hat or beanie may throw the balance off and cause a bell-shape look, which isn’t cute,” he says. “If you want to pull hair off or away from your face, try doing easy, simple, and loose twists. Then, secure the hair with a bobby pin or some kind of anchor that won’t be seen and upstage your beautiful curls.”
Straight hair is the least susceptible to damage under a hat, but you should still be cognizant of maintaining a weekly wash-and-condition sesh, as well as lightweight serum—such as the Ever Sleek Frizz Finish Oil—to smooth the strands and provide a light hold underneath.
If you want a more exact pairing, here’s a breakdown of the best type of products for your hair type—whether you’re wearing a hat or not. For finer hair, a volumizing spray and lightweight styler provide hold without weighing the hair down. Wavy hair types should stick to moisture-rich stylers that add definition and a slight hold, while those with textured strands should opt for a curl cream—lightweight or otherwise—that creates separation, while also hydrating the hair.
And if you’re not sure what type of hat to experiment with, here’s some street-style inspo to get you started.