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Women's Topics For questions which are specific to women, including travel-related challenges to do with menstruation, contraception, she-wees, pros and cons of riding pillion, women travelling solo, safety concerns, etc. This forum is open to all. Please post questions which are of interest to both genders in the relevant forum to get a quicker response.
Photo by Ellen Delis, Lagunas Ojos del Campo, Antofalla, Catamarca

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Ellen Delis,
Lagunas Ojos del Campo,
Antofalla, Catamarca



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  #1  
Old 2 Jan 2009
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Red face rtw hair-mares??

i am off on an rtw trip (riding pillion- i know, i know...) in april. we have been on long trips before and i have always had problems trying to work out what to do with my hair.

i realise this is a very girlie post, if the girliness offends please stop reading now. (also i would like to point out this isnt something that keeps me awake at night, i just wondered before i go away for a year this time if anyone can think of something better.).

so far i have always tied it into a scrappy ponytail and suffered very bad helmet hair whenever we have stopped. when we stop (which we like to do a lot) i then have to stand next to the bike embarrassed while i try to pin it up into a more normal state before i can go anywhere with 'real' people. i dont want to have the 'god you look dreadful' stares as well as the usual stares if i go into a normal town in India/ wherever. we ride slowly and take our time- stop a lot. what does every other girl do after she takes her helmet off? i had a friend who put hers in a plait. i've tried this. i look like an idiot. ive also tried short hair, but that looks even worse. and whilst camping and biking its nice to sometimes remind yourself that you are a girl and have real hair.

so, any ideas appreciated? would a scarf round my head help? is there some attempt at a style i can safely achieve with no fuss/ mirror etc?

thanks to you all,
Nicky x x
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  #2  
Old 2 Jan 2009
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just because, i cant recall ever knowing a girly biker who solved the helmet hair problem. personally 1/4" long hair means i dont suffer but thats no help to you.
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  #3  
Old 4 Jan 2009
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I like to use a bandana.
When I ride i got it round my neck and mouth (good off-road as I usually follow my husband and I get all his dust!) and when we stop, I pull over my hair, it helps a bit!

I'm with you on plaits, I tried and just look silly.
Cheers,
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  #4  
Old 4 Jan 2009
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I am a bit anal and try desperately to place my helmet on in a position that wont encourage my hair into some awful mess. I go with the theory that flat hair is better than hair that is reaching for the sky. I also second the bandana thing. Well, I used a rolled up neckerchief, or one of those choobs. I know what you mean about wanting to feel even just a little bit feminine on your travels but hair is a real bugger. I have to convince myself (and its probably the truth) that very few people on your travels will even notice let alone care if one side of your hair is pushed forward while the other side sticks up -it shows character anyway!
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Old 4 Jan 2009
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phew

there are other people out there who have thought about this! thanks for making me feel normal!!! thinking the bandana might be the way forward, or maybe a hairband. i shall report back if i find anything good. ((personally ive always wanted to shave my head and then put a wig on whenever i get off the bike, but i think my fiance might notice... ))
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Old 4 Jan 2009
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long hair woes...

I think I'm finally winning the battle on this one! I have hair halfway down my back and haven't found a good solution to the helmet-head issue until this year. I've grown it one length now (no fashionable shorter front anymore!), tie the whole lot in a low back-of-the-head ponytail, plait the rest and it seems to be working really well! I also don't suffer as much from wispy bits in my face, and the full-length style is more useful for creative hairstyles when I'm off the bike ;-)

The low hairband means nothing gets affected by my helmet - nothing to push into my scalp (new helmet is so snug I get a headache even with small bands!) or get dragged around by the helmet coming on and off (perfect way to develop a birds nest on your head!). The plait means the rest stays fairly tidy and doesn't get too destroyed by wind (but tucking it into my jacket also helps, especially on rainy days).

My previously favourite method was to part hair in the middle, and to make two very small french braids just using the front pieces of hair starting from the middle of my head. The braids run just behind my ears, then turn into plaits. I then plait the whole lot together to finish off. Do it well enough and you can leave the plaits in for a couple of days and you have the best afro afterwards!! Unfortunately my new helmet causes too much pressure on just the right points so I had to use this carefully. Old helmet was great though.

If you can manage it, french braid the whole lot from top to bottom Lara Croft style. I'm useless at large braids and my hair just won't stay in it. I've tried a bandanna but end up just pulling it down over my eyes or making a similar mess, but I've met women who swear by it. I'm tempted by the buff/choob covers though - they seem to stay where you want them?

Some might say long hair is impractical, but I work outside alot, have previously travel in hot countries, and have been biking for a while now. Not being fussy with hair styling, I find my long hair incredibly practical and have kept it this length (or longer) since 1995!

Cheers, Tam
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  #7  
Old 5 Jan 2009
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Hmm, I'm a mature male but used to have this problem 30+ years ago, back in the days when I wore my long straight hair down to my waist.

I used to part down the middle, put on my helmet, then just put my jacket on on top of my hair (avoided the problem of the wind tangling it). Once I removed the helmet I would simply brush it out.

Yes, I had the odd split end or two but nothing to worry about.

It's interesting to see how styles have changed - I guess there are very few long haired male bikers nowadays.

Garry from Oz.
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Old 16 Jan 2009
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Go Rasta!

Quote:
I guess there are very few long haired male bikers nowadays.
Well speaking as one of the few, I think I have the answer...

Dreadlocks!

I've had them for years and never suffer from helmet hair, wind tangle, need for a mirror or, indeed, a brush. Trust me ladies, your hair will always look the same!

Then again, from a style point of view, your hair will always look the same...

Benefits include: Low maintenance- Long washing intervals, no need for heavy & expensive 'products'; Multi purpose- I have successfully unblocked a carburettor with them and additional cranial cushioning in the event of an accident (not scientifically tested).

Other than the style aspect the only drawback is a faint aroma of wet dog if you get caught in the rain.

A small price to pay, don't you think..?
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Old 17 Jan 2009
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funny you should say that, used to have dreads, found them quite handy for the more normal travelling without the motor. only thing is they did tend to get a bit itchy in hot countries, and if i didnt redread the roots quite often they got matted too. i would have thought your head would be quite itchy under a helmet because they do keep the heat in a bit don't they?

also... i used to not care at all how i was perceived by anyone incl locals, but i found it could hinder making connections having dreads sometimes-have you ever found that? in india at any rate a lot of people i met made certain assumptions about dreads- prob because its only the holy saddhus who have them, and they only have them because they don't wash their hair (i think?). also, i do wonder if as a girl i may now be a bit old for dreadlocks. dreads on women with a wrinkle or two...?

otherwise, i completely agree with dreads for travelling. very handy, and good for fiddling with.
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Old 23 Jan 2009
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I don't suffer from in-helmet itchiness, mainly because the years have taken their toll and there ain't that much left under there..! In fact, my appearance has been likened to that of the alien from the "Predator" movies. Hmmm....

I do know what you mean about people making assumptions, I'm a magnet for every dope seller/copper who "Knows your type" etc around.

I had a similar experience to you in India, I don't think I was ever genuinely taken for a saddhu, but sometimes I think people didn't quite know what to make of me.
So yeah, they may have been a bit of a barrier to communication.

As for age, I don't think it matters, as long as you're comfortable with yourself, who cares what other people think?

But then again, I'm a man, so what do I know..!
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Old 4 Feb 2009
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Nico, I don't know if you've found anything yet but I spotted this the other day Speedycom*Performance*Ltd...

Could be worth looking into.

Garry from Oz.
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  #12  
Old 4 Feb 2009
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Try a buff: BUFF : The original multifunctional headwear
Wear it as a neck scarf while you're riding, then pull it up like a hairband when you get off the bike. There are a ton of different ways to 'wear' it (see videos on site and each buff comes with diagrams of a few styles); as your hair gets worse through the day, you can opt for a style that covers pretty much all your hair.
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  #13  
Old 13 May 2010
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I've done all of my touring with a 1/4" all over, which is sooo easy, then about 15 months ago I decided not to bother cutting it again! So I've been through the gambit of fringe issues as it has grown out and now I'm at the "I can almost tie it all back" stage. So this years touring is going to be my first with long hair. The last time I had hair this long I wore a Nolan polycarbonate helmet with presstuds on the visor and I smelled of a combination of twostroke oil and patouli, ha ha.

So I'm glad this thread got resurrected so I can get some advice from those of you, guys and gals, who are riding for extended lenghts of time and need to manage your locks. Obviously I'm a "ruffty-tuffty" biker dude so I'm not too bothered if it looks a bit of a mess but I'd like to be able to visit the odd restaurant without getting thrown out and maybe not have to spend the first hour when I set up camp getting the knots out of my ponytail!

I haven't been mistaken for a girl yet but it's just a matter of time before I dissapoint somebody, ha ha.

What advice do you have for me as I set off for a month on the road in Scandinavia this summer. Is it unreasonable to expect hords of Swedish beauties to be beating a path to my tent door as finally they think they've found the Viking they've been looking for.
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Old 6 Jul 2010
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Smile hair...!

I always plait my hair into one thick braid, as long as possible to leave as little as possible at the bottom flapping in the wind and getting split. I also wear a sort of a head sock that my husband fashioned out of an old pair of tights! Take a pair of opaque tights, cut the legs off and sew up the leg holes (or don't even bother - still works). Braid hair, don head sock and voila! it keeps hair in place while you put your helmet on and can of course also be washed, keeping hair and helmet cleaner since they never come into contact with each other. Braid can also be tucked into the headsock (but still be outside the helmet) just inside the elastic, to keep it from flapping around at all.
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  #15  
Old 6 Jul 2010
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ponytail

I put my hair up in a tight low ponytail and then wrap it with a ponytail cover. This one works best ponytail cover
I wear a full faced helmet and this seems to be the most comfortable way to wear my hair.
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