On my recent blog post, Pink Hard Hats Suck, I had a really excellent comment. The commenter, Stephanie, informed me that there exists such a thing as steel-toed Converse sneakers. This is not the sole reason why I think the comment was excellent, although I was pretty excited about it. The comment was excellent because she asked a GREAT question, “What do you do with your hair when you wear a hard hat?”
I have to admit two things. First, I spend most of my time in the office, so hard hats are a rarity for me. And second, I honestly have no idea! I have shoulder length-ish hair and wear ponytails a lot. Traditional ponytails and hard hats DO NOT MIX. (Trust me, save yourself from the humiliating experience of trying to cram a wobbling hardhat over the ponytail, as your male counterparts laugh their buttocks off at you.) And if you’re wearing a hard hat for any length of time, hair that is completely down can get itchy and just be in your way. Not to mention that if it’s warm, long hair can get pretty sweaty under there. Ick.
So I did a Google search. When in doubt, I Google. Don’t judge. Anywho, I found this really great article which not only has some good suggestions on how to wear your hair under a hard hat, but also some really important tips on what NOT to do. For example, don’t wear any type of metal barrette because it could conduct electricity more or less directly to your brain. Pretty solid reason not to do that. So, no barrettes, please.
I’m always open to brilliant suggestions from actual people too (not just Google), so if you’ve got genius ideas on how to deal with this hard hat/hair issue, I’d be thrilled to hear them, so please comment!
(By the way, if you want to get pissed off, search for keywords “hard hat” and “women” in istockphoto.com. I’m not sure why there were so many women in bikinis and hard hats. It seems that sunbathing wouldn’t require safety equipment, other than maybe sunscreen, but alas, istockphoto photographers would have us believe that a hardhat is the perfect accessory for your string bikini.)
By Niko Hammond
Wearing a hard hat is a required piece of safety equipment at construction sites and other places where the potential for damage to the head area is high from such hazards as falling objects, moving objects or live electrical wires.
Class A hard hats are designed with an internal suspension system to absorb the impact of falling objects or any sort of unexpected blow to the head area in order to protect the head and brain from permanent damage. Hard hats are considered mandatory safety equipment in areas where electrical wiring is being installed, because they can also protect the wearer from a potentially lethal electric shock should live wires fall on the person’s head area.
Wearing a hard hat for any length of time can certainly wreak havoc with a formal hair-do, but consider the consequences of having perfect hair, but a crushed skull or smashed brain tissue thanks to not wearing your hard hat.
Many construction workers solve the hair question problem by keeping their locks in a short style not easily mussed by long-term hard hat wear. Yet others swear that wearing a hard hat is more comfortable if your hair is covered by a cloth covering of some sort such as a cotton bandana or do-rag, so long as the material is natural and not slippery.
Make sure you are not wearing metal clips or any sort of metal barrettes in your hair when wearing a hard hat, as these items might interfere with the hat’s ability to protect you from electric shock. Remove all combs or hair accessories while wearing a hard hat, as these might interfere with having the hat fit securely atop your head.
If you must wear a hard hat on a regular basis, it’s important to keep your hair, short or long, very clean on a daily basis as oils and shampoo or conditioner residue can damage and weaken the suspension system and headband of the hat. Take a minute at the end of every wearing session to wipe out the inside of your hard hat with a clean damp cloth to remove any oils or residue that have gathered there after hours of wear.
If you have long hair and must wear a hard hat, it’s usually not practical to gather it in a ponytail behind your head, because the hat will cause pressure on the pony tail knot. It’s much more practical to put your hair into two braids that you can pin up on the sides or position atop your head to not interfere with the safety features of the hard hat.
Although you may feel like your hairstyle is being crushed under the weight of a regulation hard hat, always remember that you can wash and restyle your hair. But if you remove your hard hat due to vanity about your hair, you may never get another chance to comb or restyle your hair!