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Keys to avoiding hat hair depend on size, shape, fit

by LOIS FENTON | January 7, 2018 at 2:14 a.m.

Q. I like to wear hats and have to in the winter, in the hills. But they always leave me with hat head at work. Is there any solution?

A. Whether you are a hat guy who regularly wears a hat or you only wear one when the weather turns frigid, the problem of how to prevent unsightly hat head is a common winter question. Hat lovers have been seeking answers for years. For many, going out without a hat in the winter simply isn't an option. To keep you looking good when you take off a warm winter hat, here are some helpful suggestions.

To do the least amount of damage, choose a loose-fitting hat. Stiff brimmed hats like fedoras and close-fitting styles like stocking caps are the most likely to mess up your hair.

Make sure your hat is the right size. Hat head (sometimes called "hat hair") is most common when you wear a hat that is too small or too tight. Ideally, you should be able to fit a finger in between the hatband and your head; this will keep your hair from flattening and getting indentation crease marks around the brim. When possible, consider going up a size to minimize the pressure on your hair.

Or choose a knit hat with more breathable, looser stitching for less damage. Extremely fitted hats are more likely to leave your hair looking flat.

Select lightweight materials such as cotton or fleece rather than wool or other heavy fabrics. Heavy fabrics weigh the hat down and make hat hair worse. Wool -- although traditional -- also causes static electricity and fly-aways. To help fight it, rub the inside of your hat with an unscented dryer sheet, spritz static guard inside your hat, or spray your hair with just a little frizz-controlling hairspray.

Be sure your hair is totally dry before putting on your hat. Not wet, not even damp, but bone dry. When wet or damp hair dries underneath a hat, it will dry super-flat and take on the shape of the hat itself, literally causing hat hair.

Remove your hat as soon as you get indoors. The longer you wear it, the more damage it's going to do. When you're inside (on a train or in your car) during your morning commute, you can remove your hat to give your hair a little breather time.

Revive your hair when you remove your hat: simply shake your hair loose and rub a small amount of gel into your hair to restore it. Do not brush your hair to get rid of hat head; it is sure to make it worse.

Men should keep (besides a toothbrush and toothpaste) their normal hair product in their desk drawer. You can stop at a nearby bathroom when you arrive and do a quick touch-up with a comb before you even get your coffee. And later, if you need to head out to a meeting or get a last minute after-work invitation, you're ready to restyle your hair effortlessly.

Any of the usual hair-styling products works. It can be a splash of water or carry a small travel-size bottle filled with your favorite: a water-soluble gel, pomade, paste or cream. If you're going to fight frizz with water after you remove the hat, dampen your hands (not soaking wet), and run them lightly through your hair to maneuver it back into shape.

On hat days, another option to take with you or keep in your office is dry shampoo. Travel-size versions fit perfectly in your bag or your desk drawer. Dry shampoo has a dual role: not only does it absorb excess oils (its original purpose), but it's also great for bringing volume back into flat hair in no time.

Here's another solution. If you're outside for mere minutes rushing from building to car, consider wearing a hooded coat instead. It will do less damage than an actual hat. Or, if you don't have a coat with a hood, you might try a loosely tied scarf ... or a pair of earmuffs.

There are a few workarounds to avoid this situation in the first place, as well as quick fixes you can use to revive hair that has lost its shape. See which ones work for you.

Send men's fashion inquiries to Male Call:

Lois.Fenton@prodigy.net

High Profile on 01/07/2018

Print Headline: Keys to avoiding hat hair depend on size, shape, fit

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