It’s a uniquely winter dilemma: choosing between a warm head and stylish hair. When the digits drop so low you can’t feel your ears, it’s natural to forgo fashion and pull out the hat. But hat head doesn’t have to be your only alternative. We asked four New York stylists and fashion experts for their top tricks and tips for keeping your head safe and toasty without sacrificing your hair.
These warmers come in two separate pieces, and fit easily over your ears without even a headband to mess up your hair. Everything will stay in place and your ears will be nice and warm, says celebrity fashion expert Dawn del Russo. They also come in fun faux fur and crystal-studded options.
This is the number one go-to for stylist and lifestyle correspondent Natalie Decleve of Natty Style. “I think they look adorable and they don’t mess up your hair at all!” she says. And earmuffs are definitely making a comeback. From hot pink faux fur to sparkles, they come as simple or out-there as you like.
Most of us are no stranger to the headband, and now’s the time to take it out of the closet. Like earmuffs, they keep your ears nice and toasty without messing up your perfect bun, and even add a little extra warmth around your forehead, says del Russo. So you’ll look cute and practical during your commute.
“I like these because they keep your head really warm and your ears really warm,” says del Russo. Turbans add a little more warmth than head wraps or ear muffs by covering more of your head, but because they tend be a little more roomy and loose, they don’t inflict as much damage on your ‘do as a tight-fitting beanie would, she explains.
Yes, the detachable hood. It won’t put any weight on your hair, says personal style strategist and author Alexandra Suzanne Greenawalt of Alexandra Stylist. The snood has the added benefit of giving you a cocoon of warmth to protect not only your ears, but your head and neck as well.
Loose, Light-Weight Beanies
The stylists all agree, if you’re going to go with a beanie or hat, pick one that’s loose-fitting, lightweight and made of soft, silky fabrics like satin, silk or cashmere—that way it won’t flatten your hair. If you want to opt for a thicker, warmer hat, make sure it’s lined with a soft fabric, or even suede, says del Russo. One of Greenawalt’s favorite picks for a soft, unstructured hat is this warm fur one by Imposter.
A Bun and Beanie
Decleve will sometimes put her hair in a bun at the top of her head and pull a loose beanie or hat with room in the top over it. Then when you take it down, it will have some curl from the bun and look styled, she says.
If you’re going to wear your hair in a hat, dry shampoo can be your best friend, says Decleve. It helps to reduce static and will add a little extra body to your flattened locks.
Dryer Sheets and Safety Pins
Static is the ever-present plus one of the winter hat. Fight it by keeping a dryer sheet in your purse and lightly running it over your hair before you pull on your hat, or after you take it off, say del Russo, Greenawalt and personal stylist Christine Cameron of My Style Pill. Another trick? Pin a safety pin inside the seam of the garment, says Greenawalt.
Do a low, loose ponytail before pulling on a hat, headband or ear muffs. “It’s a really good way to make sure that you don’t get that kink in the back” when you take it down, says del Russo, and it will help keep your hair from getting in a tangle during the commute.
“Wearing [your hair] in a braid is nice, because it doesn’t matter if it gets flat,” and it looks cute peeking out of a hat, says Decleve. Not to mention it’s fast and easy in the morning, and you can choose to keep your hat on or take it off once you’re indoors.
Del Russo’s little trick for outsmarting flattened hat-head? “Whichever way you normally part your hair, flip your hair over to the opposite side,” then put your hat on, she says. When you take your hat off and shake out your hair, you’ll still have all of the body and structure you left with.
But remember: Even if you’ve worked your way through all the tips and tricks and hat head still gets the best of you, just go with it. “Don’t worry too much about it,” says Greenawalt. “Perfection is impossible and everyone is in the same boat.