I am a bit of a stickler for wearing bicycle helmets. We all wear them. For most of us our hair doesn't usually interfere with our ability to get a good, comfortable fit with our helmet. If B or Little E have some kind of style that gets in the way we can easily take it out and put it back in later. Not so for Miss V! Most of her styles stay in for 3 to 4 weeks so it is important for me to keep that in mind when planning her summer styles.
As cute as pigtails in the summer would be, I try to avoid them. Especially ones with lots of beads and bobbles on them.
V's current "free hair" pigtail puffs will work under a helmet even though they stick out the sides of her head, because the free hair will squish down easily. They will look pretty mashed up afterwards, but that is easy enough to fix. Also, since I only plan to leave that style in for a week it's not a big deal.
Ponytails with lots of beads and bobbles would also be a bit difficult but slightly easier than those high pigtails. Even easier - a ponytail with no hair accessories like this:
Remember the last in between style we had? V had a bit of trouble getting her helmet on with this one too. But she can deal with that on styles that are only in for a day or two.
On the other hand, with her cornrow styles that stay in for 3 to 4 weeks, I really try to give her something that isn't going to frustrate her and drive her crazy! Because she really likes to ride her bike!
The BEST hair choices for under bike helmets are styles that go into low pigtails or ponytails or cornrows that just go straight down, like these:
So to wrap it up ---> just think the less bling the better (sorry Steph!) and keep the hair as flat to the head as possible.
I am also a bit of a stickler for wearing swim caps, but this is a bit more dependent on the situation. We really don't do all that much swimming. We don't have a pool or have friends with a pool, we don't live on a lake and we only make it to the beach a few times a year. If we swam more regularly I might rethink my strategies, but for our purposes this is what works for us!
If we are swimming in a pool with chlorine I have both girls wear swim caps to avoid the chemicals causing damage to their hair. I know that some people will load the hair up with conditioner before going in the pool and then rinse, rinse, rinse afterwards, so that is an option. I have also read that if you get the hair thoroughly wet before hand it won't be able to soak up the chlorinated water. We have gone in pools without caps on occasion, but most of the time they wear them.
In a lake I like to have them both wear caps because I can't help in-visioning all this yucky seaweed and lake gunk getting trapped in B's locs! And with V, I normally don't have her get her hair wet at all while her cornrows are in anyway. Also, a big plus to wearing swim caps at the beach is protection from the sand! If you have ever had to deal with sand getting in your child's hair you know what I am talking about! With super curly hair the sand tends to get trapped on the scalp and it is REALLY difficult to get rid of! As you can see in the picture above, the swim caps are not hindering my girls ability to have fun, so for now, this routine is working out.
If we are just playing around the yard in the sprinkler or kiddie pool at home I am much more relaxed. B never wears a cap and I will let V go without one if we are in the last week of her wearing her current style.
Now the rules for good swim cap styles differ slightly from the bike helmet rules, so that makes things a bit tricky.
With swim caps it is even MORE important to avoid a lot of hair bling. This style is a pretty good choice. I would probably just remove the ballie before putting on the cap.
The reason being that big clips, barrettes, ballies or excessive beads will cause strain to the cap and might put tears or holes in it.
This is probably a little too much:
For swim caps, hair that hangs down long is actually a little harder to get tucked up into the cap so ponytails work great. Most caps have extra room right on the top of the head, so if you can pile all the hair up there it will make it a lot easier to get the cap on!
This would be a perfect style.
*Notice that this is the same type of style that was a pretty good choice for bike helmets, making it probably the BEST choice for working well with BOTH*
Another style that I have found out WILL NOT WORK with our swim caps are yarn braids!
This is just too much hair to fit inside the cap! I believe the caps we own are youth size and my girls already have slightly large heads, so add all that yarn and hair and it's just not gonna work! You might be able to get the cap on, but as soon as she jumps in the water it will pop off!
Putting swim caps on girls with locs is pretty simple. You really don't need to do anything special, but putting the hair up in a ponytail will make it easier.
I am adding a video to this post to show HOW to put on a swim cap so you can see what I mean.
Do you prefer to use swim caps, or go without?