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If you’re a cyclist with long hair, you are no stranger to the challenges associated with finding a hairstyle that works with a bike helmet. Or perhaps, it’s more appropriate to say, a helmet that works with your long hair. Often the default hairstyle is a ponytail. But what is the best helmet to accommodate your locks and also provide adequate protection in the event of a crash?

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The reality is, many cycling helmets are designed as unisex, neglecting the specific needs of bicyclists with ponytails. Furthermore, manufacturers do not make claims about the safety or suitability of their helmets when worn with a ponytail. This puts the responsibility on the consumer to make informed decisions about what helmet is best suited to their needs.

However, the market does offer solutions for those looking for ponytail-friendly bike helmets. This guide will provide essential tips for wearing a ponytail with your helmet, highlight the best helmets on the market for ponytail wearers, and discuss how to choose a helmet that ensures both safety and comfort.

How to Wear a Ponytail with a Bike Helmet

The ideal solution for cyclists with ponytails is to select a helmet specifically designed to accommodate their hairstyle. Although most unisex helmets lack features for ponytail compatibility, some models offer a HairPort or a similar design with a larger gap between the helmet shell and the inner liner, allowing for ponytails to be comfortably pulled through.

Low Vs. High Ponytail

The type of ponytail you prefer—whether high at the back of the head or low at the base of your neck—plays a significant role in choosing the right helmet. It’s important to select a helmet that accommodates your preferred ponytail style without compromising the helmet’s fit or safety features.

Safety First When Wearing a Ponytail with a Bike Helmet

Safety should never be compromised, even for the sake of comfort or style. A helmet that is not properly adjusted to accommodate a ponytail can result in the helmet being positioned in a way that leaves your head inadequately protected. Ensuring your helmet fits correctly over your ponytail is crucial for maintaining visibility and protection while cycling.

Choosing the Right Helmet

When selecting a ponytail-compatible helmet, consider the following:

What is the Best Bike Helmet for Ponytails?

Now that we’ve covered how to select a bike helmet, and various options for wearing a ponytail with your helmet let’s look at some specific helmets (in alphabetical order).  

Bell Sixer MIPS Mountain Bike Helmet

If you’re a rider who puts in a lot of miles and rides through rugged terrains, especially through the hot summer months, then the Bell Sixer MIPS Helmet is one helmet you should seriously consider buying. The Bell Sixer MIPS offers very impressive performance and comfort for ponytail-wearing riders.

Key Features

  • MIPS Safety Technology
  • Lightweight
  • Good ventilation

Bell’s Sixer is a well-designed helmet that is very versatile. It boasts a modern look, an understated shape that ensures it’s lightweight, high-quality padding along the interior, and a total of 26 vents to keep the air well circulated inside the helmet. The Sixer is a popular choice for mountain biking and long cross-country riders who demand full protection and unmatched comfort from their helmet.

Bell Z20 MIPS Bike Helmet

The Bell Z20 bike helmet is both ultra-popular and ponytail-friendly. Known for its fit, aerodynamics, and impact protection, this road cycling helmet is all about performance and comfort.

The helmet carries what the manufacturer calls ‘progressive layering’, better known as MIPS Technology. This technology works by layering the helmet shell with an inner liner separated by a low friction layer which allows the helmet to not only absorb the impact but also to keep the brain from literally rattling around inside the skull.

Key Features

  • MIPS Safety Technology
  • Lightweight
  • Excellent ventilation
  • Height and width adjustable

The lightweight design of the dual shells allows for maximum ventilation. When it comes to fit, this is further enhanced using a height and width adjustable Float Fit Race retention system and unique Sweat Guide lining.

This helmet allows you to thread your ponytail between the shell and the retention system if you wear a low ponytail. For those who prefer a higher ponytail, you can thread it through the spacious opening at the back.

GIRO Helios Spherical MIPS Helmet

The Giro Helios Spherical is one of the most versatile helmets on the market today, nicely bridging the gap between road and gravel riding adventures.  The Helios is also featured under GIRO’s women’s helmet category and comes in a range of sizes and many color options. This along with exceptional comfort gives this helmet broad appeal.

Key Features

  • Women Specific
  • Lightweight
  • Good ventilation
  • Great for road or gravel biking

The Giro Helios Spherical Helmet is such an all-rounder and one of the best unisex helmets that do the job for both male and female riders admirably. It has enough vents for air recycling while being as ponytail-compatible as they come.

GIRO Syntax MIPS Bike Helmet

The second Giro helmet on the list, and the company doesn’t disappoint with this one either. The Giro Syntax comes in a slim and visually appealing design. But don’t be fooled by its elegant looks. This is one hell of a helmet packed with some nice protection schemes in the upper class of helmet protection technology.

Key Features

  • Stylish
  • MIPS Technology
  • 25 vents
  • CoolFit Padding

Equipped with shock-absorbing foam on the inside as well as an outer polycarbonate hard shell that offers adequate protection against a crash. It offers impressive comfort, particularly for women. There are enough spaces to thread your ponytail through whether you wear it high or low.

Kask Protone Icon

The Kask Protone Icon may be a unisex helmet, but it provides ample room for a very comfortable low ponytail fit. It’s a traditional road bike helmet but with a ton of technical innovation and a new look. While this is a road biking helmet, it’s well suited to gravel and off-road riding.

A successful collaboration with the renowned Sky cycling team, the Kask Protone is the standard-bearer for ventilation, heat dissipation, and aerodynamics. This is no ordinary helmet. It comes with Coolmax interior padding and 3D Dry technology. The Protone is designed to keep you safe, stylish, and comfortable.

Key Features

  • European Styling
  • Aerodynamic
  • Enhanced safety features
  • Micro-dial adjuster
  • Comfortable

Lazer Jackal MIPS Helmet

Finally, a helmet tailored to trail riders. This helmet offers a very protective design without compromising your comfort. The Lazer Jackal will please any rider who values their comfort as well as safety.  

The makers of this helmet dug deep to ensure its comfort. There’s ample space at the back for your ponytail to go through. The straps feel ultra-comfortable, and the Active Turnfit system does an excellent job of distributing pressure evenly around the head.

Key Features

  • Comfortable
  • Aerodynamic
  • Well ventilated
  • MIPS Technology
  • Fidlock closure
  • Advanced features

And you won’t compromise function for comfort with this helmet. The Lazer Jackal uses top-notch technology including MIPS protection, a Fidlock closure, eyewear recesses above the ears, and  Lazer’s Active Turnfit system which locks your goggle straps.

MET Strale

The Strale by MET is most notable for its comfortable fit and airy feel. It has very good ventilation technology known as the Venturi effect, bringing all the warm air out of the helmet.

The MET Strale is one of the most comfort-focus ponytail helmets on this list. It comes with a vertical adjustment and 360-degree adjustment mechanism and is soft padded, ensuring you can make it fit like a glove. Threading through your ponytail is the easiest thing you could do. There is enough room in the back for ponytails hung either high or low.

Specialized EVADE II Helmet

This helmet is for the serious road biker. The Specialized EVADE II helmet has always been an aesthetic marvel. But the newest iteration of the series claims to be even six seconds faster over 25 miles thanks to its revised aerodynamics. That may not sound like a lot, but those six seconds could be the difference between first and second place in a race.

Coming in at 235g, the EVADE II is more breathable and lighter than the previous versions, which makes it one of the lightest helmets on the market. The helmet also comes with a Gutter Action Brow Pad to mop up sweat. Plus, this helmet is ANGI-ready and boasts their proprietary HairPort is large enough to thread your locks through comfortably.

Wrapping Up

While the industry may offer limited options for ponytail-friendly bike helmets, there are solutions available. By prioritizing safety, considering the type of ponytail you wear, and focusing on helmets designed to accommodate ponytails, you can find a helmet that meets both your protective and aesthetic needs. Remember, the right helmet not only keeps you safe but also enhances your cycling experience by providing comfort and allowing you to express your personal style.

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