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Helmet Fitting & Your Hair

February 1, 2016

Fitting a helmet is serious business -- it has to be the right SIZE and the right SHAPE.  Plus, it has to be a good fit even if there's hair up on it -- or if there isn't any.


Helmets come in 2 basic shapes: round and oval.  Some helmets are more round than oval, some more oval than round and some styles come in either or.


This distinction of helmet shape is not a preference or choice, but rather  a function of the shape of your head -- like it or not!  If you feel like you put on some helmets and get a strong pressure or pain on the sides of your head, then you're likely a round head.  If you wind up with alot of days with a red pressure point on your forehead -- even when the sides feel a little airy, then you're more oval.  (more common.)

This is critical, it directs which brands and styles you choose.  Those that are fantastic for oval heads,  are not for the rounder heads -- and they aren't made in a round version:

  • The Charles Owen Ayr8, SP8 and GR8: wonderfully comfy helmets with loads of cushion.

For all the round-ies out there:

  • GPA's EVO: wonderful hybrid of their former Titium/SpeedAir -- subtle venting appropriate for any ring and the removable pads for easy washing.  

  • Italian KEP helmet: very comfortable  -- when if fits (which is certainly not the majority of people)

The most popular helmets right now are actually between round and oval:

  • High-end: GPA First Lady

  • Premium: Samshield

  • Mid-Range: One K

So size, comes in all different numbers.  There is seen, in this country, two primary sizes: the index'd size, e.g., a 7, 7 1/8 etc.  or based on measurements in centimeters, like 57, 58, etc.  It behooves you to know what your own head size is so take a look in your helmet -- a size 7 for example maps to a 57.


Proper position -- bring it down on your forehead.  Be sure you consider a helmet in its proper position.  First put the inside front of the helmet against your forehead just above the eyebrows and pull it down, back onto the rest of your head.  Starting by pulling it down from the top the head will most likely result in not having its brim low enough -- it should reside permanently just above the brow, parallel to the ground.  It is often seen too far back on the head and therefore would not protect appropriately in a fall, knocking it back and resulting in a vulnerability for both the face and getting a choke hold from the strap.  I always make sure I can see the bring to be sure its low enough -- be sure your show-hair doesn't put your helmet to far back or too high.



My biggest hurdle when fitting helmets is women trying to flip a pony tail (or even a twist) onto the top of their heads to see if their helmet will fit.  Let me say this: if you can fit a hot dog of hair onto the back or top of your helmet, then it doesn't fit!!!  Your hair must a adapt to your helmet, not the other way around -- so, here's a few suggestions:

  1. Try a helmet on first with your hair loose -- this will best give you a shape and size guide

  2. Use a hairnet and dump all of your hair in it -- no rubber bands yet

  3. Fold the hair up and across the back of your head, this'll spread it out as flat as possible

  4. If you must, use a rubber band to create a loose, low ponytail -- but flip it up and spread it out

TIP: When I showed in the heat, I would wet my whole head down, create my "ears" with bobby pins behind each ear and then follow the above.

One more point -- don't forget that several of the models (especially Charles Owen's) will crush down a bit from wear (and sweat) -- be sure to inquire about that when choosing a brand so it doesn't wind up too big once it does.  


And, finally, please be aware that we sell helmet cleaners and deodorizers!


Let us know what you think.

Ashley@EquestrianConcierge.com • @OutfittedByEQ • #OutfittedByEQ  • Facebook.com/EquestrianConcierge



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