Spring is here and that means it's time to dig out your bikes from storage. In 2012, there were over 4,000 bicyclists injured from crashes in New York City alone. Helmets may not be the sexiest headgear, but wearing one can save your life and it's important to stay safe when pedaling around town.
Valerie Star of Caravan Stylist Studio taught us how to create trendy hairstyles that will stay put even under a helmet. Star likes to start all hairdos with a dry shampoo, like Sexy Hair's Volumizing Dry Shampoo, and a beach spray for texture. The dry shampoo adds volume and keeps hair looking fresh even after a long day of sweaty cycling. Star also likes to add wave and texture with a curling iron, if you have time.
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Star says to be sure to carry a pocket-sized version in your purse: Just a little dry shampoo will liven up your locks after they've been flattened out by your helmet. Another trick for keeping hair voluminous if you're not setting it in an updo? Part your hair on the wrong side, and re-part it back once you arrive at your destination - this will add instant volume. If you're also concerned about makeup melting away, Star likes using Kryolan Fixing Spray to keep eyeshadow and cheek color from moving around. Here are her step-by-step tutorials on chic styles you can do at home before you go cycling.
The Seashell Fishtail French Braid: This hairdo is a mouthful, but it sure is pretty, and your friends will ooh and ah over the plaited look.
1. Mist your hair with some texturizing spray; Star suggests Sexy Hair's spray clay. This will help your hair hold and stay in the braid no matter how fast you're zooming through that bike lane.
2. Make a deep side part in your hair. "A great guide to where the part should be is just above the arch of the eyebrow," explains Star. If you want, you can add a little hair spray like Sexy Hair's Get Layered, to get rid of any flyaways. Start French braiding at the part along your hairline. You can create a regular French braid or a fishtail braid.
3. Continue to braid down your hairline toward your ear, then braid toward your other ear and finally, down to the end of your hair. Secure with an elastic band and mist with hair spray.
4. Tug at the sides of the lower half of your braid with your fingers to loosen it up a bit. Twist the braid down and around, into a "seashell" behind your ear. Tuck the end of the ponytail into the shell and use hairpins (not bobby pins) to secure into a bun. Finish with more hair spray and you're good to go. Star says the best part about this look is you can take our your braid for big, bouncy waves.
Rollin' with the Homies: You can cycle right to a Michelin-starred restaurant with this sleek look. Just check your helmet with the hostess.
1. Create a deep side part and mist with hairspray. Use a fine-tooth comb to smooth out your hair and pull it into a side pony at the nape of your neck - place your pony on the same side as the larger parted section. Secure your ponytail with an elastic just under your ear.
2. Take a small section of hair and wrap it around the elastic to hide it, securing with a hairpin.
3. Using two fingers, wrap the ponytail carefully around until it creates a hollow roll. Pull out your fingers and secure the roll with hairpins, pinning it just above the base of the ponytail. Finish with hairspray.
High gear high bun: Looser and more relaxed than your classic top knot, this style is perfect for a breezy spring ride.
1. Loosely gather your hair, preferably with a wide-tooth comb, at the very top of your head. Don't use a brush or you'll create more frizz. Tie this ponytail up with a hair elastic.
2. Gently twist your ponytail into a top knot that isn't too tight or puffy - the trick here is having a fairly loose, flatter knot. Think bike wheel instead of doughnut!
3. Use hairpins to secure the hair and give a light mist of hairspray. The loose style flattens out to fit right under your helmet and Star says this is another great 'do to take out once you're at your destination. "All you need to do is give your hair a good tousle and shake and you are ready to go," she says.
Follow Andrea Park on Twitter: @andreapark