The term “hat hair” is used to describe the sometimes deleterious effects of hat wearing on hair, especially when hair has been arranged into a specific and delicate style. A related concept is helmet hair, which is the result of wearing a motorcycle, riding, or bicycle helmet. Although the helmet protects the skull of its wearer, it tends to flatten out the hair, sometimes creating a rather undesirable look.
Classic hat hair is flattened as a result of the pressure from the hat, and it may be uneven, depending on the style of hat involved. Hat hair is also often staticky, especially when a felt hat or knit cap is pulled off the head, generating a static charge which causes flyaway hairs. For people with medium length cuts, hat hair can cause the hair on the top of the head to be flattened, while the bottom of the cut flares out, accentuating the hat hair.
The messed up hair which is a result of hat wearing can be reduced by wearing a shorter hair cut and a lightweight hat. Short hair cuts tend to look good when they are mussed, so you can pass hat hair off as a deliberate style statement, while lighter hats will not create so much pressure, thereby reducing the flattening effect. Some people also combat the effect with specific styles, such as very tight ponytails which pull the hair firmly against the head, making it hard to tell that someone has been wearing a hat.
If you aren't willing to compromise your hairstyle or choice of hat, there are a few steps which can be taken to deal with hat hair after it has struck. If your hair is flattened, spritz it lightly with a volumizing spray and run your fingers through it, encouraging the hair to fluff up again. In the event of a static problem, squeeze some moisturizer on your hands and run them through your hair, encouraging the hair to smooth down.
Some people also like the look of untamed hat hair, which can be a bit wild and unpredictable. After all, runway models often have a similar look, which is achieved with the assistance of copious hair products and long hours at the hands of a stylist.