How to Avoid the Dreaded Summer Hat Hair

It's easier than you think.
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It's easier than you think.

In our latest column, "Ask a Fashionista," you can solicit our strongly held opinions on everything from how to wear a midi skirt without looking like a tree stump to whether a certain retail CEO should go ahead and resign already.

Photo: JCrew.com

Photo: JCrew.com

Q: I want to wear a cute summer hat but I don't want hat hair. How do I avoid it? -- Jacqueline, New York City

A: You and Jenna Lyons are obviously on the same page this season, because J.Crew.com and the brand's recent catalogues are loaded with looks styled with hats. (I want this metallic baseball cap.) So look there for advice first: Tuck your hair behind your ears, a trick that works for any length -- my hair is short and this is what I do. And don't start with a style that's too straight and perfect in the first place because it is going to get mussed up a bit.

For further insight, I turned to hair stylist Wesley O'Meara, who has styled Alexa Chung and Sarah Jessica Parker. He also isn't shy about saying what he thinks. (Here is evidence.) His theory is: Use a hat on days when your hair already looks crappy and just embrace it. 

"Nothing says 'I can't even bother trying to make my hair look great in this summer humidity!' like a hat," he said. "Wearing a hat is the perfect way to look cute and hide what's going on underneath the cap." However, that doesn't mean you need to commit to wearing it all day. "I suggest going with a looser fitting cap. This will keep the indentations to a minimum," he continued. "You can also wear a scarf underneath the hat to protect your hair.  Also avoid putting a hat on wet hair!  It will  dry leaving you with a noticeable 'hat hair' appearance." 

Finally, never brush your hair when you take it off-- you'll just have a fluffy mess. Just run your hands through your hair and add a volumizing spray or a beach spray, depending on the look you're going for, to perk it up.

Hats off to you for trying some headwear this season.