View Full Version : Driving with your hair up.

December 22nd, 2008, 04:43 PM
I am kind of new here so forgive any dumb questions!

I struggle with how to handle my hair being up even in a high pony tail or any other up style then having to drive my car.

I am 5"1' and my head falls right in the bottom half of the pad on the head rest. That is with the head rest all the way down. It is the same with anyone else's car that uses a headrest.

I have to drive in such an uncomfortable posture because any clips or even a pony tail gets in the way.

I often end up having to put my hair up when I arrive somewhere using the rear view mirror. This is not ideal.

How do you all handle this?

December 22nd, 2008, 04:51 PM
I think we just have to suffer through the inconvenience of not being comfortable in a car since they're built for safety and not our comfort.

I have to wear mine down for all the reasons you mentioned, but then it gets smashed behind me or if I pull it forward, smashed and/or snagged by the seatbelt.

I haven't found a good way to drive with it yet.:(

And I don't think your question is dumb - driving with my hair has always been a problem for me and I have wondered what others do about it!

December 22nd, 2008, 04:57 PM
I sometimes throw it into a quick braid, just to keep it out of the seat belts, undoing it and restyling it when I get out of the car.

I'm unaware of any sure solution for this, other than to bear with it. :shrug:

December 22nd, 2008, 04:57 PM
yep, 5 foot here. I usually wear mine down, in front, over my left shoulder. I can't stand to have it behind my back.

December 22nd, 2008, 05:03 PM
And I'm not sure height has much to do with it - I'm 5' 10"!:eyebrows:

December 22nd, 2008, 05:07 PM
I'm 5'9" and have the same trouble. I end up leaning really far forward and it's not very comfy. Short of always braiding it when I drive (and bringing it over my inside shoulder (outside shoulder and it gets caught in the door if I'm not paying attention), I have no clever solutions.

December 22nd, 2008, 05:12 PM
I mentioned my height because I have seen women friends of mine who are taller who appear to be much more comfortable with the head rest.

I guess I will give up my notion that if I grew taller (at age 44) it would help. :cheese:

As my hair has gotten longer it is getting into the seat belt more. I have also been putting my hair over my right shoulder when driving. (And the other way when riding shot gun.)

December 22nd, 2008, 07:07 PM
5'8" here and it is definitely a problem for me as well. I put a satin pillowcase over the headrest of my SUV which has helped though it looks silly. If I wear a Figure 8 with a stick it's fairly flat so it is okay and that is the style I usually wear when it's up. If down I just pull it all over my right shoulder and leave it. If it's braided I do the same thing with the braid. I cannot wear a bun very well unless it's a low one but I don't like them much on me anyway. I hate it really. I heard they make or made BMWs with a head rest with a hole in it! How cool would that be as an option on all cars?!!!

December 22nd, 2008, 08:10 PM
Interesting... I never have this problem, and I wear my hair up while driving all the time. Mind you, I have a habit of pushing my car seat back more than is recommended, because my legs cramp up unless I can stretch them periodically. Maybe that's the reason the headrest doesn't interfere with my updo? :confused:

December 22nd, 2008, 08:16 PM
I don't drive, but I the passenger seat headrest on flipped on my husband's car. The stupid thing puts my neck in a funny position even with my hair down in a braid because it bulged out at the bottom and then narrowed at the top. Obviously this would cup your head nicely if it weren't for the fact that my head hit the part the stuck out the most even on the lowest setting! I doubt it impairs the safety of it by much since that merely puts my head in about the same position as non curvy headrests do on other cars. I also don't passenger much, so YMMV.

December 22nd, 2008, 08:17 PM
At 5'4" I consider myself to be a little on the short side and I've always been very cognizant of my posture as a result. (Long spine - think tall!) Some time ago I noticed that the headrests in cars forced me to either slouch or incline my head when I put the seat back into the straight up position I favor sitting in. And this was before I started bunning my hair. Anyway I turned the headrest on my car around. When the headrest is turned backwards it is in a more straight up and down line with the rest of the seat and that helps me be able to tolerate the ride better. I also adjusted the seat back so that it was not exactly straight up and down but leaned back a tiny bit. And lastly I covered the headrest with a silky scarf so that the hair slides easier when it does touch it. These modifications have made driving much more comfortable.

Poppy Seed
December 22nd, 2008, 08:19 PM
Mine is usually up in a bun with a hairstick. It's fairly flat (I can also lie on the floor fairly comfortably with it in this style) and touches the headrest. Actually, I think it's a bit of a cheat, as my car has those headrests with a hole in the middle! I'm 5'3".

December 22nd, 2008, 08:50 PM
I don't usually wear elaborate updos so I'll usually redo my bun so my head could hit the headrest if it had to (without ripping hair out or brusing my skull). That may not be of much help. Otherwise, I've kind of learned over the years where to put a bun so that it is comfortable when driving.

December 22nd, 2008, 08:55 PM
I wear mine in a french braid, or double pigtails/buns if I'm planning to drive more than just a quick errand.

December 22nd, 2008, 09:07 PM
I wear mine in a french braid, or double pigtails/buns if I'm planning to drive more than just a quick errand.

Yes I do that too if I am flying or driving/riding a long distance, not the french braid but 2 braids or a side braid is very comfortable too on whichever side the selt belt WON'T be hitting.

December 22nd, 2008, 09:39 PM
yep, 5 foot here. I usually wear mine down, in front, over my left shoulder. I can't stand to have it behind my back.

5'6" same problem. Most buns hit the headrest and push my head forward. Easiest thing is pulling a long braid over the shoulder. I always seem to be grabbing it instead of the seat belt, or winding it about the seat belt.

It's just annoying. Thank goodness my commute is only 25 minutes. Except in blowing snow when it takes twice as long (le sigh).

December 22nd, 2008, 10:58 PM
When I switched cars, I found I couldn't wear my hair in a bun anymore. My hair hit the head rest--did you know that ALL drivers need to adjust the headrest so your head is protected? If your head is too high, it won't protect you in a crash. I never knew that.

I wear my hair down or in a braid, so I just toss it over my shoulder. I can wear a low ponytail, but I can't do a bun--now with my new forks, maybe ;)

December 23rd, 2008, 12:43 AM
I'm 5'1" and I feel for you - I honestly just drive sitting very straight and holding my own head. My shoulders are resting, but my head is erect and free of the head rest save for the occasional rub here and there. Sitting with a pillow behind your back helps with this, but it can make your neck fatigue more quickly.

I don't drive very frequently either, so that may help. I do second the silk pillowcase over the seat, though, unless the seat is leather. Much more hair friendly!!

December 23rd, 2008, 01:11 AM
I don't have this problem, perhaps because I drive a nicely designed French car ;) I can also change the angle of the headrest a little, which gives me space for a bun while still being secure. A low bun and a braid works well for me, no problems at all.

December 23rd, 2008, 02:42 AM
I usually wear my hair in a low bun and don't have any problems. It makes the back of my head more flat. I can sleep on my back with it too. I don't wear ponytails in the car, since they always get stuck in the seat belt.

Maybe you could put a bun/ponytail on top of your head instead, or else very low on your neck?

December 23rd, 2008, 03:22 AM
Same problem [5"2]

I just got really quick at putting my hair up when I reach my destination. Or, wear it in a braid over my shoulder.

December 23rd, 2008, 06:02 AM
I drive a 10 year old Ford and a 15 year old Honda. I have no problems with an updo and the headrests. However, when I'm a passenger in newer vehicles I almost always notice a problem with the updo and the headrest.

This issue will be the deciding factor when purchasing another car.

December 23rd, 2008, 07:25 AM
Driving with my hair in an updo is definitely not comfortable, and I haven't really found a good way to deal with it. Happily, it's not a problem for me very often, since I usually have my hair in a braid. If I'm going to be driving a long distance, then I make sure to wear my hair in a braid. For short drives, if I've put my hair in a bun that morning, then I just put up with the discomfort.

December 23rd, 2008, 08:18 AM
Volvo came out with a concept car designed for women - one of the features was a split in the headrest to put a pony tail through. Now if the car designers would make this an alternative or after market option! When I want mine up I have a flat french twist comb by Goodie that I can lean against and seems to be comfortable. It's basically just a big wide tooth flat claw clip with a spring clip on one side.

heidi w.
December 23rd, 2008, 08:57 AM
I too am 5'1" and my head also hits the headrest as you describe, and I too have to be a bit forward with my head when an big updo is happening on the back of my head. If it's a fancy event and I want my hair to be special, I put up with it. I might throw a silk scarf over it to help hairielles not get astray overly by the rough texture of the headrest cloth. (Yes, cloth seats...not leather or vinyl)

I actually keep an old sheet thrown over my car seat so if I bump up against the cloth headrest it's a smoother surface.

I have made the seat placement a trace more at an angle, and used a pillow in the lombar and mid-back region for support. The bumping is pretty nearly eliminated on the back of the head this way.

Some headrests do come out and therefore some cars you can turn the headrest around and still get it back in (so the jutout faces the backseats). [This is actually a problem for me at 5'1" even if my hair is not in a lumped updo!] Many headrests also have ways to alternate the setting of the position, so if you have this option in your car, think about that and see what you can come up with.

I have also drawn loose or braided hair around my front, on top of the seatbelt. It's quite something, some days, to see me get in a car. Me first, hair dangling out, seatbelt, hair in.

In winter, the coat can be used. You can put the hair inside the coat, in front, off to one side, or divide down the middle in the back and draw each side up over the shoulders, and put on the coat. I have coiled my hair length up like one does an electric cord and then kinda stuffed it in the back neck zonage of my coat. I have also allowed the hair length to remain down my back, put on my coat, and then drawn the length up by forming a kind of ponytail and drawing up so some hair is draped over the shoulders yet I'm not sitting on the length.

Lots of women, when they arrive at their destination, first take their coat off and then excuse themselves to the Powder Room to fix themselves up. You could bring your stuff with you and set yourself up once at your destination instead of utilizing the rear view mirror, at least. (Yes, I do this at times...even when going to a person's home.) I habitually carry extra stick, a comb, several hair pins and such for emergencies anyway. I even can find one decorative bauble element to use too.

An updo can be created to reside more on TOP of the head than the back of the head. Placement can make a difference. Sometimes riding lower on the back of the head, near the nape of the neck works, too. Depends how much volume you have and what kind of updo you're doing.

My opinion is that ponytails, generally, are not good containment for long hair as this means there's still plenty of loose hair dangling about and accessible for getting rubbed, caught, tangled. To me, in winter, this style can possibly be yet more troublesome.

Hope this helps. I personally mostly put up with it.
heidi w.

December 23rd, 2008, 10:06 AM
I'm 5'7" (with the torso of someone about 5'3") and I have no idea why those stupid headrests dent away from your neck, and then stick out at your head. It seems the reverse of the shape you want your neck and head to be in!

When I drive a short distance (around town), I just sit up, away from the seat, and try not to catch my updo on it. When traveling a longer distance (like the 6 hours I did last night), I typically do a braid pulled over my shoulder, or sometimes 2 braids - one over each shoulder, and over the seat belt. It's more comfortable.

December 23rd, 2008, 10:14 AM
If it's going to be a brief trip I just suffer with it. Longer trips call for a braid or even down.

December 23rd, 2008, 10:47 AM
Yet another reason I favor buns that are higher on the head! I don't drive often, though.

Another suggestion--securing ponytails, braids or buns with big barrettes instead of sticks or pins sometimes "flattens" the hair against your head. It's a pretty look and will definitely be more comfortable on the headrest.

heidi w.
December 23rd, 2008, 11:05 AM
Tangles, right....

I like pancake or cinnamon roll (kinda like the boring ole library bun) that are rather flat on the back of the head. Contained for long trips, limits tangles. Doesn't look great, but it gets the job done.

heidi w.

December 23rd, 2008, 11:10 AM
when my hair was long i used to keep claw clips in my car just for this reason. So i could pile my hair on my head and clip it to drive. a long drive i would just do 2 braids.
Thankfully the Beetle has a lot of head room :)

December 23rd, 2008, 11:53 AM
I do two things. First, I have a pillow on the seat that I sit on. This is because the seat is shaped so that your knees are actually higher than your bottom when you sit, a subtle bucket seat. Sitting on a pillow helps prevent leg cramping, and raises me up so that the head rest is in a better position (I am 5'4" with a short torso).

Secondly, I wear an updo that is higher up on my head. I can actually lie down comfortably with it in. This is great not only for driving, but also for when I go weightlifting at the gym.

December 23rd, 2008, 02:57 PM
I agree that the headrests on newer cars really encourage poor posture. I never had a problem wearing my hair up until I started trying to improve my foreward neck posture. Now, I just wear my hair loose while driving, generally pulled over the shoulder opposite the seat-belt. But I still have pretty short hair.

December 23rd, 2008, 03:03 PM
I find it extremely uncomfortable driving with my usual bun but I lean forward a little to compensate. Then I get backache.:rolleyes:

December 23rd, 2008, 11:44 PM
Whenever I go for long drives (more than an hour, typically) or if I know I'm going to be in the car for awhile, I always put my hair up in a very high bun so that I can lean my head against the headrest without any hair getting in the way. I don't really care about the little bits that ultimately get puffed out of the back, because they're going to come out anyway. I'm mainly concerned about comfort over long times in the car.

Short trips, I just deal with bad posture. :)