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How to avoid 'hat hair'

The best protection against skin cancer of the scalp is a hat, but it's tricky to wear one without collateral damage to your hairstyle. Caile Noble, hairstylist at Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon, offers tips on how to banish hat hair.

Long and short of it

Those with short hair should avoid wide-brimmed hats that need to be pushed down over the forehead — a sure way to end up with a flat top. Instead, Noble, recommends donning a fedora. Style hair as usual, then gently place the hat toward the back of the head, so it sits on the crown. Those with long locks can wear wider-brimmed styles. To avoid hat hair, Noble says, part hair in the center and smooth it down, tucking strands behind the ears. "Put the hat on at the front of the head first, so it touches down on the forehead then push it back onto the head," he says.

Step up to the plait

Braiding your hair before wearing a hat can keep locks tidy and also leave you with beach-worthy waves for later in the day, Noble says. Start by spritzing hair, from middle through ends, with a volumizing spray such as Serge Normant Meta Lush Volumizer ($23; http://www.shopsergenormant.com). Plait hair into a French braid: Take larger (about 1-inch thick) pieces of hair and loosely braid them together, starting from the crown. If you braid your hair too tightly you'll end up with kinks instead of waves. "Braid it as far down as possible, almost to the tip. Then wrap an elastic band around the braid, not the straight part of hair, so it won't crease," he says. When the hat comes off, simply undo the braid and run fingers through hair.

Smooth as silk

Scarves can also offer protection against the sun and can be integrated into your hairstyle. Noble recommends using a silk scarf because "it will drape better and provide a more chic look," he says. For a bohemian style, fold the scarf into a triangle and wrap it around the crown of the head, tying it at the nape. Another option is to fold it into a long strip and use it as a thick headband. This style looks best on those with shorter hair. For long lengths, pull hair into a ponytail first, Noble says.

—Alexandra Drosu

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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