A new meaning to hands-free: PPE-friendly hair styles to stay cool and safe

The daily donning of masks, coverings and visors has become part of everyday life for thousands of people up and down the country. Time to suit up and style it out with these top tips from stylists who are in the same boat

It’s become as normal as packing your keys or your purse: the mask. So many people now face wearing some sort of mask or visor for the whole of their working day, serving consumers in public spaces. The last thing you want to be dealing with is hair on the loose, getting in your face, making you even hotter and causing concerns of safety.

Luckily, hair stylists are right there with you, now donning visors and masks on the daily, so they have some top tips on how to keep your hair looking great while staying safe.

Jonathan Andrew, celebrity hair stylist and Fudge Professional’s global brand ambassador, suggests that there’s no point fighting the inevitable. “Masks and visors can add lots of challenges to keeping your hair looking its best, and having to wear them for long periods of time can cause some distress and discomfort. For me, it’s easiest to work with it rather than against it, and to start looking at ways to wear your hair up.”

“For a visor I love textured up-dos and messy topknots; make sure you get it high up to give a flattering shape to the face” he adds. “This way the visor strap won’t disturb the hair too much. Alternatively, serious power ponytails are right on trend this summer, which is perfect timing! I love using Fudge Professional Skyscraper Hairspray and Fudge Professional Dry Shampoo, they’re the perfect additions to these looks for texture, hold or smoothness.”

Brush up on your braid skills for ultimate security with loads of stylish flexibility – they’re the go-to for Karen Thomson, founder of KAM Hair and Body Spa. “The beauty of the braid is that there are so many styles to choose from, all of which look incredibly pretty but also ensure hair is kept in once place and out of the face. French braids in particular is one of my favourite styles, as it crisscrosses and allows the hair to feel more secure than that of a normal braid.” Need some braid inspo? Check out our Braid Glossary for how-tos and helpful tips.

If you prefer having a bit more hair around your face, stick with a half-up version recommends session stylist and founder of Baxter South, Jack Baxter. “There are lots of hairstyles that just don’t work when wearing a mask or a face shield. My favourite style for women wearing face masks is half up/half down with a tousled, loose wave,” he explains.

“With this style you can still add body, texture and movement to your hair, but simultaneously tie the front section up away from your face.” Start with using a large barrel curling tong (“my favourite is the ghd Curve,” he adds) for a loose, beachy wave, then finish with a texturising spray. “I recommend the Redken Triple Dry 15 Texturising Spray to create lightweight volume and airy texture. Take the front, top section of hair and tie up off your face towards the crown of your head. You can pull this through to create a half ponytail, or wrap around for an undone bun.”

When you start feeling bored of the same old ponytails and buns, mix things up a bit with accessories and add-ins. “When it comes to an easy, PPE-friendly style, incorporating hair pieces of some kind can really help elevate pulled back hair from high function to high fashion,” agrees Gem Jones, founder of Taylor Rose Hair Extensions London. “Things like clip-in ponytails are a really easy way to not only add a touch of glamour to a style, but create volume and abundance to help you feel more like yourself when you’re forced to hide your favourite lipstick behind a mask.”

“A strong hairspray, tight up-do and accessorising with a ribbon, or silk scrunchy is a great way to still keep hair on trend and looking good while lasting the duration of the day,” agrees Neil Maclean, founder of Neil Maclean Hair Studio. Session stylist Rianna Henry even suggests utilising your accessories to give your ears a break. “Accessories are amazing in terms of keeping your hair looking stylish, but they also help to keep your ears comfortable as you can incorporate the elastic loops that hold your mask in place into your hair, which takes the pressure off your ears.” Genius!