Styling Natural Hair For Cycling

It’s been a couple of years since I did a whole post all about hair… back in 2016 after reading an article about natural hair I was compelled to write this post where I shared my opinion and busted a few myths about looking after my hair. When I learnt to swim around the same time, it became evident that one of my biggest issues was learning how to look after my hair and also how to style my hair in a way that made taking part in certain activities easier. And one of those activities is cycling. And after sharing a post recently on Instagram about natural hair styles for cycling I realised I was not alone…

summer bike accessories on the brompton from mad dot com

Seeing as I am not an expert in styling hair I figured I would get some inspiration from somewhere or someone who knows more than me… that turned out to be Simply Gorgeous Hair, and Afro hair salon located in North West London. They, specifically, my stylist Emmah, were the creative brains behind the styles I’m about to share with you…

#1. Low Bun For Natural Hair

low bun for cyclists with natural hair close up front view

low bun close up from top

low bun with helmet and cap on

This was the first style that Emmah did on my hair. I went with my hair pre-washed so all she had to do was blow dry it using a comb attachment (which are a few quid on Amazon) to make it a little straighter and more manageable. It also made my hair a little less “volumeous” (I think I just made this word up… I did. My mum confirmed it should be “voluminous”) …which gives makes my helmet sit a bit better on my head rather than just on my hair.

Emmah then created two cornrows at the front of my hair with a middle parting which fed into the low bun. The bun it itself was a little more intricate than a regular bun but the important thing was that it sat low enough to allow my helmet to sit properly too.

Natural Hair Inspiration board on pinterest

Hair I go… | Check out my Natural Hair Inspiration board on Pinterest here!

Tip: always wear a cycling cap to protect your hair from getting caught in the helmet, especially the velcro bits! 

#2. Speed Plaits For Natural Hair

speed plaits for natural hair - salon view

Without a doubt, this was my favourite of the two styles. It also is the one that probably takes a bit more skill but it actually doesn’t take too long to complete.

Emmah started out by parting my hair in the middle then separating enough hair from the centre to make two S shaped cornrows. The remaining hair on each side was braided into a french plait using added hair extensions to give the length… I figured I might as well go all out… the longer the plaits the faster I would be?! Emma then adorned the french plaits with some gold thread and added a gold hair cuff to each plait.

sppeed plaits with helmet on

I managed to keep this style for around a week by wrapping my hair when I went to bed. I kept my hair and scalp moisturised throughout the week with various oil based products.


Do you know what I need to do now?! …learn how to braid hair and then practice, practice, practice!

…who’s down for a hair braiding workshop?!




  1. August 17, 2018 / 09:05

    They both look amazing and really suit you! I just plait my hair when on the bike – in face I live in plaits and messy top knots most of the time! We must go for a ride Elle, come and let me show you the trails in Stanmer and the beautiful South Downs!

    • Elle
      October 15, 2018 / 21:31

      Thanks Tess! …and you know I’m on my way for that ride soon 😉

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