Mythology tells us that long hair, facial hair, big hair, and wet hair matter for your personal warmth. Hardly. So much for myths.

Long Hair and Male Facial Hair

Long hair and facial hair on either gender has little effect. To be warm with it, tuck it under your clothing. Then wind won’t penetrate the hair. Instead, the tucked-in hair will break up the air and keep the air still, adding to your insulation.

But letting the hair fly in the wind is fun for some of us. And it’s not important for staying warm, so go ahead and have fun. Wear a hood, insulated, with your coat. That works far better.

Big Hair

Big hair does little. Breezes blow right through. You need to pull an insulated hood over it. Then the hair will insulate, although not as well as designed insulation will.

Trying to protect a hair style probably won’t keep you warm. If you don’t want to cover your hair, on moderately cold days, a very warm coat, even without a hood, will probably be worth something. Maybe you can find a lightweight insulated hood that won’t crush your style, but it probably won’t do much. Try to come up with another hair style, one that can be compressed under a hood but will look like you like at other ties.

Wet Hair

Wet hair is no big deal. Not even a soaked head will make you sick. Dripping watery hair does cool your head when you step out into cold air, because water conducts heat away, but not by so much that a warm coat and an insulated hood won’t take care of it.

Red crabapples on branches and covered with ice.

Long hair, big hair, and facial hair do little to warm you. Breezes go through them like they’re nothing. Wet hair cools you, but not by much.

Websites of Interest

These websites have some interesting content, although I disagree with some of it:


Hiking organizations:

General retailers of outdoor products:

General information: