While most runners basically focus on dressing up their foot during a race, we should not forget that the HEAD and NECK are equally important to be protected and styled during a run. Here are some practical head to neck wear and accessories that can be helpful to make your running not only comfortable but also stylish.
1. Bandana or Kerchief – both stylish and functional. They are lightweight and washable. You can tie it around your forehead or hold it during run and wipe when necessary. They are usually decorated in paisley patterns so you can choose any design that best fit your personality.
I usually wear a color that match my singlet, or if the race is too crowded I wear an eye-catching design so my supporter/photographer can easily recognize me among the bunch or runners.
2. Sweat Bands – While running we sweat profusely and the sweat tends to follow gravity's path downward from the head and scalp to the forehead and down into the eyes. Sweat in your eyes can interfere with your vision. The bands prevent sweat from dripping into the eye and causing blurring or stinging. Cotton terry cloth are the most common material for sweatbands because it works very well to soak up the perspiration.
While sweat bands are basically utilitarian it can also be used for advertising or promotional purposes or for just expressing yourself or your team.
3. Running Hat or Visor - Great for sun protection and usually has a band inside to help absorb sweat. Again, they are both stylish and functional.
During training, I usually wear a Manchester United design cap during hot days to protect my face from sun burn and a soccer ball-designed cap made from leather during rainy days to protect my head and eyes from rain drops. Both designs express my love for soccer aside from being a runner.
4. Do-Rag – Like a combination of a hat and bandana. Quick dry fabric, much better than cotton. The extra materials flapping at the back gives more surface area for sweat evaporation and some cool air too.
I usually wear a colorful one to add hip to its “tough” look.
5. Women’s Hairstyle – Classic Ponytail
It keeps your hair out of your face be it high ponytail or low ponytail. I suggest low ponytail for heavy thick hair so it won’t loose down after few kilometers of running and won’t be too heavy on your top. If you have bangs, you can secure it with a head wrap or stylish sweat bands.
6. Women’s Hairstyle – Ponytail Bun
It will not only keep your hair out of your eyes but also off your back and shoulders. Just pull your hair back like in classic ponytail then form the tied hair into a bun and secure with a good quality elastic so it won’t loosen during the run. You can secure the wayward strands with stylish head bands, sweat bands or head wrap.
7. Women’s Hairstyle – Braid
Braids unlike ponytails won’t swing back and forth. The braid add fun and chic look to your running attire. However, sometimes braid works like a whip so be careful on sudden head turn in a crowded place especially if you have a long thick braid. I usually do mine in a pigtail braid to avoid whipping myself and to keep my hair off my neck.
8. Head phones – Music is a good running companion so better choose a head phone that will not cut you on and off from the beat that helps you endure the remaining miles before the finish line. Choose lightweight head phones that grip good around your head and ear.
9. Ear phones – choose the one with soft padding and the one that fits well in your ears or stays in place. If you feel that the covering materials of the ear phones is irritating your ears, refrain from using it because it will be more irritating when you sweat during the run.
I prefer ear phones than head phones. Lightweight and easy to stuff anywhere once I’m done using it.
10. Eye Shades – Choose one that is lightweight and comfortable, the feeling that you are not wearing one, but definitely the one that can protect your eyes from the sun's harmful rays while staying clear of condensation.
Being a “netizen” who loves working at night in front of computers, my eyes kind of develop a “cullen attitude”. Eyeshades is a RELIEF so I always wear one. I wear any style but I suggest a “loop design” for runners. It has good grip. It would be annoying to wear an eye shade that keeps falling down from the bridge of your nose.
So what about Jewelry? A BIG no! You are going to run not to a party so scratch that jewelry off your list now!