Female hikers with long hair

Best Hiking Hairstyles – For Comfort, Convenience, and Style

Hiking is a fantastic way to enjoy the beauty of nature, get some exercise, and clear your mind. However, anyone who has ever hit the trails knows that managing your hair can be a challenge, especially when you’re out for an extended period. The right hairstyle can make a big difference in your comfort and convenience while hiking.

Whether you have long, medium, or short hair, choosing the right style can keep your hair out of your face, reduce tangling, and help you stay cool. In this guide, we’ll explore a variety of practical and stylish hiking hairstyles that are perfect for any hair length and hiking condition.

Hiking Hairstyles for Long Hair

Classic Ponytail

The classic ponytail is one of the simplest and most effective hairstyles for hiking. It keeps your hair out of your face and off your neck, making it ideal for hot weather and strenuous hikes.

  • Description: Simple, easy to do, and keeps hair out of the way.
  • Benefits: Low maintenance, works with hats and caps.
  • How to achieve it: Use a hair tie to secure hair at the crown of the head. For extra security, you can use a hair clip to keep loose strands in place.
  • Extra tips: For added style, you can use colorful or patterned hair ties and clips. A ponytail can also be combined with a hat for additional sun protection​.

Braided Bun

Combining a braid with a bun gives you a secure, stylish look that keeps all your hair off your neck and face. This hairstyle is perfect for long hikes where you need your hair to stay in place all day.

  • Description: Combines a braid and a bun for a secure, stylish look.
  • Benefits: Keeps hair off the neck and secure, suitable for high-activity hikes.
  • How to achieve it: Braid your hair, then wrap it into a bun and secure with bobby pins or a hair tie.
  • Extra tips: This style can withstand high winds and is comfortable enough to sleep in if you’re on an overnight hike​.

Dutch Braid

The Dutch braid is a stylish and functional hairstyle that keeps hair secure and out of your face. It’s similar to a French braid but creates an “inside-out” look.

  • Description: An inverse French braid that adds a stylish touch.
  • Benefits: Keeps hair flat and secure, reduces tangling.
  • How to achieve it: Start braiding by crossing the strands under rather than over. This creates a raised braid that sits on top of your hair.
  • Extra tips: Ideal for long hikes and can be worn under a hat for added sun protection.

Bubble Ponytail

A bubble ponytail adds a fun twist to the classic ponytail by segmenting the hair into sections with small elastics. This style is easy to do and keeps hair secure.

  • Description: A ponytail segmented with small elastics.
  • Benefits: Adds a fun and stylish element to the classic ponytail, keeps hair secure.
  • How to achieve it: Secure your hair in a ponytail, then add elastics at intervals down the length of the ponytail. Gently tug each section to create the “bubble” effect.
  • Extra tips: This style is great for adding volume and texture to your hair and works well for casual hikes​.

By choosing the right hairstyle for your long hair, you can enjoy your hike without worrying about your hair getting in the way. These styles are designed to keep you comfortable and looking great, no matter how long or challenging the trail may be.

Also read: What to Wear When Hiking in Summer: Complete Guide

Long-haired hiker

Hiking Hairstyles for Medium Hair

Half-Up, Half-Down

The half-up, half-down hairstyle strikes a perfect balance between having your hair loose and keeping it secured. It’s a versatile style that’s great for keeping hair out of your face while allowing some natural movement.

  • Description: Keeps some hair down while securing the top half.
  • Benefits: Balances between loose and secure hair, easy to style.
  • How to achieve it: Gather the top section of your hair and secure it with an elastic or clip. Leave the rest of your hair down.
  • Extra tips: This style works well with both straight and wavy hair and can be dressed up with decorative hair clips or bands​.

Side Braid

A side braid is a stylish and practical way to manage medium-length hair while hiking. It keeps your hair off your face and reduces tangling.

  • Description: A braid that hangs over one shoulder.
  • Benefits: Keeps hair out of the face, adds a casual and stylish look.
  • How to achieve it: Sweep your hair to one side and braid it, securing the end with an elastic.
  • Extra tips: This style is perfect for adding a headband or scarf for extra flair and sun protection​.

Messy Bun

The messy bun is a quick and easy hairstyle that keeps your hair off your neck and out of your face, making it ideal for hot summer hikes.

  • Description: A quick, easy-to-do bun that looks effortlessly stylish.
  • Benefits: Keeps hair off the neck and out of the way, ideal for hot weather.
  • How to achieve it: Gather your hair into a high or low bun and secure it with an elastic or hairpins. Pull out a few strands for a relaxed, messy look.
  • Extra tips: Use a texturizing spray to add volume and grip to your hair, making the bun more secure and voluminous.

Also read: 100 Hiking Puns to Spice Up Your Next Hike

Hiking with long hair and caps

Hiking Hairstyles for Short Hair


A headband is a versatile accessory that keeps short hair in place and out of your face. It’s perfect for managing flyaways and adding a stylish touch to your look.

  • Description: Keeps short hair out of the face with a stylish accessory.
  • Benefits: Controls flyaways, adds flair, easy to use.
  • How to achieve it: Place a headband around your head, pushing hair back. Adjust for comfort and style.
  • Extra tips: Choose moisture-wicking materials for added comfort, especially on hot days​.

Low Ponytail

A low ponytail is a simple and effective way to manage short hair while hiking. It keeps hair off your neck and is easy to style.

  • Description: A simple ponytail at the nape of the neck.
  • Benefits: Keeps hair off the neck, easy to manage, works well with hats.
  • How to achieve it: Gather your hair at the nape of your neck and secure it with an elastic.
  • Extra tips: Use a small amount of styling gel or cream to smooth down any flyaways for a sleek look.

Braided Headband

The braided headband is a cute and practical way to manage short hair. It keeps hair out of your face and adds a stylish element to your look.

  • Description: Braids that mimic a headband across the forehead.
  • Benefits: Keeps hair in place, looks stylish, adds an extra layer of control.
  • How to achieve it: Braid the front section of your hair and secure it behind your ears with bobby pins.
  • Extra tips: This style works great with natural waves or curls and can be combined with a traditional headband for added security​.
Hiker with a hat

Accessories to Consider

Having the right accessories can make managing your hair on the trail much easier and more comfortable. Here are some essential accessories to consider for your hiking hairstyles.

Hair Ties and Clips

Hair ties and clips are essential for securing your hair in place. They help manage different hairstyles and keep your hair from getting tangled.

  • Importance: Essential for securing hairstyles, preventing hair from getting in your face.
  • Recommendations: Look for no-slip grips and durable materials. Elastic hair ties and bobby pins are versatile and useful for many hairstyles.
    • Suggested Products:
      • Goody Ouchless Hair Elastics: These hair ties are known for their durability and comfort​.
      • Scunci No-Slip Grip Bobby Pins: Ideal for keeping hair securely in place without slipping​.

Bandanas and Kerchiefs

Bandanas and kerchiefs are versatile accessories that can be used in multiple ways to manage your hair and provide sun protection.

  • Importance: Versatile for multiple hairstyles and sun protection, can absorb sweat.
  • Recommendations: Use them as headbands, to tie back hair, or to cover your scalp.
    • Suggested Products:
      • Buff Multifunctional Headwear: Can be used as a bandana, headband, or neck gaiter.
      • Cotton Bandanas: Affordable and versatile for various styles​.

Hats and Caps

Hats and caps not only help manage your hair but also protect you from the sun. They are especially useful for long hikes and in hot weather.

  • Importance: Protects from sun, secures hair, prevents overheating.
  • Recommendations: Choose hats with wide brims or caps with ponytail holes for convenience.
    • Suggested Products:
      • Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap: Provides excellent sun protection and includes a removable sun cape​.
      • Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat: Offers UPF 50+ sun protection and a wide brim for extra coverage​.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right hairstyle and accessories for hiking can significantly enhance your comfort and enjoyment on the trail. Whether you have long, medium, or short hair, there are plenty of practical and stylish options to keep your hair managed and out of your way.

By using hair ties, bandanas, and hats, you can protect your hair and skin from the elements while looking great. Remember, the best hiking hairstyle is one that suits your hair type, hiking conditions, and personal style.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best hairstyle for long hikes?

Braided styles like Dutch braids or braided buns are best for long hikes. They keep hair secure and minimize tangling.

How can I keep my hair from getting tangled while hiking?

Use braids, buns, and accessories like headbands or bandanas to keep hair secure and out of your face. Regularly using leave-in conditioner or a hydrating oil can also help manage tangles.

What hairstyles work best with hats?

Low ponytails, braids, and styles like the braided headband work well with hats. These styles fit comfortably under a hat without creating pressure points.

How can I make my hairstyle last all day on the trail?

Use quality hair ties and clips to secure your hair. Consider using hair products like styling gel, leave-in conditioner, or texturizing spray to maintain the style and keep hair in place.

What are the best accessories for managing hair while hiking?

Essential accessories include hair ties, bobby pins, bandanas, and hats. Look for durable, non-slip products that can withstand outdoor conditions.

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