When it’s hot as fuck and you have a long run ahead, which one is better?
When you’re racing under the intense sun, headgear is definitely one of the most important things you need. The question that remains is whether you should go with a hat or a visor. You might think it’s all the same performance-wise, but it’ll feel a lot different on the day of your race. To help you decide what works for you, here are some things you might want to consider.
When you need to cool down, you can put ice inside your hat—something you definitely can’t do with a visor. A hat obviously covers your scalp too so you won’t get burned, which makes it a better option for bald runners or those who regularly part their hair.
However, hat fabric can also hinder sweat’s natural cooling technique and lessen sweat evaporation. If it’s not sunny but still warm and humid, hats aren’t a good idea because it traps heat in your head. Triathlete says that although your scalp may feel warm, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your body temperature is going up too. On the other hand, a cool head can make you think that your whole body is cool when in reality your body temperature remains the same.
If you’re going with a hat, choose light-colored ones that lets your head breathe. Some materials absorb moisture to avoid a heavy and uncomfortable head.
Visors provide better ventilation for your head because the top is open, but it also leaves you vulnerable to the sun. If your head is exposed to the sun for too long, it can damage both your hair and your scalp. It causes weak, brittle, and discolored hair. If you have a hair part, it can make the scalp dry and flaky, which could look like dandruff when it comes off. It can also make combing your hair more painful as the exposed parts can get irritated.
This issue though can be easily resolved by putting sunscreen on parted hair. Livestrong even suggests to comb a little on your hair.
Visors are lighter on your head because most are made with nylon or polyester. There’s even sweat-wicking visors that doesn’t absorb sweat for better comfort. If you’re picking a visor, it’s better to go with a curved bill rather than a flat one because it’ll be fit better on your head. And pick one with a dark under rim to counter the glare of the sun.
Either way, it all boils down to preference. There are a lot of things to consider, such as the weather and the temperature, before you can say which one is better to use. There are cons for both, but there are also solutions to those problems. Just try out both (not at the same time) and see which one works for you.