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It’s summertime, and for the last few years, temperatures have reached record highs all across the country. In certain parts of south Texas this year, for instance, it was in the 90s in late February. February, people!
Now that we’re in the thick of summertime, protecting your head is more important than ever. Not only do hats look fly, but they also provide a necessary function: keeping the sun off of your skin. One study by the CDC reported that between 1982 and 2011, cases of melanoma have doubled in the United States. So in addition to using sunscreen, sticking to the shade, and covering up, wearing a hat keeps harmful UV rays from damaging your skin and can help prevent skin cancer.
That seems like a good enough reason to stick a hat on your head, but there’s a problem: hats can be hot! What are you supposed to do if you want to wear a hat as protection from the sun, but you don’t want to be sweaty and gross when you take it off? Luckily, there are some hats out there that not only keep you in the shade but also help you beat the heat. We’ve compiled a list of the top five:
1. Trucker Hat
The trucker hat is our number one recommendation because it is basically the poster child for a cool head (in more ways than one). Originally given away as free advertising to laborers and truckers, this hat has exploded in popularity over the years. Its sturdy foam front panel wicks moisture away and is the perfect customizable canvas for displaying your favorite cause or brand. The mesh sides also provide ample ventilation to keep you cool, and the snapback feature makes it one-size-fits-most.
2. Straw Hat
Straw hats are probably the quintessential hat of summertime. From the classy, wide-brimmed, floppy straw hat to the ultra-chic Panama, straw hats are the ideal head covering for taking a long walk on the beach.
When you’re shopping for the perfect straw hat, look for one that is lightweight and can’t be crushed. This last feature means that you can roll it up or stuff it in your beach bag without worrying that its crown will get broken. Additionally, if you are leaning toward the wide-brimmed style, you might want to look for one that has a wire rim so the brim isn’t constantly flopping down in front of your eyes.
3. Cooling Skull Caps
Believe it or not, cooling skull caps are a thing! They are specially designed to help sweat evaporate quickly, which leaves you feeling cool and refreshed. You can wear them under ball caps, hard hats, and sports helmets so that you don’t end up being a hothead.
4. Cooling Hats
You may have seen some of these “cooling hats” advertised on middle-of-the-night infomercials, but the reviews show that they actually work. While they may not be considered the most stylish of hats, some brands tout that they can lower the temperature on the head up to 20 degrees!
The reflective material helps block some of the sun’s heating rays, and there are also a lot of ventilation holes. Additionally, you need to wet the hat before you put it on your head, and the special design pulls the heat away from your head quickly and efficiently. These hats come with wide brims and neck straps that allow them to fit most head sizes while staying put.
There are also some cooling hats on the market that have special pockets where you can put specially designed cooling packets. These little bags have crystals that, when soaked in water, swell up and feel cold to the touch. For additional cooling power, you can even put the water-soaked packets in the refrigerator or freezer, so when you place the packets into the hat’s pockets, your head will feel extra refreshed.
5. 2-in-1 Convertible Sun Hat
This neat little hat shows that where there’s a need, someone will find a way to fill it. The design has a Velcro back detail that makes it one-size-fits-most, and it has a little bow to make it more feminine.
The wide brim keeps the sun off of your neck, ears, and face, and the lightweight material keeps your head cool. The unique thing about this hat is that there is a zipper that detaches a top piece to convert the sunhat from a baseball-type cap to more of a visor. This extra feature allows for even more airflow as a visor, but gives you the option of additional protection from a ball cap.
As you try to stay cool this summer, you don’t have to give up style for safety. And remember, it’s as important for your kids to stay safe as it is for you to, so be sure to keep them covered. They don’t want to wear a hat? Here are some of our best tips to help keep your kids safe from the summer heat.