Hövding bicycle helmet won’t ruin your hairdo

Nadine Bells
Shine OnOctober 16, 2012

It's a common — and, admittedly superficial — complaint. Bicycle helmets ruin your hair.

The Hövding collar comes to the hairstyle-saving rescue, by containing a worn-around-the-neck airbag that only inflates into a helmet should you need it.

Not only does the collar stay out of your hair, it is covered by a removable shell that can be changed to match your outfit.

"Hövding is a bicycle helmet unlike any other on the market. It's ergonomic, it's practical, it complies with all safety requirements and it's subtle and blends in with what you are wearing, because it is worn as a collar around the neck," explains Design to Improve Life.

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"The collar contains a folded up airbag that you will only see if you happen to have an accident. The inflated airbag is shaped like a hood, surrounding and protecting the bicyclist's head, and the trigger mechanism is controlled by sensors which pick up the abnormal movements of a bicyclist in an accident."

The airbag inflates with helium gas in 0.1 seconds, protecting the head before any impact.

Watch a live crash demonstration at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Stockholm below:

"It became mandatory for children to wear a helmet in Sweden and many people didn't use them," co-designer Anna Haupt tells ABC News. "We wanted to see if there was a way to change today's helmets and wanted people to wear them by free will, not by law."

"We found out people wanted something that was almost invisible that didn't destroy their hair or annoy them, something with the possibility to change the looks of the helmet like they can with mobile phone shells and wigs."

After the Hövding met safety standards in Europe, Swedish insurance company Folksam decided to subject the helmet to its own test, at higher speeds than standard tests.

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The results? At 25 kilometres per hour, the Hövding measured just 65 Gs of force on impact, while all other traditional helmets tested by the company measured over 200 Gs of force, guaranteeing a concussion for the rider, reports Treehugger.

"This is more than three times better than the average helmet," says Haupt. "Compared to those normal helmets, the Hövding impact was so soft — like a mattress — the head would not even feel it."

Swedish designers Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin won an INDEX award for their helmet in 2011 in the PLAY category.

The Hövding is currently only for sale in Sweden, Norway and Denmark — and isn't cheap. It costs 3,998 SEK (Swedish Krona), or $595 CAD.

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