has been the cooling mechanism for Homo sapiens for all time, so, old problem.
Did primitive people have a strategy to manage dripping sweat? Who knows? Was
Tonto’s headband-with-feather for decoration, or to keep the sweat out of his
eyes? In any case, modern man has devised a few strategies for “perspiration mitigation”.
In this post, we’ll look into all we know of, there aren’t many. We start with
FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO DRIPPING
much sweat you produce is the fundamental factor in how much you drip, and
therefore suffer, usually from burning eyes and/or smeared glasses. First, only
a minority of us has the dripping sweat problem. If you are reading this
there’s a high likelihood you are in the club of the “ultra-sweaters”, or are
close to someone who is. We constitute approximately 25% of the total
the documented range of sweat production is between a quart and a gallon an
hour, with a few outliers at either end. Some people produce less than a quart,
and we have sold a few helmet liners to cyclists who bought them to wet them,
and thereby get some evaporative cooling. Alberto Salazar, the great
marathoner, set the gallon mark.
second critical factor is humidity. Sweat evaporates far better into dry air
than wet. Heavy work or play in hot humid weather? Lots of sweat, little
evaporation, lots of dripping and suffering. Cool weather and dry air, with the
same effort, same activity, maybe no problem at all. We make humid climate
versions of most of our products, look for the “X2”.
third main variable is individual and personal, namely hair. A full thick head
of hair will disperse and to some extent even draw some sweat away from the
scalp. And there’s some correlation with age here, as we lose hair over time.
Shaved, bald, or balding? You’re getting little to no help at all, and will
either have to learn to live with your misery, or you’ll have to acquire some
what are your options for sweat management? How do you keep dripping sweat from
burning your eyes or staining your glasses, or both? The products people turn
to can be broken into several categories. The principles at work and
corresponding primary categories are absorption, dispersion, and diversion. And
then we add a fourth category composed of hybrids of these first three groups.
SWEAT MANAGEMENT PARAMETERS:
most iconic example a product relying almost entirely on absorption for sweat
management is the ubiquitous bandanna. Also a fashion statement in some
circles, this is simply a piece of cotton fabric rolled up and tied around the
head. You can purchase one practically anywhere for a few bucks. These are
popular with wildland firefighters, wrapped around the brow band of their
helmet. Bandanna advantages are their ready availability, price, and the wide
variety of patterns and colors. This is a choice with some traditional
headband manufacturers boast “100% cotton terry cloth”. They make towels out of
it, right? So it must be absorbent. Otherwise, however, cotton has no
beneficial technical properties. Cotton is indeed hydrophilic (draws in water),
that’s a plus, but sadly draws in little. Cotton only holds around 4x its
weight in H2O. And it holds water tightly, does not release it, and does not
wick. So in effect cotton headwear draws sweat in readily, saturates quickly,
and holds on to it. And then comes the dripping we long to avoid, barely even
headbands of synthetic fabric typically hold less moisture than cotton, but may
perform slightly better since they wick and release moisture faster. Usually
thin and lightweight by design however, they are rarely substantial enough to
absorb and hold much moisture. As soon as your sweat production rate exceeds
the fabric’s capacity to wick and dry...you’re dripping.
sweat control with low absorption fabrics quite simply requires large volumes
of fabric. There is a product out there that is basically a long stretchy tube
of synthetic fabric that ultra-sweaters have had some luck with. More fabric
means more absorbency, and more time drip-free. But dealing with a bulky piece
of headwear, maybe not so easy.
is a quality we have touched on in the absorption section. Dispersion: to
distribute over a wide area. In our case, we want to disperse sweat to stop the
dripping. The factor of dispersion is present in all permeable fabrics and
therefore in all sweat managing headwear. Even cotton, though barely.
permeable fabrics have some degree of capillarity, the ability to move or wick
moisture. The movement of moisture is a critical factor in effective sweat
management. The more rapid the dispersion of absorbed moisture, the more
available it is to evaporate, and thus the drier and cooler the user stays.
and evaporation alone however are insufficient to the needs of the
ultra-sweater. Lightweight wicking fabrics alone, by far the most common
design, don’t hold enough moisture to be able to buffer the user’s output of
sweat unless the output is modest. The sweat-free window in the case of the
ultra-sweater is simply that small bit of time before the user’s rate of sweat
output overtakes the fabric’s limited wicking and evaporating capacity.
third and most unusual approach to managing excess sweat is to mechanically
collect it and divert it away from your face. Think of the gutters on a house.
There is a product out there that is essentially a silicone gutter, worn like a
headband, that collects sweat across your forehead. This then drains out either
end, at your temples. These effectively intercept the sweat running off your
head. As they rely on gravity, you need to remain upright yourself or the sweat
spills out the front and onto your face and glasses. They will not serve you
well in yoga class, the gym, gardening, aero position cycling, etc. Users
complain about the volume of diverted sweat that now courses down the sides of
their face, and the red stripe left behind on their forehead when the gutter is
sweat managing headwear relies on a combination of the three mitigating
principles, absorption, dispersion, and diversion. The exceptions to this rule
are items made of either cotton or silicone. With almost no wicking ability,
cotton headwear relies nearly entirely on absorption. And silicone’s
impermeability spells pure diversion. The vast majority of products are made of
synthetic fabrics that both absorb and disperse, and are therefore inherently
mentioning are two truly hybrid products that have each diverged from the
predominant wicking-fabric-only model. Both have incorporated a second material
in their designs to add functionality to their respective headwear lines.
has added a silicone strip low across the forehead of their wicking fabric
headwear. The strip helps to divert some of the run-off sweat to the sides of
the user’s face. However, since the silicone strip is adhered to the underside
of wicking fabric, ultra-sweaters still end up with a dripping issue. Sweat
wicks through the fabric right over top of the silicone strip, and into their
eyes and onto glasses
SWEATHAWG: ULTIMATE HYBRID HEADWEAR
fundamental shortcoming for lightweight wicking-fabric-only headwear, at least
for folks at the high end of the sweat production range, is their lack of
absorbency. The dreaded dripping begins as soon as the fabric’s limited
capacity first to absorb and then to disperse and evaporate is exceeded. In
humid climates especially this can be very quick. SweatHawg products are unique
in having an absorbent layer temple to temple that holds 10x its weight in
hybrid system employs two different fabrics, one wrapped up with the other. In
every version of our headwear we have placed a strip of aggressively absorbent
fabric across the forehead, then an aggressively wicking fabric overall. In
this creative combination of lightweight fabrics, the absorbent layer gathers
excess sweat at your forehead, and the other wicks it away, dispersing moisture
to then evaporate. Evaporation results in cooling, the intended purpose of
sweat from the start.
that holds ten times its weight in water retains excess sweat that is continually
wicking away, evaporating, and cooling. This added absorptive capacity prevents
the usual deluge of dripping, similar to the way a reservoir evens out
streamflows and prevents flooding.
is so simple and so effective! We stand behind our products as most effective
for sweat management, guaranteed. No more drips, no more burning eyes, no more