Maybe we should explore the basic purpose of wearing a good helmet. Remember, you want one that is Snell or DOT approved. Just purchasing some nifty novelty helmet will not suffice. A bad helmet can do severe damage and can be just as dangerous as not wearing one at all.
There are helmets out there that varies to accommodate all types of preferences. Whether you like full face, three-quarter, or half-shells. There are quite a number to select from. They even have full face helmets that convert to three-quarter, which is very cool.
Regardless of the style you choose, your helmet has tree basic components: The outer shell, the energy-absorbing liner, and the interior padding. The outer shell is typically made from a resin/fiber composite (kevlar, carbon fiber, or fiberglass) or molded thermoplastic (polycarbonate). The interior padding provided comfort around your head and face. The liner, however, is of great importance. The liner is comprised of expanded polystyrene, which is much like you would find on the inside of a beverage cooler or like a foam coffee cup. When your helmet impacts against a surface, i.e. a road or curb, the hard outer shell stops instantly, protecting from abrasion and/or penetration of sharp objects. On the inside of the helmet, your head keeps going until it collides with the liner. At this point, the design of the liner is intended to bring your head to a gentle stop, and prevent brain injury.
Naturally, your choice of helmet plays a huge role in how effective it will be in case of an accident. Do not skimp. There is an old joke about a ten-dollar helmet being fine if that is all you think your head is worth. It’s cliche, but has a lot of truth to it. Please invest in a good helmet, which will provide you with good protection. Even if you do think that your head is only worth Ten dollars, there may be someone out there who places a lot more value on it. If you won’t do it for yourself, please do it for them.
Also, please be aware tat helmets have a shelf life. Really!!! The polystyrene liner breaks down with age, and loses its integrity. The very longest you should keep a helmet is 4-5 years. The better approach is to replace it every 2 years, to be absolutely certain. It’s good “insurance” for keeping your head safe. For those of you who have older helmets, even though you find them comfortable, be aware that at a certain point, they are more effective as a flower pot or an ashtray.
Also, if you drop your helmet, it’s done. Kaput. Over. That drop compromises the liner, even though the outer shell may appear unscathed. Don’t try to talk yourself into thinking: “it didn’t hit that hard”. You don’t want to find out the hard way that it lost its ability to protect you.