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There is nothing more annoying than your neck gaiter constantly sliding down your neck and not doing its job. But with a few tried and tested simple tricks, I can help you solve this problem and keep your neck gaiter snug around your neck.
So, how can you stop a neck gaiter from sliding down your neck? The simplest solution is to lay down your neck gaiter and use a pair of scissors to make one cut an inch from the right and one inch from the left, around an inch down to make straps. Or you could use a hat or cap to fix it in place.
There are several ways to wear a neck gaiter, and while it may seem complicated to make sure it does not constantly fall, it is a more straightforward fix than it might seem to you.
How to Keep your Neck Gaiter Around your Face – Method One
The first method is a straightforward hack that turns your neck gaiter into a mask so that you do not need to worry about it sliding off of your face or neck no matter how hard you run. Simply put, you will just be cutting out two straps that make it possible to get them behind your ears, so they do not budge.
Here is the method explained in a few simple steps:
- First, lay down your neck gaiter on a flat, even surface, and it is best if it is someplace hard, like a coffee table or a kitchen shelf. Be careful that it does not have any wrinkles, and preferably iron it beforehand to make sure you have a clean surface to avoid making any mistakes.
- Next, take a piece of chalk or another marker visible on your gaiter and washable, so you do not destroy your gaiter. Now, you will be making three marks on the fabric.
- Keep a scale with you; while you can be eyeball the first measurement, it is better than the other two, to be exact, so you do not have uneven incisions that waste your gaiter. Then, measure a distance about an inch from the upper edge of the gaiter and mark it. It does not have to be the exact middle or even a complete inch; just an estimate is fine.
- Next, keeping along the first mark, you will be making two more. Take the scale, measure around an inch from the right edge of the gaiter, keep the first mark’s plane in mind, and trace the spot.
- Repeat the same process on the left side, making sure that your second mark is also precisely an inch from the edge and aligns perfectly with the one on the other side.
- Carefully make cuts using a sharp pair of fabric scissors, following along the lines perfectly.
- Now you can wash your gaiter and wear it over your neck as you usually would, except that this time there will be straps that go behind your ears like a mask to keep it from sliding down.
This method takes just five to ten minutes and will save you a lot of annoying moments. The best part is that the narrow incisions do not affect the multi-purposing of the neck gaiter.
But if you do not want to cut your gaiter, then the following method is for you.
How to Keep Your Neck Gaiter Around Your Face – Method Two
Not everyone would want to cut their neck gaiter. Maybe they feel that it sort of defeats the purpose, as they are not supposed to have straps, or the one they bought is expensive and cannot bear to make cuts in it.
In that case, the best thing you can do is take a hat or cap and put it over your gaiter to cover the back and keep it from constantly sliding down. However, this method is only suited for those wearing a neck gaiter to keep necks warm or to protect from the heat in extreme conditions. You might not always want to wear one.
Even if you try to use a bobby pin, which would not even work on short hair, it would just slide down from the front. Neither would safety pins work; in fact, they might be dangerous. In that case, the only way is to devise a way to tighten it from the back.
One hack I could find is to take an elastic band or ribbon and pinch the gaiter tightly behind your head where it covers the scalp’s lower part, making a bundle out of it. Once you have a wad of cloth, you can turn it inside your neck gaiter.
But if you use it this way, the bulge will probably still be visible from the back, so you might want to wear a hoodie or something else that covers it.
Another piece of advice is to fold in the top of the gaiter from the part that sits on your nose till it reaches your chin; it will give double protection and create friction, so it does not slide off as easily.
Does the Material of the Gaiter Affect How It Sits on Your Face?
To give you the relevant answer first, yes. The fabric of the gaiter affects how slippery or stretchy it is and hence, how easily it will slide down your neck. If it is made of a polyester or spandex sort of fabric, it is likely to stay on your face better as the material is quite stretchy.
On the other hand, if the material is too thin, there might be no point in wearing it as it would only keep water droplets out, though it could provide some protection from the heat. A piece of thicker fabric is standard in cold areas, especially among skiers and is worn with helmets and ski masks.
There is also size, as not all companies create gaiters that are one size fits all. If the fabric is too tight around your face, it is easier to slip down, other than constricting your nose.
There are also stretchy and non-stretchy neck gaiters. While we explained the stretchy ones, you will have to be more careful if you buy those made of non-stretchy material. While some stretchiness is necessary, it can reduce the chances of it sliding down if you can place them over your ears, but we would not recommend them.
This recommendation is because neck gaiters are manufactured according to average head diameters to make sure it slips over quickly if the material is not stretchy. A slight size difference might make it hard to fit it over your head.
How to Choose a Neck Gaiter
Since the market is teeming with brands selling neck gaiters, especially for travelers and hobbyists such as hikers and skiers, it can get a bit perplexing if you want a good quality product.
If the material of the gaiter is more like a stretchy fabric, it depends on the quality. Good-quality spandex or nylon will retain its shape longer, but if you grab it from anywhere, it is much more likely to quickly become loose and no longer tighten around your face, in which case you might try one of the hacks mentioned above.
If you are not buying it online, it should be snug when you are trying it on, not constricting. If you are shopping online, as is more common these days, you should know that a neck gaiter is usually around 8″ and 10″ in width as they are built according to average head diameters.
If you think you have a smaller head, then check if the site you are on has multiple sizes available and whether they have widths listed. Since the pandemic, neck gaiters experienced a market boost as many people used them as more comfortable replacements for masks.
There are several brands selling neck gaiters. Sportswear brand Buff specializes in head-ware and is well-known for quality products; they have various gaiters and designs. High-end sportswear companies like Adidas and Nike also sell them, but several DIYs are available on the internet now.
When choosing a neck gaiter, always remember your purpose. Are you going to use it to keep warm or while running? The function changes the most suitable choice.
How many ways are there to Wear a Neck Gaiter?
The best part about a neck gaiter is incredibly multi-functional; there are several ways to use this simple tubular piece of cloth. Here are some common ways people like to wear them:
- Since the pandemic, thousands of people have traded masks for neck gaiters. Even without the virus, hikers and others use it to keep dirt and dust out of their mouths.
- Those traveling can make it double as a face mask; double or triple layer fold it and place it over your eyes to block out all light!
- If you have seen those trendy hair bandanas, you can even use your neck gaiter as one. Just wear it over your head as you usually would, and then pull the front up over your face to pull back your hair. You can style it in a bandana style or a hairband style by keeping it scrunched together. If you are a hiker, using an extra will help keep hair away from your face and be comfortable because of the fabric.
- If you wear your neck gaiter as usual but pull the hood over till your forehead and the front under your chin, it can function as a hood.
- If you are going to a frigid area and want some extra coverage, wear your gaiter as explained for a hood but pull some fabric from lower down your neck to cover your nose, so it acts as a balaclava.
Should I use a Neck Gaiter as a Mask for protection against COVID-19?
The answer to this question is a bit ambiguous, and it depends. But yes, it can be helpful. Experts say it is acceptable to use a neck gaiter as protection against the virus as long as you use at least two layers. Public health physician Lisa Thanjan says “more than one layer” is essential.
The material also affects how much protection you are getting. While one layer of a polyester neck gaiter would hardly block half of the outside particles, two layers bring that number up to 60%. So, while they are not recommended, they are acceptable.
Especially since COVID restrictions have been lifted and most of the population has been vaccinated, a neck gaiter is an acceptable replacement for masks outside for your protection.
Earlier studies reiterated that neck gaiters were better than no face coverings. A study by the CDC and NIOSH found that they were just as effective as cloth masks. So yes, you can use it as a face mask against COVID, but it is better to buy a proper one to be safe.
Does a Neck Gaiter keep dirt out?
We mentioned earlier how much the cloth and the number of layers affect different factors, which applies to this question. Usually, neck gaiters were used as neck warmers, even though they are highly multi-purpose.
If your gaiter is of fragile material, it probably will not do much to keep anything but water droplets in the air out. It will be much more effective if you at least double those layers.
But since neck gaiters were proved to be effective against COVID to some degree, they can protect your face from dirt and germs as long as you choose the suitable material.
Neck gaiters are also recommended for those who enjoy fishing to use as a very functional sun guard to protect against heat and sunburn. Many hikers and joggers also use it as a sweat absorber. This feature shows why you should get yourself an excellent quality gaiter.
I hope this blog answered all your questions about neck gaiters, and you never have trouble keeping it over your face again!
I also have a comprehensive guide on stopping all your clothes from falling down that may interest you to read next.