Palaa takaisin edelliselle sivulle

Time to honor the Finnish sauna hat

What do you know, the use of Sauna hat can be the beginning of a new trend.

Hannele Niemi, 5.2.2008

Ulla Maria Hoikkala

Suomalainen saunahattu.

Suomalainen saunahattu.

For long I assumed that the Sauna hat was a Russian invention – after all, I had bought a couple samples of this invention from the market of Viaborg and St. Petersburg. I was also told that the hat was almost a must in local Russian public saunas. There must be a sauna in every Russian town, in larger towns probably in tens.

A swamp colored felt hat sat in my closet for years until I understood to take it into use. Believe it or not, the sauna hat belongs to sauna. Right.

Hat and shoes – or without shoes

So one November weekend I headed to a weekend cottage with my friends. It was a beautiful but freezing day. Part of our program was to go to sauna and then jump into the icy lake.

What a great opportunity to test the Sauna hat. Put your  hat on, take your clothes off and go to sauna. The next stage – dipping into the ice cold lake – required not only the hat but also shoes. As we all know, snow is cold!

So, what was the result?

In sauna the hat covered my hair and prevented it from burning my face. Which was good. The hat also prevented sweat from dripping into my eyes. Even better. When dipping into the icy water, the shoes proved their power – the first time was so amazing that the power of the hat almost vanished. The second time in the icy water without the shoes proved it – cold creeps into you from both ends, your feet and your head.

Made of felt

Sauna hats are made of felt in several shapes and sizes. A high tip leaves more room for steam and is very handy.

The hat protects your hair but unfortunately, at least for most women, does not prevent your hair from going flat. Some of the hat direct the sweat down your face, which is said to be particularly good for your complection. Part of the sweat can be directed to other parts of your body as well, but I think I need more practice in that area.

But – will a Finn put on a hat in sauna? After all, Sauna is almost a sacred place – if anything in this hectic world can be sacred anymore.

A pleasant surprise was to find information on the sauna hat on the Internet. I also found discussion pages on sauna:

New energy from Sauna hat

So, is this the time to start discussion on Sauna hat? Who wears them? What is the purpose of the hat? And what about benefits of wearing it? On the other hand, why does everything always have to be beneficial? Can´t it be just plain fun?

How about a new contest? Who is the first to win a contest of the most beautiful Sauna hat in Finland? Maybe it is us – Toisinsanoen net news magazine.

Maybe the Finnish sauna culture has been stable for too long. It needs an energy booster. Could the Sauna hat be that? Or do we need help for that, too?


The writer is a free lance journalist and an entrepreneur

Photo: Ulla Maria Hoikkala

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