So you've just finished your first autocross event and you're hooked! Time to buy a helmet! But where? What kind? The good news is you don't need an expensive helmet. As long as it carries a current certification it's good. As of mid-2023, that's a minimum of SNELL 2010. (a list of legal certifications can be found here) Sometimes older (but still legal) certified helmets can be found at a discount, but keep in mind you'll have to replace it sooner so it may end up costing more in the long run.
Helmets generally cost around $200 to over $5000(!), the main difference being features and comfort. If you're only using it for Autocross then you won't be wearing it more than a few minutes at a time and you'll be fine with anything as long as it fits properly. If you plan on using it for Track events as well, then you'll be wearing it for much longer periods of time and features like lighter-weight materials, HANS posts, and even ventilation/drink hookups may be worth spending a little more. For Track use get the most comfortable helmet you can still afford.
Where do you buy one? Ideally you'd try on several helmets to check out their comfort and ensure a perfect fit, but the Nashville area is rather limited in vendors. The Winding Road Racing Store at NCM Motorsports park has a few, so if you're attending an event there call ahead and see what's available. Of course there's lots of vendors online; the SCCA has the Track Night in America Gear Store and can help guide you through the fitting process.
Of course there's usually no better recommendation than a personal one, so if you have questions about helmets or need more advice, ask in our Facebook Group and you're sure to get some good responses.
See you at the next event!