I'm a full face helmet wearer... Most the time.
They only reason I don't wear my helmet is because I dislike it. It's cheap, fits terribly, and feels restrictive.
Therein lies the problem my friend and the Key word here is "Fits Terribly
" yet... a good percentange of the population ridng bikes are wearing the wrong helmet, even though who have been riding for a while now.
SNUG is the word you want when fitting a new helmet, IT MUST FIT SNUG ALL AROUND YOUR HEAD, try it on and move with it throughout the store for a few minutes... your head will love you for it later.
True story... A good friend of mine who had been riding for more than 10 yrs was an XLG helmet wearer and I kept hammering that it was to loose of a helmet for him, did not bellieve me until we went to Daytona Week and I took him to the Arai Booth were they inmediately told him he was an idiot and he should be wearing a size Med... happy camper ever since.
The only difference between him and you is that he wears the top of the line from Arai so there was more comfort on his helmets.
The number one criteria is fit. Regardless of make or cost, a poorly fit helmet can be dangerous, if only due to not being secured properly. In general, Shoei helmets fit a more round head profile while Arais favor a more oval front to back.
+1 on the criteria but I dissagree up to a point on the Arai/Shoei Profile as Arai caters to 3 different head shapes but, he's got the right idea. I can't wear a Shoei but I will fit into an Arai easily and sometimes you can compromise a bit as long as you are comfortable with it but I don't recommended. Example: I have a Signet/Profile type head (long Oval) but I was never able to find a color combination for it so I opted for the RX-7 (Round Oval), not a 100% fit/comfort but close enough because it had more ventilation (read: more wind noise but in Florida we need it), I don't commute so I don't have to wear it everyday only weekend or sporadic rides. I DON'T RECOMMEND it until you are certain that you can live with it. If you are just starting to ride, fit it properly and go with the one that fits you 100%.
Go to this site and read the FaQ's... this will give you an idea on the different head shapes, sizing, fitment, etc, etc. If you take your time reading it, you'll come out with the winning formula.
I can sell you any helmet you want (well, 95% of them anyways), but I can offer you a deeper discount on the Arai RX7 Corsair Blacks because I have a bunch of them on a LOT Purchase. Now, DO NOT JUMP on this offer just because of the price because if you are willing to shell out 500 bucks or so, do yourself a favor and try a few of the better brands before commiting to it just because of price, if you compromise now you'll either regret it later or be happy with it.
FITTING a helmet is VERY IMPORTANT... DO NOT BUY w/o making sure of it.