Are you letting your hair hold you back from being physically fit? There is nothing worse than spending hundreds of dollars and countless hours in the salon or at home to see your style go from fabulous to tragic after an intense workout. Sweat can dry out your hair, make your hair frizz up, and wreck havoc on a new ‘do, causing many to forgo exercise for their hair’s sake.
For some women, “going natural” is a way to combat this. No longer limited to the afros of the ’70s, women are wearing twist outs, tapered cuts, presses, and protective styles such as braids and buns to showcase their style. While these chemical-free styles offer flexible day-to-day styling options, the struggle to keep them fresh, moisturized, and presentable after exercising is real.
But you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. Planning your hairstyle to match your exercise schedule is the key to keeping your body in shape and your hair looking great. Our hair is as unique as we are and what works for some may not work for all, but the tips below can be tweaked to suit you and your hair’s needs.
Tame Your Tresses
Protecting your hair prior to sweating is key to retaining your style and minimizing the amount of time it will take to return it to its pre-workout state.
Use a silk scarf or sweatband to tie down your hair to keep the frizz at bay. If you’re worried about your edges kinking up, apply products meant specifically for your hairline: Karen’s Body Beautiful Sleek Strands Edge Control, Carol’s Daughter Macadamia Hold & Control Smoother, Design Essentials Sleek Edge Control, or Silk Elements are all good options that leave minimal-to-no residue and smell amazing.
Refresh Your Hair
Daily washing, while an attractive option for those who put in a lot of time at the gym, can strip your hair of its natural oils. If you deal with smelly hair or the constant urge to scratch your scalp after a workout, there are alternatives to grabbing your shampoo bottle.
Co-wash. Co-washing with a cleansing conditioner like ” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Peppermint” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>tea tree” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>witch hazel and Seabreeze can also be rubbed onto your scalp to get rid of buildup, but should be used with caution as they are known for their drying effects. Refreshing immediately after exercising will provide the best results.
Use dry shampoo. Spray dry shampoo directly to your scalp and style as usual. Matrix Biolage Hydratherapie is a leave-in conditioner and styling cream that provides elasticity and added manageability. And when rubbed on your scalp, coconut oil is nature’s cure for dryness—Naturalista Cosmetics Juicy Yummy made with cocoa butter, aloe, and other essentials oils is perfect for styling twists. (Note: a little goes along way.)
Wear A Protective Style
If you exercise more than three times a week regularly, this may be your best choice. The options are a-plenty and can be achieved with your own hair or by adding human or synthetic hair. Twists, braids, buns, ponytails, and weaves will keep your natural hair protected. You should be good to go for at least a week with no washing—which gives you plenty of time to work out.