One thing a lot of my female clients and followers want to know is “How can I keep my hair from being ruined by working out?” Let’s face it, we spend a lot of money on our hair and would rather it is not getting messed up. I get it. I have gone natural, and anyone with African American, Afro-Latina, kinky, curly or frizzy hair know what sweat and humidity can do to a freshly pressed head. So a lot of women will not work out for the sole purpose of maintaining their hairstyle. But should a hairstyle be the reason you put your health on the back burner? Not working out to keep “laid” edges is not going to be a good enough excuse when your doctor tells you that your health is not where it should be, and you need to lose weight.
One thing ladies need to realize is that the gym is not the place to be cute. There is no need for you to have flowing Victoria’s Secret styled curls; the squat rack does not care what you look like. Even though it may not be possible for your hair to remain flawless, especially if you do high-intensity workouts like me, you can still salvage your hairstyle with a few of these tips.
Keep your hair out of your face. This simple step can change a lot. Putting your hair in a top knot or ponytail can make a huge difference in hair maintenance. When your hair is down on your face, and/or neck when you are sweating you can kiss that flat iron goodbye. Your hair will start to stick to your face and neck and become wet and filled with sweat causing your hair to curl or frizz. By keeping your hair up with bobby pins or tug, free elastic bands can help you eliminate the need to flat iron your hair again.
Wear a headband. Many sports and athletic brands carry headbands with moisture wicking materials similar to your workout clothes. They help absorb the moisture off of your skin, and their quick drying material helps keep your hair dry. Headbands are also great to keep shorter hairs, like bangs, out of your face and off of your neck.
Try a dry shampoo. If you are worried about oil build up but do not want to wash and flat iron your hair every day (or every few days) to keep your hair from drying out and becoming heat damaged you should try dry shampoo. You can find it in the hair care aisle at the grocery store, beauty supply store or makeup and beauty shops. It’s a powder substance that you spray into the hair to absorb unwanted oils from the hair and scalp. It is not intended to take the place of normal shampoo, just for in between washes.
Wrap your hair. If you are African American or Afro-Latina chances are you already wrap your hair. For those who do not know what this is it means to brush your hair around your head until your head is wrapped around your hair. (Just google “hair wrapped”) You can wrap your hair with a scarf and wear it under a hat at the gym to help keep your style. But remember not to unwrap it until your hair is completely dry. Air drying or using a blow-dryer to have your hair completely dry before unwrapping helps keep your edges and the rest of your hair from frizzing since it is one of the best ways to maintain straight hair.
Try a hair refreshing mist.
Similar to dry shampoo this is a product that can be found at locations where hair and beauty items are sold. It is a lightweight mist that helps restore moisture, revitalizes and helps eliminate any odors you may have in your hair.
Wear your hair masque on sauna days. Have you ever thought about killing two birds with one stone by deep conditioning in the sauna? By keeping your conditioner or hair masque on while in the sauna you will be giving your hair the ultimate treatment. Many stylists have clients sit under the dryer while their product sets but if you do it in the sauna you can make more efficient use of that time. Then all you have to do is rinse and style your hair once you get home.
Even though getting sweaty may not be ideal for many women it is important that we take our health seriously. Not wanting to mess up our hair is not a good enough reason to skip the gym regularly. With these tips, you should be able to find a system that works for you and your hair type that allows you to look and feel great from the neck up with your hair and the neck down with your body.