Who Said Black Women Can’t Workout Because of Our Hair???
I believe the number one question that women ask me is, “How do you workout on a healthy hair regimen”? Well, let me tell you it is possible. It just requires planning and discipline. Here are a few tips I would like to share with you that you will find useful:
Straight Hair (Straight-Stylers)
- Cleanse hair often. Reserve full shampoo and/or conditioning sessions for times when hair has been severely sweated out or soiled to avoid daily manipulation and too much heated styling.
- To preserve hair straightness, pin the hair up high on the head in a loose ponytail and tuck ends away or try loose pin curls before working out. This will prevent your hair from touching the sweat that has accumulated on your neck and shoulders.
- I recommend an occasional use of a light serum or an anti-humectant product on the hair to prevent premature reversion (too much use of a serum can lead to dryness and breakage; use sparingly).
- You can wear a sports band or satin scarf & cotton bandanna (place cotton bandanna around satin scarf to effectively absorb the sweat) around your hairline to soak up the sweat during your workouts. This will reduce the hairs around your hairline from reverting. Remove sweaty cotton scarf and leave on satin scarf until hair dries.
- Do not loosen ponytail or pin curls until your hair is completely dry to keep your hair stretched out.
- To combat frizzy/curly edges, do not retouch it with a flat iron or hot comb (daily heat styling can lead to breakage). Instead use a light pomade (gel can wet the hair causing reversion).
- Apply pomade to edges with your hands. Smooth pomade with hands or use a brush gently to slick your edges back.
- Wrap with a satin scarf around your hairline. Leave the scarf on until you are ready to leave your house; the longer the better.
- Remove scarf. Now you are left with smooth edges.
- Try “wet bunning” hair, if you do not sweat too much in your head. This is done by cleansing, applying a leave-in conditioner, then pulling hair into a ponytail and bunning. This style will keep your hair looking cute and stylish so you will not have to worry about ruining your style or too-much manipulation. It will also keep sweat from the ends of hair, because it is tucked away. Apply pomade to edges, wrap with a scarf, remove scarf, and you’re done. Once you feel the need to wash, you can quickly and easily do so.
- Try a dry braid-out to avoid using heat
- After workout, dampen hair with water in a spray bottle.
- Section hair into four parts.
- Use a leave-in conditioner, moisturizer, or hair butter lightly.
- Divide each of the four sections into two equal parts. Braid hair into 8 plaits, place perm rod on the ends of hair. Cover with satin scarf.
- In the morning un-braid hair and fluff with fingers
- Try a roller set to avoid using heat
- Use a leave-in conditioner after workout and set hair to rollers to offset the volume at your roots.
- Workout around your healthy-hair regimen. Do your more intense, sweat-inducing cardio days before wash day. For example, if you normally do your wash and straighten routine on Sundays then, Monday-Thursday you can do your strength training and low impact workouts that will not leave your hair soaked. Then Friday-Sunday you can do your hardcore cardio that will sweat your hair out as it begins to revert to kinky…. just in time for your wash day.
Twists, Braids, Extensions, Weaves, & Wigs (Protective Stylers)
- Cleanse hair frequently. Keeping your hair clean and moisturized is a must. Try to shampoo and condition your hair weekly or bi-weekly. Hair can become extremely dry with extensions, which can lead to dandruff and breakage.
It is a good idea to dilute your shampoo and conditioner with water to decrease product build up.
Place shampoo and conditioner in a applicator bottle for easier placement between the tracks or along cornrows lines and along the length of the braid extensions. Be gentle when shampooing your braids or weaved styles. For weaves, keep hair in a downward position to prevent tangling and frizzing. For big, curly weave I would twist my hair before I workout to prevent tangles. Always, gently pat dry with microfiber towel.
If you frequently wash your extensions, fully dry your hair under wigs, weaves and braids once you have washed it. Damp hair in a warm environment can brew bacteria & mildew and can cause unpleasant odors.
Add a small amount tea tree oil to conditioner to relieve a dry & itchy scalp.
After workouts, once the hair is dry. Moisturize with moisturizing sprays throughout the hair. This will combat dryness and keep your hair strong.
- Use a leave-in conditioner on weaves to keep hair soft and shiny.
- If you experience a dry, flaky, and/or itchy scalp, use an astringent, such as Sea Breeze, a cotton swap or cotton ball to gently remove dulling excess oils and dry scalp cuticles. Use the astringent in between braids after workouts to remove accumulated sweat and dirt. This will get rid of sweat and the bacteria that produces odors. Follow with a light-weight moisturizer or spray so scalp won’t feel tight or dry.
- Always wear a satin scarf or satin bonnet at night to protect the hair.
- For weaves & wigs, use a a wide-tooth comb to detangle hair. Start from ends to roots to avoid pulling hair from track.
- When wearing lengthy weaves, try wearing in a loose ponytail to limit the amount of sweat that accumulates on the ends of the hair.
- Toward the end of the week, several days before wash days, I would wet my extensions, lightly put in a leave-in conditioner and braid the hair, to reduce straightening my hair to blend and spending hours straightening the weave.
- Braid or twist hair prior to workouts to decrease the time it takes you to prepare for bed or prepare for work.
- I like Organic Root Stimulator Weave Rx Oil-Free Hair Freshener to eliminate odors and it freshens up my weaves and wigs.
- Cleanse, condition, and moisturize hair frequently. Co-washing in between full washing sessions are a great option for you to gently remove sweat and dirt without stripping the hair by using harsh surfactants that are found in most shampoos. There are also a lot of sulfate-free shampoos that can be use weekly to cleanse hair. Gentle, clarifying shampoos are great to use once per month or as needed to remove product buildup, sweat, dirt, and debris.
- If you experience a dry, flaky, or itchy scalp, use an astringent, such as Sea Breeze, a cotton swap or cotton ball to gently remove dulling excess oils and dry scalp cuticle. Use the astringent in between braids or twists after workouts to remove accumulated sweat and dirt. This get rid of sweat and the bacteria that produces odors. Follow with a light-weight moisturizer or spray so scalp won’t feel tight or dry.
- Add a small amount tea tree oil to conditioner to relieve a dry & itchy scalp
- Pineapple your hair. Pull your hair into a high “pineapple” ponytail with a scrunchy. It will get your hair out of the way and prevent body sweat from getting to it. Also, the scrunchy will allow your hair to effortlessly fall back down when released without leaving a dent.
- You can wear a sports band or satin scarf (place cotton bandanna around satin scarf to effectively absorb the sweat) around your hairline to soak up the sweat during your workouts. This will keep edges pretty smooth. Remove sweaty cotton scarf and leave on satin scarf until hair drys.
- Do your hair at the gym. If you are in the habit of styling your hair at night before bed and working out in the evening, then style your hair at the gym. If you’re worried about your hair frizzing up at the gym while you work out, then twist/braid it up right before exercising then pull the twist and braids into a ponytail and go. Once your home and showered, you can go straight to bed rather than trying to style your hair for the next day.
- Pick care-free styles. Braids, cornrows, flat-twist, two-strand twists, buns, and updos are easy styling options
- Trying “banding” at night (placing elastic bands along the twist or braid) to keep hair stretched.
- Workout around your healthy-hair regimen. Do your more intense, sweat-inducing cardio days before wash day especially if you like to keep your hair stretched.
Good Luck on Your Hair & Fitness Journey!
Hair Kitty Kitty