If you scroll your social media feed, you will most likely see a video of someone doing squats or twerking. Both require a strong back and good knees. And, both will make you work up a sweat. If you just stepped out of the salon or spent two hours in your bathroom washing, conditioning and styling your hair, no amount of Tik Tok challenges or celebrity workouts will convince you to work up a sweat and frizz up your edges. The bottom line is that you shouldn’t have to choose between your body and your hair.
Many women want their edges laid and their waistlines snatched. And, beyond the cosmetic results from regular exercise, a regular fitness routine can help you live longer. It makes sense why the #fitinspiration hashtag continues to grow. But the dilemma with how to save our scalps and styles from the effects of sweat remains. Here are a few tips and tricks to support your exercise routine without fear of sweating out your hair.
Before your workout:
- Wear a headband or satin scarf. A headband will keep your hair in place and soak up the sweat from your hairline. YouTubers and hair influencers Eboni and Erica Davis recommend the Dri-sweat headband specifically made to keep your head cool. You can find it on Amazon for 4.99.
- Choose a protective style. Teda DeRosa-Pinkney, hairstylist and Academic Director of Empire Beauty in Boston, says, “If you are wearing your hair straight, pull it into a ponytail. If you are wearing a wig or extensions, keep it in braids during the workout.” You can also try flat twists, or turn that ponytail into a smooth bun and pin it in place. Using a satin scrunchie to hold your ponytail in place is also recommended; this avoids creating dents or crimps in your hair.
- Drink water. Drinking water before, during, and after your workout will keep your body temperature regulated and reduce the need for your body to sweat to cool itself off.
After your workout:
- Don’t take off the headband right after your workout. Instead, allow the headband to soak up the sweat along your hairline and leave it on while you cool down.
- Blow dry your hair on the cool setting, to cool down your scalp and gently dry your hair. Do this while you smooth your hair back into place.
- To control buildup, use a q-tip to apply a little Sea Breeze astringent or aloe gel to your scalp.
- Spray your hair with aloe or rosewater to refresh between washes, then wrap for a few minutes to set.
- Use dry shampoo if you are going beyond a week in between wash days.
The Davis sisters also share how they plan their workouts according to their wash and style day schedule. For example, if you wash and style your hair once a week, you can do low-impact exercises that don’t cause you to sweat too much. And, as you draw closer to wash day, you can increase the impact and intensity of your workouts.
Sample Weekly Schedule:
Days 1 and 2: Stretch out your arm to take selfies, and take these days off from working out.
Days 3 and 4: Walk at a brisk pace for 30 minutes, increase resistance with ankle weights, take a yoga class or stretch for 20-30 minutes with resistance bands to tone.
Days 5 and 6: Run on the treadmill, jog around a track, lift weights, do squats, jumping jacks, or a combination of cardio exercises for at least 45 minutes.
Day 7: Go hard on your last workout; see if you can get to 60-90 minutes.
With the right timing, equipment, and commitment you can achieve both your hair and fitness goals.