Who can relate to the countless amount of times when you’ve planned your workout routines around your hairstyles? The decision was, unfortunately... almost too easy?
For many Black women, myself included, the time and cost associated with getting our hair done and then maintaining it are enough to keep pushing back on going to the gym. For me, there’s always been a fine line between fitness and looking fly, and more often than not, I choose to align with the latter.
It takes a lot of trial and error to figure out the best ways to maintain hair in the gym, especially when the number one rule after getting Black hair done is “not sweating it out.” That’s why I’ve turned to an athlete and hairstylist for hair care tips.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
Wrap It Up
Great for natural or relaxed hairstyles, use a headwrap to wrap around your sides and edges. It helps maintain hair moisture and also helps the heat to be released. My favorites are by Loza Tam. The satin lining protects fragile strands, reduces moisture loss, and hair breakage. Plus, no wrapping is required. Just place it on your head like a hat!
Puff It Out
Imagine the hair prep you do when you’ve got a fresh blowout and have to take a shower. This is the way you should be styling your ponytail for the gym.
Hairstylist Keva Lafrance says, “prior to the gym wear your hair in a bun to avoid any mishap with machinery. Follow up with a wash moisturizer and hair cream. As far as braids, you can still wrap them up and I would recommend washing them every two weeks with a blow-dry follow up, and oiling the scalp, and wearing a bonnet or scarf at bedtime.”
If you’re trying to get the “wash n go” look, you’ll need to add a few products to get rid of the frizz before the workout. This will also help maintain the style during the workout. Some favorite products are:
- Design essentials edge control - perfect to tame the edges!
- Shea moisture hair lotion - moisturizes hair strands
- Coconut oil - locks in moisture
- Wild hair growth oil - adds moisture to the scalp and promotes hair growth
- Shine and jam - sleeks hair strands and gets rid of fly away
- Shine n jam mouse helps keep braids - helps to loosen up braids and also gets rid of flyaways
Keep in mind that while we recommend these products before your workout, working out means you may have to cleanse your scalp more and find alternatives for pressing. “Weaves get sweaty and smell when you work out as much as athletes do. If you wear your hair with leave-out, oftentimes you’ll have to press your hair again, because you’ve sweated it out.” Olamide Olowe, former D1 UCLA track athlete, shares. For situations like this, you may want to consider gel products instead of heat.
After The Workout
At the end of my workouts comes the same question: “Now, what should I do with my hair?”
I’ve found that styling my hair into two braids or one loose braid has helped easily transition my hair into a post-workout style. Moisturizing products help keep strands hydrated, and if my hair is absolutely drenched with sweat, a cleansing shampoo and hydrating conditioner are my go-to’s.