Maintaining a regular exercise routine is essential for a healthy body and mind, but for those with natural hair, it can sometimes pose a challenge. Sweat, friction, and moisture can all take a toll on your tresses during workouts. However, with a few simple tips and tricks, you can keep your natural hair healthy, manageable, and looking fabulous while staying active. Here are effective strategies to care for your natural hair during exercise and physical activities.
- Pre-Workout Preparation
Before hitting the gym or engaging in any physical activity, it's essential to prepare your hair to minimize potential damage. Consider these steps:
a. Protective Styles: Opt for protective hairstyles like braids, twists, buns, or updos. These styles help reduce friction and tangling during workouts.
b. Satin/Silk Scarf or Bonnet: Secure your hair with a satin/silk scarf or bonnet to prevent moisture loss and minimize friction against harsh workout materials like cotton or polyester.
c. Moisturize: Apply a water-based leave-in conditioner (Tailored Beauty Moisture Penetrating Leave-In Conditioner) or a moisturizing mist (Tailored Beauty Moisturizing Mist) before your workout to keep your hair hydrated throughout it. This will help minimize dryness and frizz caused by sweat.
- Tie It Up or Braid It Down
During high-intensity workouts, keep your hair out of the way by tying it up in messy bun, loose twists, braids or a ponytail. Avoid tight hairstyles, as they can cause stress and breakage. Secure your hair gently with non-damaging hair ties or scrunchies made from soft fabrics like satin or silk.
- Sweat Management
Sweat is inevitable during exercise, and while it's a sign of an effective workout, it can lead to dryness and potential frizz for natural hair. Here's how to manage sweat during your workouts:
a. Absorbent Headband: Wear a moisture-wicking headband to absorb sweat from your scalp and hairline. This will help prevent sweat from dripping onto your hair.
b. Blotting Paper: If your scalp gets excessively sweaty, gently blot it with oil-absorbing blotting papers to remove excess oil without disturbing your hairstyle.
- Post-Workout Hair Care
After your workout, it's essential to cleanse and rejuvenate your hair to maintain its health and manageability.
a. Co-Washing: Consider co-washing (using conditioner only) instead of shampooing every time you work out. This method helps retain natural oils and moisture in your hair while still cleansing your scalp.
b. Scalp Massage: Give yourself a relaxing scalp massage with an oil during the co-wash to improve blood circulation and promote hair growth.
c. Deep Conditioning: Once a week, indulge in a deep conditioning treatment to replenish and rejuvenate your hair with moisture.
- Avoid Over-Manipulation
Frequent manipulation can lead to breakage and damage, especially when your hair is more vulnerable post-workout. Minimize combing, brushing, and styling to reduce stress on your natural hair. Let your hair dry before you decide to unravel it or restyle it to prevent frizz. It's best to keep your hair in low-manipulation or protective styles where your styles can be retained even through high intensity works.
Maintaining healthy and manageable natural hair while staying active is achievable with proper care and preparation. Remember, consistency is key, and adapting your hair care routine to your exercise regimen will result in healthier, more vibrant natural hair that complements your active lifestyle. Embrace the journey of maintaining your natural locks during exercise, and you'll enjoy both the benefits of fitness and the beauty of your hair.