Exercising is an important factor in life if you want to remain healthy and fit. However, for a lot of us with natural hair, it can come down to a toss-up between keeping our natural hair fresh, clean and moisturised or bogged down with sweat.
Keeping your natural hair well moisturised can be hard enough but when you add sweat which is a mixture of salt and water to that it can feel like a recipe for disaster.
Well, the truth is that it doesn’t have to feel that way.
It’s possible to be working out with natural hair on a regular basis and still keep your hair looking good.
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Is sweat good for natural hair?
As already mentioned sweat is a mixture of salt and water as well as other nasties that we won’t talk about here.
While moisture is good for hair, sweat is not. The salt from sweat can actually cause your hair to get very dry and we all know that our natural hair needs to stay moisturised.
The key to being able to work out well and keep your natural hair happy is to try and make sure that your hair remains moisturised and sweat is kept under control as much as possible.
Sounds crazy right? You can’t stop yourself from sweating after all.
Here are 7 things you can do to make sure you can keep working out with your natural hair without suffering the ill effects from sweating.
7 Things you can do to keep working out with natural hair
1. Start with already moistured hair
If you have natural hair then you know that life begins and ends with keeping your hair well moisturised.
Make sure that before you even begin a workout that you are already keeping your hair as well moisturised as possible.
This will help to make sure that when you do sweat it doesn’t make a bad situation even worse.
I like to sometimes moisturise my hair the night before by lightly spritzing it with water using a spray bottle like this one and adding some leave-in conditioner.
I then twist or plait my hair and leave it like that overnight.
If you are headed to the gym nice and early in the morning having your hair already braided or twisted can help to keep your hair stretched and moisturised.
This is actually a very clever tip because once your hair is already soaked up with moisture it has less opportunity to soak up the sweat from exercising.
However, having said that it doesn’t stop the sweat from sitting on your scalp.
2. Keep your hair tied up where possible
The best thing you can ever do for your hair whilst working out is to keep your hair tied up and out of your face.
Not just for practical reasons but tieing your hair up also means that you can keep the sweat from your hair to a minimum and out of your way.
3. Don’t shampoo too often
It might be tempting to shampoo your hair after every workout to make sure that your hair stays fresh but doing so could actually cause you more harm than good.
Shampooing your hair causes dryness due to the stripping nature of most shampoos on the market.
If you happen to be a wash and go fan this is the perfect time to do it.
Keep the shampooing to an absolute minimum. If you feel like your scalp has too much build-up from sweating then, by all means, use a cleanser which will help to get rid of build-up but not strip your hair of all its oils like regular shampoo can do.
4. Deep condition as much as you can
Deep conditioning your hair is always a must in my books.
It’s an extra step in your washing process but its a worthwhile one.
If you can, try to deep condition your hair every week or at least every other week depending on your routine.
This will ensure that your hair remains as moisturised as possible.
If you are new to deep conditioning I can highly recommend you try one of these 2 deep conditioners:
5. Use a headband
You might wonder what all the fuss is about when it comes to headbands but headbands can be a great way to keep your edges laid flat during a workout.
Working out with natural hair can cause your edges to get extremely puffy from the sweat. Using a headband can help you to avoid this.
You can use a satin headscarf or an exercise headband such as this one.
Just be aware though that if you cover your whole head with a headscarf you could potentially be trapping in the sweat.
6. Let your hair dry before taking it down
If your gym session is before work and you don’t feel like heading to the office with a huge puff of hair, you should make sure that your hair remains in its bun until it is dry.
That may not sound practical if you don’t have the time to wait for it to dry and if that is you then your best bet is to sit under a dry for a few minutes on a cool setting until your hair feels dry.
This makes sure that your hair stays as controlled as possible without the huge puff unless you want that look.
7. Coordinate your workout around wash days
Another great way to make working out work for you is to make sure that you coordinate your workouts around about the time you are due to wash your hair.
This is extremely helpful if you tend to get an itching scalp from the sweat after working out.
Different ways to have your natural hair during a workout
- High ponytail
- Low ponytail
- Braids with extensions
- Twists or braids ready for a twist out or braid out
Final thoughts on working out with natural hair
You should never have to choose between your hair and your health.
Working out is so important for your health but keeping your natural hair healthy is also important.
Using the above tips I hope you can see that it’s not a case of having to choose between the two but rather finding out how to incorporate the two things that will work in your favour.