Summer is coming and we all want to look our best in that small bikini. So, whether you workout on a regular basis or you’re just trying to reach a specific goal you’re probably jumping, squatting and doing your cardio which means you’re sweating. Exercise and transitioning to natural hair doesn’t sound like a good partnership. However, you want to workout and still be able to rock your hair without having to wash and style it every day.
Many of us face the dilemma of having to cut down or even stop working out because it takes up too much time with all the hair washing and styling that damages our hair. Remember, washing your hair every time you workout (especially if 3 or more than times a week) strips your hair of its natural oils, and all the manipulation from the styling will increase breakage on an already fragile hair. I faced this issue too and I tried a few different things before I found a hair and exercise routine that worked for me. All I am trying to say is that you can do it too, you don’t need to sacrifice either one.
To give you a little help on how to “marry” exercise and managing your curly hair I will give you a little peek into my own workout and hair routine. It took me a while to find a balance, but I’m confident you can find it too especially if you don’t exercise as much as me. I’m so confident you can make it that I created a little something to help you find your own balance. Keep reading!
IDENTIFYING PROBLEMS & SOLUTIONS
This is a given and if you’re anything like me your hair will be dripping wet. This isn’t so much of a problem in the winter as temperatures are lower and I find I don’t sweat as much from my scalp. Spring and summer represent a different challenge. I recommend that you wash your hair twice a week, and if you shampoo or low poo make one of these a co-wash so you don’t strip your hair of natural oils and to prevent dryness.
It is important to remove all the salty sweat from your scalp and hair. Not doing it promotes itchiness in the scalp, may cause microbes or fungi and the sweat will end up being absorbed into your hair where the nasty salt would dry it drastically. I know you are worried about styling and time constrictions, but try to schedule washing your hair around your exercise resting days. You know you have to rest those muscles to get the benefits you’re aiming for or you’ll be looking at injuries.
2| MAINTAINING A HAIRSTYLE
No, you can’t expect to workout and still maintain your hair straight. That’s only possible in dreamland. You can only tie your hair and let it down once it’s completely dry, otherwise, it will get puffy and frizzy. Not a good look! The reality is if you do an intense workout you’re better off keeping your hair in protective hairstyles that hold longer and better such as braids and twists, its flat versions or the famous bun.
I found that with these styles, with the exception of the bun, when I exercise my scalp can breathe better and my hair is not so wet because it is parted into “sections”. Remember to always use a headband and/or a scarf to soak up the sweat and keep the edges down (remove it when hair is dry).
Don’t think you can’t rock braids and twists, I personally love the flat versions. Look at the picture above, a side flat twist with a braid. It’s simple, elegant, quick and easy to do. If you need some guidance, take a look at this small tutorial from Naptural85 with a similar style. Become familiar with two or three different styles, interchange those with a quick bun and a low/high ponytail and you’re good to go, you won’t be having the same hairstyles every week. I’m not saying you should change styles every day.
What I’m saying is for you to try and stretch a hairstyle until your next washing day. If you find you can’t wait that long because it’s matted then let your hair dry, or use the blow dryer in a low setting, and take your twists/braids down. Your hair will have a nice texture, the following day you can tie it in a ponytail. See…!? You can do it.
3| TIME CONSTRAINTS
Let’s be honest, it’s not just the time spent doing our hair that worries us, it’s the hassle as well. If possible, I like simple, easy, quick and cute. I call it the fantastic four! In order to achieve them, I had to program my washing days with my resting days. It took some time but it works for me. Look at the table bellow, it represents my training and hair washing days in two different routines.
Routine number one I use for the Spring/Summer, which is when I sweat more. I do a co-wash mid week and a low-poo on Saturday. Routine number two I use for the Autumn/Winter when I don’t sweat that much from my scalp. As you can see, in the second routine I only wash once a week and I stretch my style. Occasionally I will co-wash mid-week if I feel I need it. If you do twists or flat twists see if you can hold them for two or three days, then take them down, wear for another day or so, then you can do a ponytail, side twist… See where I am going?…
If you find that your hair needs moisture, spritz your hair with a mixture of distilled water and aloe vera juice, a few drops of essential tea tree oil to prevent itchiness and bacterial or fungal activity on the scalp and some vegetable oil. This will keep your hair hydrated. You can also use a leave-in conditioner or a moisturiser.
I hope these tips will let you know that now that you’re transitioning to natural hair you don’t have to sacrifice neither your hair nor your workout. You will need to make some adjustments, but nothing that is worth having in this world comes easy!
Having said that, there’s nothing wrong with a having a little help. You have taken a look at my workout and natural hair weekly calendar now I want you to develop one for yourself. If read this post up to here you certainly want to invest in your health. Therefore, I created a weekly and monthly Workout & Natural Hair Calendar you can print and fill in having in mind my own calendar and adjusting it to your own life routines.
You may need to make several adjustments before you find what works best for you, but the important thing is to invest in your health, without it even the most beautiful healthy hair won’t resist and will slowly wither away. Download the Free Document below and have access to this and other FREE RESOURCES. Start investing in you! Your hair will reap the benefits too.
Did you find these tips useful? What do you do to protect your hair when you exercise? Is it working for you?
awesome blog post about curly hair lounge my friend.
Nice and organized 🙂
Love this! Being someone with curly hair, this is definitely a frequently faced dilemma! Thanks for the info! 🙂
I’m glad glad you find the information useful.
I don’t have very curly hair, but from shampooing and conditioning every day, I now shampoo and condition twice a week. I wet my hair every day in the shower and massage it to get it a bit cleaner. When it was in a bob I used to blow dry every day to straighten it; these days it’s a deliberately messy pixie so I can let it dry naturally then rough it up with my fingers. It doesn’t look dirty in between washing days. I think my hair is healthier as a result.
Hi Ballerine, I’m glad you found a routine that works for you. Shampooing everyday can strip your hair of natural oils, twice a week is much healthier. Have you tried shampooing once a week and co-washing the second time? Read my post Shampoo on Curly hair. Although it’s aimed at curly girls you can understand how shampoo works in your hair.
Thanks for the detailed review. It was really helpful.
Thank you James. 🙂