As someone who exercises regularly (5x a week) with high-intensity workouts, sweat is a big part of my life. Trust me I know how I look and smell when I finish my routine. I’d like to say I’m sorry for the graphic image, but I’m actually not. You see, too many women drastically reduce their workout intensity or frequency because they are natural or transitioning to natural hair and find it difficult to manage their hair. Some even stop altogether! Today I want to give you a few little tips to protect your natural when working out that will hopefully motivate you to start taking care of your health.
My goal in this blog post today is to let you know that exercising and going natural are not incompatible with each other. The great thing is you can do both! Some people love exercising and others have it. I personally don’t love it, and some mornings I actually hate it with a passion until I get started. I love the sense of accomplishment and the rush of energy I get when I finish my routine. Plus, I’m in a much better mood when I workout. The point is with some hairstyle planning and some protective measures you can totally do it. Let’s get started!
1| TAKE YOUR HAIR OFF YOUR FACE
I know some people like to look cute and showcase their curls at all time, but if you’re serious about exercising you are bound to sweat and your hair will get in the way. You don’t want to spend your time taking it off your face, you should be concentrating on getting the maximum out of what you are doing. Besides, the salt in your sweat can dry out your hair and cause unnecessary breakage and we want to avoid that.
2| LET YOUR SCALP BREAD
Ok, so this tip is based on my personal experiences trying different hairstyles and coming to the conclusion that when my hair is styled in a way where it is parted – braids, twists, it’s flat versions or any similar styles – my scalp has more breathing space and my roots don’t get drenched in sweat.
This is probably one of the main reasons why many women going natural stop exercising. With a sweaty scalp they feel the need to wash their hair and with natural hair this is extra work, meaning they have to wake up earlier, do their hair more often, spend more money on products, over manipulate their hair and, in the end, they decide to favour their hair and not their health.
By styling your hair in a way where your scalp can breathe you won’t feel the need to wash or co-wash your hair so often. You will notice you can go longer without doing it or even wait until your next wash day. Ok, so you may have to do a mid-week co-was if you exercise frequently or you start having an itchy scalp. I do that too, and it’s still manageable!
3| FAVOUR PROTECTIVE STYLES
Going towards my previous point, protective hairstyles that let the scalp breathe are some of my favourite options for working out. You can secure your braids or twists with bobby pins or a hair tie, moreover if you want to co-wash you can do so with your braids or twists without unravelling them. You can also opt for any bun style, a ponytail or big braid if your hair is long enough, the main thing is to secure your hair to not get in the way and hopefully let your scalp have “breathing” space.
4| PROTECT YOUR EDGES
Even if your scalp and roots don’t get wet at the end of your exercise, I bet your face, forehead and neck get sweaty and so does your hairline. Normally, the hair around the edges is shorter and when in contact with the salty sweat, if left to dry, it can break. To avoid all this, use a sweatband, headband or a scarf to absorb all the sweat. This will also help preserve your hairstyle for longer because, as the days go by your edges will start to look older and not so neat.
5| REFRESH YOUR SCALP
Refreshing your scalp will allow you stimulate and release the salt and toxins from your scalp and roots. You can do this by simply mixing some distilled water with a vegetable oil, a few drops of tea tree or peppermint essential oil and then spray it on your scalp or dab it with a cotton ball. Gently massage the scalp for a more refreshing experience.
For more recipes to refresh your scalp read 5 Ways To Refresh Your Scalp After Exercising or Download the FREE 15 page DIY BOOK of Recipes, Hacks and Tips from Curly Hair Lounge. This books grows as I share more tips with you on the blog so it’s a wonderful resource where you can find that recipe you liked but don’t remember where you read it.
6| RINSE OR CO-WASH
If you tried refreshing your scalp and you still feel you need to wash your hair or your scalp is itchy try rinsing it with water giving your scalp a good massage to release the salt, sweat, and dirt. If your hair is smelly or you still prefer a deeper cleanse, co-wash mid-week or every two or three days. Don’t forget to apply a moisturiser.
7| LET IT DRY, BLOW IT OUT
After you have exercised, taken your shower and done your makeup don’t rush to take your hair out ’cause it will puff up or frizz out. Let it dry completely before doing so. If you have to rush to work, have an appointment or you just want to let your hair down and out use a blow dryer on a low heat setting to speed up the drying process. Just make sure it’s not your salty sweat your drying into your hair (that is, if you sweat a lot) ’cause you know what that will give you eventually – breakage. Refresh your scalp at least (download the DIY Book or read 5 Ways To Refresh Your Scalp After Exercising).
As you can see there are no excuses for not working out, you don’t need to sacrifice your health for your hair. Yes, you may need to adjust a few thing now that you’re transitioning to natural hair. If you need a few tips on how to conciliate your workout with your transition to natural hair or what kind of hairstyles you can do read Tips To Make Exercise And Transitioning To Natural Hair Possible. There you will also the FREE Printable Resource below to help you organise your workout and hair routine. Head over there and start taking care of your health. You have no excuses now!
What do you struggle with about exercising and your curly hair? What other tips do you have?