In my blog titled Black Girls Workout Too I briefly discussed that hair was a factor that kept 40% of Black women from wanting to workout. Sweating out your hair and having to style it for hours after working out is a hassle, especially when you are busy woman. As Black women our hair is our crown; it says so much about ourselves through the various hairstyles that we wear.
Most that know me understand that I like to change my hair every two months; from braids, to bobs, to dying my hair different colors I have literally done it all. Since fitness will forever be a part of my life I think it is important to wear hairstyles that can still look cute after going hard from a workout. HAIR is one thing that should never stop you from reaching your fitness goals, so myself and four of my friends shared how to wear fitness-friendly hairstyles while working out.
Rachel Scruggs, CPT/Owner of Fit 29
I love to change my hair. Sometimes I will wear a sew-in and a few weeks later I’m ready to take it down and wear my curls as I am a natural girl. Ultimately, when working out any hairstyle that is out of my face works for me. Currently, I’ve been wearing my hair in braids because they’re easy to manage. One thing I will note about braids is that whenever you’re squatting they can be annoying on your back, but other than that I love them. It is also important that whoever is doing your braids doesn’t pull your edges too tight when braiding the front part of your hair. That is one area where I have seen major breakage and you have to save your edges (LOL)! There are so many different ways to wear braids whether at the gym or work. You can wear them half up/half down, all down, braid your braids into a fish tail braid, or even put it all up into a high bun. The versatility with braids is a major reason why I wear them. Oiling your scalp and washing your hair once a week with help your braids to last a long time.
Alyssa Nichols, CPT/Owner of Eunoiafit
My favorite hairstyle for working out is a high bun or puff when training at Powerhouse DFW. I actually use shoelaces (Yep, you read that right) to secure my bun because I get tension headaches very easily. Using shoelaces helps me determine if I need to loosen or tighten it when securing my hair. This particular hairstyle is effective because it keeps my hair out of my face. There’s nothing worse than trying to workout with hair in your face and on your neck, especially when you’re sweaty. This is also a great hairstyle because it can be worn at work; just make sure to slick those edges down and you’re free to go about your day. Wearing a high puff is a great way to preserve your curls if you’re natural. It’s super easy and looks cute, too.
Mayorca Young, Former D1 Collegiate Runner
If you exercise more than three times a week, wearing natural curly weave may be your best choice especially if you are natural. Wearing natural curly weave benefited me in many ways. I was able to moisturize my hair and pull it back without worrying about sweating it out. Additionally, my skin cleared up a lot because my hair wasn’t in my face all the time. Other styles to consider with natural hair are twists, braids, buns and ponytails. Another key factor is to make sure you wash your hair at least once a week and drink plenty of water.
Maiah Holbrook, Fitness Instructor/Nutritionist
Hair isn’t just hair to black women, it is our crown. It’s an outlet to communicate and express, so there’s no surprise that our hair can take priority over many things like health and wellness, but how do we fix that? How can you have your health and your hair? The answer is through protective styling! I’ve been natural for about five years, but I grew up an athlete with relaxed hair. That was a major struggle for me and my mom. Thank goodness, however that we found that curls and roller sets were the way to go. As long as I had a headband to keep my edges laid, my curls would last. They would last through a week of track practice, church and whatever else I had going on. I started swimming my senior year of high school and that was the driving force behind me going natural. Now that I’m in charge of my own hair, I stick with a sleek low bun for my go to, for workouts. It keeps my hair out of my face and all of my cute headbands catch my sweat. After a workout it’s so easy to refresh in the shower. In the shower my hair is stretched and detangled, which makes cleansing my scalp a breeze. This allows me to throw on a hat for those days in the gym I’d rather not be bothered with having to do my hair. I have insanely thick hair and go through a lot of gel, so slicking that down and prayers get the job done!
Shahira Ehiemua, Former D1 Collegiate Runner/Teacher
Protective styles can be a girls bestfriend when it comes to working out, regardless if you’re natural or not. Protective styles help you maintain length retention and decrease the chances of your hair coming in contact with your clothing, which causes friction. Friction will then cause your hair to break off. Having a protective style helps you maintain healthy hair that matches your lifestyle. Taking care of your hair while it is in a protective style is an easy process. If your protective style consists of braids, twist, sew-in, etc., an oil applicator will work perfectly to keep your hair moisturized. If your protective style consist of a wig, due to the flexibility of being able to take it on and off, keeping your hair moisturized and clean is even easier. Also, your hair will not fall off with protective styles while working out. Your hair is actually being protected from falling out in that style.
With that being said, braids, a puff, bun, natural curly weave or a wig make for great hairstyles while working out. No one wants to be bothered with their hair when they’re trying to get a workout in, especially when you’re trying to be “summer-time fine.” You don’t have time to brush your hair out of your face 24/7, so find styles that are easy to manage, protect your hair and most importantly make you look great post-workout.