If you had to choose between either your “too fly, gotta keep it dry hairdo” and your “tight and right figure,” which one would you pick? Unfortunately when it comes to African American women, 1 out of 3 reside in camp “too fly, gotta keep it dry.”
Mmmmm mmm mmm (black momma head shake). No judgement and no worries, because the good news is you don’t have to choose. You can have both: fly hair and a fit bod to match. So calling all those “1 out of 3” girls, keep reading so you can finally stop letting your hair disrupt your healthy.
Not all styles are created equally. In the “Black Girls Workout Olympics” natural hair girls who rock their hair natural definitely take the gold. If that’s you, then thanks to your hair choice you can go hard in the paint when it comes to your workout since a little sweat wont kill your kinks! But hold up…you silver and bronze medal girls are not exempt. Where there is a will there is a way…so keep reading.
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To shampoo or not to shampoo, that is the question. No matter what medal hangs around your neck the key to maintaining any black girls hairdo while working out is to lock in moisture. Sweat and working out kind of go hand in hand, but too much sweat can be super drying and therefore damaging to your tresses. So try and limit your shampoo days to once a week (pH balanced/sulfate free suds of course) and opt for either a dry shampoo (if you have relaxed, natural blown out hair, weave or locks), sudsless shampoo, or a rinse and condition regimen (if you have natural hair that is not heat manipulated/dependent) on the days your drenched in sweat.
Up your “hair product” game. I have worked out my entire hair life (through relaxers, natural hair…kinky and fro-ed out, and blow outs….long and sleek). And I can say that the key to working out and maintaining lovely locks is: styling products. With natural hair, leave-in conditioner is my BFF. The more the better…before, during, and certainly after workouts. And with natural blown out hair don’t opt out on the heat protectant or anti-reversion styling products. They not only protect the hair from heat and environmental damage but they also lead to a better blow out. The better the blow out the better it will hold up during jumping jacks. Recommendations: Giovanni Direct Leave In Conditioner, Keihl’s Hair Conditioner and Grooming Aid Formula 133, and John Frieda Frizz-Ease 3-Day Straight Semi-Permanent Styling Spray.
Sweat it out before you blow it out. I get it, who wants to spend hours and dollars at the salon only to sweat it out in Zumba class? No one. So woman know thyself and the intensity of your workouts. Not all workouts have to leave you drenched in sweat. So if you get your hair done on Friday’s your weekly workout may start of with lower impact workouts such as yoga, pilates, strength training, or even brisk walks. Each day kick up the intensity so by Friday you are literally slipping in your own sweat!
Pull it high to and let it dry. Your blowout can and will survive your morning run if you do two things. One, pull it into either one or multiple ponytails on the top of your head (the higher the better) using a cloth based hair tie. Test drive this; depending on your hair, certain hair ties leave a crease while others don’t. And, two….no matter what let your roots dry before your release your locks. Impatience will certainly lead to puffiness, so WAIT. Ok ok I hear you….I am not wearing a ponytail to work. Well then….either opt for a super chic bun (make sure ends are loosely tucked or else you will have moist ends) or pop a couple rollers in so your ponytail is full of body and fun.
Bring back the sweat band. 80’s fitness gear never gets old when it comes to upholding your do, so tie down your edges girls with either a cotton scarf or headband (not silk….silk can’t handle sweat and 30 mins is not going to break off your edges…so don’t fear the cotton). Also to lock in moisture, oil your scalp and edges pre workout. Wasup coconut and jojoba oil. The oil will definitely help repel some of the super drying sweat you accumulate in spin class, so don’t skip this step sistah.
Be Cool. Last but certainly not least, keep your mane under control by opting to work out in cooler climates/environments. Getting your burn on outside when it is cooler can make a difference when it comes to the amount of sweat you build up. I run outside all winter and also rock a natural hair blow out most weeks. So lace up and bare the cold girls. And when winter is over, don’t fret….get up under the AC or a fan during your indoor workout and still keep your scalp a little less sweaty. Boom!
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