Does Natural Hair & Fitness Go Together?


This is a tough one isn’t it? For the most part we all want to be healthy. So, here we are trying to do the right things with our mind and  bodies. Many of us achieve balance through various forms of meditation, eating in moderation, and of course exercise. Exercise seems to be the one component that gets put on the back burner. Actually, all sorts of excuses are made for why people don’t exercise, but I can save that for another post.

So, Naturalista! You have made it! You are at the gym! You arrived looking all fresh. Better yet, you just had your hair done in some way, whether that be a wash and go, style, you have locs or you have installed some extensions. If you’re like me, you’re kind of wondering what your hair will look like by the end of your workout. As to not add any more stress to our lives, I have found some cool ways to help preserve your hairdo or at the very least, if you just got your hair done, help you prolong your next wash. However, if your hair is dirty, please just wash it. This post is not centered around keeping your hair dirty, this is about preservation of your hairdo post-workout!

For the most part, I wear my hair in Bantu Knots, on the sides, with a Bantu Knot-out going down the center. For this particular style, when I work out, I do not wear any wraps or head ties of any sort. I just let it breathe. As soon as I am done, I run into that change room, pick up a blow dryer, and go at it, until my scalp is pretty much dry, put on my shower cap, and hit the shower. I do this because I have a tendency to sweat a bit at the front of my crown and at the nape of my neck. Generally, if your hair is naturally styled, with your own hair, this method works well.

When I have my hair out in some kind of afro or twist-out (which I have to admit is quite rare), I prefer to wear a wrap to contain it, for workouts. This helps my hair not expand and helps to keep the twist-out in proper form. Although, I do enjoy a wild afro, the one you get from wearing your hair out, then exercising is generally not quite the look I was going for. Again, once I am done with my workout, I remove my wrap and start to blow dry my hair. If you want to ensure the steam from your shower won’t dismantle all the work you’ve put in, you can wrap your hair again, cover it with a shower cap, and hit the shower. Then if you choose, you can blow dry for a few seconds to bring your hair back to life afterward.

If you have locs, wear braid or twist extensions, you can tie your hair back into a ponytail for your workout, depending on your length, and then blow dry your hair afterward. Loc wearers win, as they can easily just do a quick wash, if they have time, and blow dry and be good to go.  Please, please, please, if you’re wearing extensions, hold your blow dryer at a safe distance from your hair, as you don’t want to melt it! I don’t want any of you saying I told you to melt off your hair, okay?!

For people who wear the wash and go, if you do have the time, you may choose to start fresh, depending on how much you sweat. If you plan on preserving your wash and go, I would wrap it, and once you’re done with your workout, you can try reactivating the product in your hair with a very light gel or a leave-in spray, and position the curls how you’d like and lightly diffuse the hair.

To be honest, these tricks work for me, and they may work for someone in reverse order or not at all. So I would experiment to see if keeping your hair wrapped during your workout helps vs not wrapping, then blow drying.

I hope this helps someone!

Hair By Glenna

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