For the last week I have been going to the gym every morning at 6am. Now while this might be the norm for some people, this is a major major achievement for me because I struggle with getting out of bed in the mornings. It’s only been a spin class but I’ve been really proud of myself especially I’m not some one who really works out frequently. One struggle I wasn’t expecting to experience was the struggle with maintaining my hair. I really thought that all I would have to do is stick it in a ponytail and it would be fine. How wrong I was. While working out my hair kept sticking to the sweat on my neck and getting messy. I ended up just tying it up in a bun. After my workout, it was really difficult to style my hair. My curl pattern was really messed up, and my sweaty hair was not feeling it. As I work out in the morning before work this is really annoying because I want to look my best for the rest of the day, but my hair is ruined already. Last but not least, the sweat. I felt like I was caught between a rock and a hard place when it came to dealing with my hair because I really wanted to wash it after working out but I can’t wash it every single day because it will become extremely dry and frizzy, especially since I currently only wash it weekly. After day 2, I needed a solution fast. The same way you need to prep your body for the gym and cool down afterwards, the same applys to your hair. So I am going to split this into 2 sections, before and after so you can perfect your gym hair regime.
For both before and after, the two main issues with the gym is dealing with sweat and styling.
When styling one of the best things to do is plan to keep your hair up and out of your face. Depending on the length of your hair a simple ponytail won’t usually cut it. It is really important to make sure you tie your hair right up. Even though it is the gym I still want to look presentable so I usually slick my hair to the crown of my head and tie it up with a hair band. I then take the rest of my hair and twist it to the end and then wrap it around clockwise in the centre of my head and fasten it in place with a hair band. I tend to use a normal hairband and then a scrunchie for decoration. While your hair is out of your face and your scalp is getting hot and sweaty I think it is the prime time to lather on a deep conditioner or a mask. This is a great way to provide your hair with some extra moisture and the heat from your scalp will help it to really penetrate the cuticles of your hair and nourish it from the inside out. This is also awesome if you can’t make the time during the week or you always forget to deep condition because it doesn’t have to take up the whole of your day. People usually complain about the gym ruining their hair but I swear doing this has made my hair look better than ever. Despite this I really woukd only recommend using a thick product not something to liquid or an oil as it will run down your face and neck while you workout.
– Sweat Protection
As they say, prevention is better than cure and there are some ways you can help minimise the amount that you sweat while working out. Even though we hate scalp sweat it is actually a great sign of the blood flow to you scalp which helps stimulate growth. Nevertheless we don’t really want to be sweaty so here are some ways to take it before it starts. While I haven’t tried it, antiperspirant for your hair does exist and can help to reduce scalp sweat. It works similar to deodorant but for your head and you can find it online via Amazon etc. If that isn’t really for you, one option could be to use baby powder. Some suggest to apply a small amount of talcum powder to your scalp after showering. Rub the powder in well and this will help to absorb the sweat while you workout so you don’t have to look like a crazy drippy mess. Another option is dry shampoo. Dry shampoo works because the alcohol or starch in the product soaks up the excess oil and grease in your hair, giving it a cleaner, fresher appearance. Even though you think it would be better to use it after you workout this might not be the case. This is because dry shampoo only works on dry hair so if your hair is wet from your sweat it won’t be as effective.
So hopefully if you had a good workout you would have worked up a bit of a sweat. I really sweat from my face and my scalp alot when I exercise. Gross I know, but true. Even though you may not want to wash your hair when it sweats, sweat can clog up your pores, block your hair growth and can make your hair dirty and smell. Not very pretty. But overwashing your hair can cause dryness, frizz and increase hair loss. It’s obvious you need to wash your hair but how, without ruining it? Well if you followed my step and left a deep conditioner in there while you worked out there are 3 wash options that vary depending on how often you actually workout. If it’s every day or multiple times a day like me, you may want to opt for a water rinse. This means while you are in the shower you rinse your hair under the water gently massaging your scalp to help unclog your pores and allowing the sweat to rinse away. This will hydrate your hair and rinse out the sweat build up and the deep conditioner. After this allow your hair to dry and style it as normal. Another option is a co-wash if you workout a few times a week a co-wash might suit you. A cleansing conditioner can put in a little extra work than just water alone and you can benefit from the extra moisture that won’t strip away your hair natural oils. Last but not least is to just shampoo your hair if you wash your hair once or twice a week and you workout once or twice a week sync up the two days so that you can use shampoo when you workout and don’t have to worry.
I work out in the mornings and sometimes in the evening. Depending on what you have next how you style your hair can be really important. If you workout in the morning before you start your day you may want to just let your hair air dry or blow dry your curls (depending on how much time you have), style it for work and call it a day. But if you workout and you have nothing planned afterwards it would be really beneficial for you to put your hair in a protective style like plaits or buns. This is great for your hair because protective styles like braids, twists, up dos or any style that tucks away your ends and doesn’t require manipulation can help you retain more length. When you live an active lifestyle your hair does go through it and will need some extra protection and moisture. Protective styles will also help you to retain the extra length you may have gained from increased blood flow to your scalp during exercise.