A Trainer Shares Her Gym Secrets for Keeping Her Natural Hair
It is vital to always best care for your beautiful hair, however, it is also critical not to overlook that hair is one of the primary reasons women avoid working out. According to research conducted in Detroit, 45 percent of Black women avoid going to the gym because they don’t want to destroy their hair. Clearly, something has to give. It already concerns that the CDC states that more than 55% of Black women aged 20 and older are fat. This persistent issue in our community may be exacerbated in part by the widespread misconception that it is impossible to [keep natural hair] while exercising.
That is untrue.
Unfortunately, many Black women skip the gym because of their attachment to their hair, which leads to a more significant cultural pandemic in our community when it comes to health. Have you ever stopped working out because you needed a new flatiron? It’s something we’re all guilty of. However, contrary to popular opinion, there are techniques to keep your natural hair while working out at the gym. It all comes down to giving your hair the time and attention it requires.
SoulCycle teacher Taye Johnson, a natural hair specialist, and fellow naturalist and fitness influencer Robbie Darby (founder of a motivational wellness movement called the RAD Experience) shared their most excellent hair-saving gym methods.
These recommendations are so excellent that you’ll want to scribble them down and give them to a curl friend.
Please continue reading for the natural hair secrets they swear by that don’t prevent them from sweating it out at the gym.
Curls Will Benefit From Leave-In Treatments and Essential Oils
According to Darby, the trick is to moisturize. Sweat is a combination of your body emitting salt and evaporating water, drying on your hair. Natural hair is already dryer than the hair of other textures. You don’t want your sweat to contribute to it, which is why you must maintain a moisturizing routine. Every week, without fail, deep condition.
Try Darby’s strategy if you’re unsure how to add super-hydrating items into your routine: Before you go to the gym, put your hair in a high ponytail and spritz it with a homemade hydrating combination that acts as a leave-in conditioner. Fill a spray bottle 3/4 full of natural spring water, a dab of your favorite [conditioner], and a few drops of essential oils like lavender or witch hazel. Spritz just enough to get your hair damp but not drenched. Then use coconut oil to lather the edges. After that, put on a cap or scarf.
What Happens After Workout
[Post-workout] hair will get messy, big curls will appear after working out that you will love because it has been treated with all of my intentional haircare steps prior. The coconut oil, leave-in conditioner, essential oils, and a little sweat are the ideal combo for natural hair.
Johnson also swears by preserving moisture in her hair while sweating all the time. She, like Darby, has a short three-step regimen for her hair before working out to keep it hydrated. To keep your hair hydrated, you should use a leave-in conditioner, Moroccanoil, and essential oils. Because your ends are constantly damp while working out, they will get brittle. According to Johnson, it is preferable to coat your hair with oils when it is already damp. Many like rosemary oil because it helps their hair grow and cleans their scalp effectively.
When you’re sweating, you want to maintain your scalp absorbent and healthy. I work out three times a day, so when my hair isn’t smelling as lovely as it should, and I need a decent rinse, I cleanse my scalp with 100 percent pure rosemary oil.
Co-wash more and shampoo less.
Johnson does not use shampoo in her routine. She explains that shampoo removes her hair’s natural oils, which she conserves to keep her hair growing, lustrous, and moisturized. Every morning, co-wash hair with conditioner. It gives curls a very springy bounce-back, which looks nice. You don’t want all the toxins in your sweat and workout to dry out your hair, so co-wash to keep it oiled and hydrated.
Darby also does not shampoo her hair regularly. Instead, she grabs for her favorite co-wash, as Johnson does, because she doesn’t want to deplete its natural moisture. Co-wash hair and use a creamy cleanser once a week for moisture.
Discover Your Favorite Gym Hairstyle
The center part slicked back into a low bun is one of Johnson’s favorite hairstyles. she is not too fond of many things while I working out. She is a sports bra and slicked-back hair’ type of person, so it’s easy for her. To put down her edges, she uses a pomade mixed with water, which is why she usually brings a boar bristle brush in her luggage. Because her hair is naturally curly, she prefers to wear it pulled back to avoid getting oils and hide in her face. Johnson likes wearing braids when she is not wearing a low bun. She only uses a leave-in conditioner and cornrows her hair. After her workout, she blow-drys her braids on cold and pulls them out. This process gives her this adorable, crinkly wavy style set.
Darby prefers her hair to be both fashionable and beneficial for her exercises, and her style varies depending on the activity. If I’m doing a low-impact workout, I’ll leave my hair down in a wash-and-go manner. I’ll pull my hair back if I want to get a good burn and my training is more strenuous. My hair is now quite long, so it gets in the way. I’ll leave it out when it’s shorter. Her technique involves embracing huge, unruly curls and making your perspiration work for your hair. Darby argues that natural hair is the most accessible type of hair to have when working out. In the natural hair family, frizz is appreciated. I’ve grown to prefer more fabulous hair the longer I’ve been born.
Darby says, that if your hair pattern is still bothersome after working out, try three buns in your hair and flaunt a gorgeous bun mohawk. It’s a sporty but feminine look. When you let the buns go, your hair has a great wave and volume. Some ladies with tighter curl patterns exercise with twist-outs in their hair and then take them down.
Use Protective Hairstyles
Johnson loves wavy extensions. They mix perfectly with a natural curl pattern when working out in the gym. When your extensions are wavy, you may easily style your hair without using heat because all you need is mousse. Spritz your hair with water, shake, and mousse.
Box braids are another favorite protective style. Twist them into a bun on top of your head. This way, your braids will never be in your face while doing your workout, and let them down once you are done.
Darby never expected to, but she recently purchased a wig. She claims that they are functional. She SLIPs ON A WIG when she doesn’t have the energy to blow dry or style her hair.
Clarifying products might help you control the buildup in your hair.
Darby reveals that she uses a clarifying solution twice a month. When she doesn’t use shampoo and merely condition her hair, she can get many [buildups]. Deva Curl Buildup Booster ($37) is a cleaner that does not lather like shampoo but thoroughly cleans her hair of all buildup. Make a point to do this twice a month.
[Exfoliating your scalp] is an essential step in removing product buildup, regardless of your hair type. Using a clarifier infused with peppermint oil will leave your scalp feeling revitalized.
Plan Your Workouts Around Your Hair
If you have a gym in your access, it is recommended that you apply a leave-in conditioner and step inside the sauna for 15 to 20 minutes to let it soak into your strands. You will feel like you just came out of the salon when you do it since your hair will be so smooth and moist. You can achieve the same look in your bathroom. Close your doors and windows and turn your shower up to get it incredibly hot. Apply conditioner while wearing a shower cap to keep the moisture in. Steam is also great for loosening up your muscles.
She then rinses her hair with chilly water and dries it with an old T-shirt. T-shirts are preferable to towels for natural hair, especially after an exercise. The cotton in the shirt will absorb moisture and keep frizz at bay—the more vintage the T-shirt, the better. Your hair will be incredibly silky.
Adapt Your Routine to Your Environment
Darby notes, that she recently relocated to Los Angeles from New York and has discovered that her hair needs a bit extra moisture due to temperature change. As a result, she now co-washes twice a week rather than just once. It’s like a romance; the longer you’re in it, the more you learn—She says that she’s been in a relationship with her hair in its natural condition for eight years, so she knows when it’s ready to dry out or needs a little more TLC when she is working out.
At the Gym, Here’s How to Keep Your Freshly Flatironed Strands
There is a widespread misconception that working out will damage your natural hair. And it can happen in some circumstances if you don’t protect your hair. However, if you follow these essential procedures, your strands will remain straight even after you sweat.
Johnson recommends starting with a tight topknot or a low ponytail, depending on how long your hair is. Then, like a headband, place a silk scarf over top of your hair. Tying your hair down with a scarf creates more strain than using a gym headband to keep your hair down. Sweatbands are frequently insufficiently robust, causing your edges to wave up. A scarf acts as a barrier between your sweat and your skin’s borders. Cool down after your workout. Then, take your tight top knot or low ponytail and untie it. Blow-dry your roots and edges with a blow-dryer set to the coldest setting.
When you use a cool blow-dryer, you will close the cuticle layer of your hair that has opened up due to sweat. Wrap them around your head in round motions and secure them with a silk scarf. Sometimes wear your hair brushed back into a tight ponytail for a few days after working out. Everything will be back to normal in no time.
Pull Your Ponytail To The Spot Where You Sweat
Darby’s process is similar, except she first determines where her hair’s central sweat area is. She sweats near the top of her head; therefore, she pulls her ponytail exactly up to the precise spot where she sweats. she ties her ponytail up tight enough that her roots don’t curl up but loose enough that she doesn’t pull out the edges. Then she applies coconut oil to her boundaries and puts on a cotton band to absorb moisture and sweat. If her edges become too sweaty after working out, she uses a cool blow-dryer and lets the air contact her hair to keep them from curling up. She’ll wear the ponytail for as long as possible to allow her hair to dry after workouts thoroughly. Her activities are pre-planned when she has a blowout.
Don’t Let Your Hair Prevent You From Sweating
Darby adds that It was always disappointing and perplexing to see fellow sisters weren’t sweating alongside me.
She noticed that all of the individuals working out with her didn’t look like her, and understood it was due to our attachment to our hair.
Darby encourages, to not allow your hair to interfere with your health. Feel empowered by the fact that you can wear your hair in a variety of ways. There is a psychological breakdown occurring in which Black women prioritize appearance over health. To summarize, no one wants to work out and sweat out their blowout. Women will become addicted to working out once they see the benefits it has on their bodies and their entire mentality. Fitness will change the course of your life.
Johnson emphasizes that you must be willing to commit and devote time to your hair. Our hair comes in various textures and styles, which requires a lot of effort to keep up with. It discourages Black women from exercising because it is inconvenient. There are methods to stay sexy while also looking sexy.
Are you in the process of transitioning to natural hair? [Learn about the top natural hair transitioning products.]