Over the last couple of years, I have slowly become addicted to my workouts. I’m fortunate to live across the street from Community Fitness, the best group exercise facility in Seattle. As the list of classes I take grows, I find that I am in an endless cycle of ponytails, sweaty hair, shampooing hair, blowing hair out and back to ponytails. In essence, my hair is getting a workout just as much as I am. So for all of us girls trying to stay in shape and keep our hair looking good, here are a few pointers.
Best Hairstyles for Breaking a Sweat
Braids–The best way to get your hair out of the way and reduce pulling and breakage is to braid it. Nice for us, braids have come back! If you don’t know how to french braid your own hair, check out this YouTube video from makupwearables. It’s a great tutorial and she has tons of other braid styles. While your are perfecting your skill, you can always ask a friend to braid for you.
Ponytails–Personally, I am a pony tail girl. I want it back, I want it tight, and I don’t want to have to fuss with it throughout my workout. The downside to a ponytail is potential breakage. Your hair type will determine how much breakage you may or may not get in this style. If you have fine, fragile, or heavily chemically altered (highlighted blondes listen up), ponytails can definitely do some damage. When you have your hair down take a look at it from the back. Many times there is a fine line of breakage that runs horizontally through the hair. If you see that line you will notice that it is probably exactly where you put the elastic band in your hair. Sometime the breakage is so extreme that it almost adds an interior “layer” to the hair. Eek! For those of us with medium to thick, course hair our hair can stand up to a little pressure, but it is still important to be thoughtful of your pony process.
1. When choosing a hair band for your pony, be sure that it is either covered in fabric/threading or is an “ouch less” plastic that easily slides out of your hair.
2. Vary the location of the pony tail. If it’s high one day, make it low the next.
3. Instead of creating an actual pony tail consider making it a hair puff. Meaning, as you are putting your hair through the hair band on the last round only pull through the middle of the length. This redistributes the tension placed on the hair which helps reduce breakage.
4. Never put in a tight pony when your hair is wet. Wet hair stretches almost 50% more than dry hair. When you put it in a tight tension pony the tendency is that the hair is stretched to its breaking point, a quick way to create unwanted “layers” in your hair.
5. When your workout is over, take out that pony–especially if your hair is sweaty. It goes back to number four. Wet hair = more stretching = potential breakage. Or alternately, loosen the tension so it’s not pulling as much.
6. If you wear your hair up at night go old school with a scrunchy. No, it’s not pretty, but if your hair is up in a hair band at night and your tossing and turning imagine how that hair is being stretched. A scrunchy will get it out of the way but have much more give in the tension.
Products That Will Protect Your Hair While You Perfect Your Form
Depending on how much you workout, you may want to consider using specialty products to revitalize and protect your hair. Here is a list of my favorites:
- Redken Hair Cleansing Cream–This is a deep cleaning shampoo that should be used alternately with your daily shampoo. If you shampoo every day your would use the Hair Cleansing Cream once a week. If you shampoo every other day, then once every other week. It’s perfect to remove any build up created by your hard work. It brings the sparkle back and gives the opportunity for your other styling products to perform effectively on a clean surface.
- Redken Anti-Snap–Anti-Snap is pretty self explanatory. It is a leave-in treatment conditioner that helps to strengthen your hair and reduce split ends. It also works as a heat protectant which is great when you are frequently blow drying your hair. It’s light enough to work for all hair types and can be layered with your other daily styling products.
- Redken Diamond Oil–The name alone makes this product sound amazing. The newest product in the Redken Haircare family, Diamond Oil is a silicone free combination of coriander, camellia, and apricot oils that penetrate deep into the hair strand. The effects of this product create hair that is 2x less likely to break and 3x shinier than when it is not used. Because it is silicone free, it also works as a skin moisturizer making it the perfect double duty workout partner.
You don’t have to sacrifice beautiful hair in pursuit of your fitness goals. By using the right tools and products, you can ensure that outside the gym your hair looks as good as your body.