A regular exercise routine provides endless benefits for both the body and the mind, helping to keep you feeling fit, healthy, and strong. Unfortunately, the impact working out has on your hair can be less positive. Sweat, hair ties, and even sun exposure are just a few of the ways your hair comes under stress while you exercise.
Regular physical activity also causes your hair to become greasy more quickly, which often leads to over-washing and over-styling, both of which can damage the hair even further.
Thankfully, there are ways to protect your hair from the damaging effects of exercise. Here are our top tips to protect your hair and prevent excess grease while working out...
“The way you choose to wear your hair during your workout has a huge impact on how much stress your hair comes under.”
Pay attention to your ponytail
The way you choose to wear your hair during your workout has a huge impact on how much stress your hair comes under. If you opt for the classic ponytail, pay close attention to how tightly you’re pulling and securing your pony. If it’s secured too tightly, you’re more likely to experience hair breakage (as well as pain!). Securing your hair in a low pony is a safer option. Braids are also a great way to keep hair away from your face without using so much tension.
Avoid traditional hair ties
No matter which workout hairstyle you choose, always ensure you use a snag-free, metal-free elastic band to secure it. This is because traditional hair ties create friction that contribute to hair breakage. Be extra careful if you’re taking part in something like swimming where your hair is in contact with water, as wet hair is even more vulnerable to breakage than dry hair. A silk scrunchie is a good option, which also prevents creases and kinks, to make post-workout styling easier.
Bring back the sweat band
Sweatbands aren’t just an ‘80s fashion trend — they’re a great way to keep your hair away from your face during your workout. This prevents the hair around your face from absorbing sweat, for fresher feeling hair post-workout. You may already be using a baseball cap in effort to keep sweat out, but this is likely doing more harm than good, as caps don’t allow the scalp to breathe and contribute to a build-up of sweat instead.
Reverse your dry shampoo routine
Dry shampoo can be a lifesaver if you’re working out every day and want to avoid daily washing, as it helps to absorb excess sweat and oils, so you can extend time between wash days. If dry shampoo is already a part of your post-workout routine, we recommend adding it to your pre-workout prep instead. Using it before exercise instead of after will help to soak up sweat and oils during your workout, rather than letting them build up.
Indulge in a protective pre-workout haircare regime
Don’t save all your haircare for after your workout! Taking some steps to pamper before you even put your gym kit on can help to protect your hair as you exercise. Try applying some leave-in conditioner or hair oil beforehand — this creates a barrier between your hair and any sweat, oils, or debris it encounters. These products will also help to protect your hair from drying out due to the salt sweat creates. This is highly recommended for curly and textured hair types looking to prevent frizz from their workouts.
Take time to cool down
Finished your workout? Don’t let your hair down right away! Leave your hair in its workout style until you’re 100% cool. This prevents your hair from absorbing sweat from your body. In a rush? Try the cool setting on your hairdryer to speed things along, focusing on your hair line and scalp.
Touching your hair during your workout will transfer any sweat, dirt, and oils onto your strands. This leads to your hair getting greasy more quickly. Ensure your chosen hairstyle is fuss-free and doesn’t require you to fiddle with it mid-workout.
Use sun protection for your hair
Just like skin, your hair is also vulnerable to the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Sun exposure can weaken the hair and remove moisture, making it more prone to breakage. If you’re exercising outside, be sure to protect your hair from the sun by using a sun protection spray.
Be cautious of chlorine
Whether you’re a keen swimmer or just enjoy a leisurely dip while on holiday, chlorine can still wreak havoc with your hair. It’s extremely drying, and without proper protection your hair will feel starved of moisture and brittle after your swim. Aside from covering your hair with a swimming cap, the simplest way to prevent damage from chlorine is to rinse your hair with fresh water both before and after swimming. This will stop your strands from absorbing to much of the chlorine.
Protecting your hair while working out will reduce overall damage, while keeping your hair as clean as possible to prevent over washing and excessive styling. Following these tips will ensure that your hair is thoroughly protected, leaving you to enjoy your workout and those all-important endorphins!
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