Can African American Women Exercise without Fearing for their Hair?

February 24, 2012

Black-Hair-ExerciseLet’s face it, exercising isn’t the problem – it’s the resulting hair maintenance that usually prompts African-American women to avoid the gym. Most don’t have the time to wash, dry and style their hair after every workout, on top of everything else that life demands. Don’t worry, there is a solution that allows African American women to stay in shape and avoid hair loss and damage.

African-American women know that they have to invest more time in hair care to keep their hair healthy. However, that doesn’t mean it has to be difficult. The way to style your hair depends on the intensity of your workout. The more you sweat, the more important it is to protect your hair.

As a general rule, you should always keep your hair pulled away from your face and off your neck to avoid contact with your skin. The combination of moisture and salt creates what is known as salt buildup. Over time it causes hair to become dry and dull, and can lead to hair loss. To prevent salt buildup, you should wash your hair with a mild, pH-balanced shampoo at least once a week.

Workout Hair Style for African American Women

One of the best workout hair styles is a bun. It keeps your hair out of your face and away from sweat. Before you do this style, make sure your hair is combed and moisturized to prevent any unnecessary strain.

  1. Take two satin hair ties and start by putting your hair into a ponytail. Your ponytail can be low, high, or in the middle depending on how you like to wear your hair. Make sure your hair lies flat, but not extremely tight.
  2. Once your hair is in a ponytail, twist it so all the hair stays together.
  3. After that, twist it around the first hair tie, making it into a bun.
  4. Use your second satin hair tie to hold the bun in place.

You should avoid completely covering up your head while working out. Allow your scalp to breathe by wearing a scarf, sweatband, or headband instead of a hat or hair cap. Swimming is an exception – you should protect your hair by wearing a swim cap. That is especially important for women with natural hair.

African American Women Workout-Friendly Hair Tips

When you choose a hairstyle, keep in mind your active lifestyle. Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Natural hairstyles hold up to frequent shampoos.
  • Short hair is easier and faster to wash, dry, and style.
  • Long hair can be pulled back for a new look.
  • Try to pick styles that look great wrapped or curled and can stay styled after workouts: blunt cuts, bobs, braids, twists, and locks.
  • If you prefer braids, don’t let your hair be pulled too tight because this can result in hair loss.
  • If you already have a scalp problem, invest in women’s hair loss solutions and use these tips going forward.

There are several African-American women hair styles you can try while burning calories. Just be confident and aware that your hair will be healthier for it. You can always talk to friends and even other African American women at your gym, for suggestions on how they manage their hair while staying active. Don’t let a little sweat get in the way of having a healthy body from head to toe.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Babyliss Malaysia November 25, 2013 at 4:53 am

Yes, all women can exercise without caring about their hair.Actually it al;l depends on lifestyle of a woman also.Always keep in mind that before start doing exercise , tie your hair properly so that your sweat and hair do not come in contact with each other while doing exercise.If you are a working woman then always wash your hair on alternate days as it’s not possible for you to wash hair daily.And always make use of mild shampoo to wash your hair.


Keri Bolivar August 3, 2012 at 3:25 pm

I run outdoors in Florida HUMIDITY approximately 5 days a week. I log 5-8 miles per run – so I know a thing or two about sweating and working out. To make matters more difficult, I exercise in the morning before work. Here are a few things I do to keep my hair in check.

1. Have a hairstyle that is SIMPLE to keep up (for me – a bob). No fancy braids / no special updos where I can’t sleep laying down or where I’m reliant on someone else to make me look good.
2. Keep a blow dryer and a curling iron at work. If I get caught in the rain – I have a way to dry myself.
3. See if your workplace has a shower facility / locker you can use. The school I teach at is AWESOME and I have full use of showers / etc.
4. Decide which is more important – being fit with GREAT hair or being well …. no so fit but having a nice hairstyle anyways. The choice is yours.


Kodjo August 3, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Excellent tips, Keri!


Amira May 18, 2012 at 3:57 am

I had heard about the distinct difference of races around the world, but the researcher and does not even know that the american-African women are more prone to hair loss. If you a little exercise had been causing you a great trouble over your hair then more likely never indulge on such activity. Remember that prevention is always better than cure.


Scarlett April 1, 2012 at 11:31 am

I belong to USA and was very upset due to my thin hair as well as improper use of shampoo. But these tips are helpful for me. Thanks


Latia February 24, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Thanks for sharing this good stuff to us..I really like it ..


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