Guest Post: Running While Natural

June 03, 2010


“Girl I do NOT want to sweat out my hair!!” You will hear this same mantra repeated by many women of color whether their hair is relaxed or natural! Many of us don’t take to kindly to sweating out a $50 deep condition, blow dry and style, and the same applies to natural ladies who have spent a few hours putting two strand twist in their hair in hopes of achieving the perfect twist out. Burning serious calories equals sweating and there is nothing quite like the sweat produced when pounding the pavement and running. Whether you want to call it highly textured hair, natural hair, kinky hair, curly hair or nappy hair, the result is the same after a long run…a scalp filled with salt and sweat which is a lethal combination for your tresses. The salt that sweat produces dries out your scalp and can leave your hair looking dull, brittle and lifeless if you don’t care for your hair properly. So how do you care for your locks and still get your fitness on???? The answer is water…good old fashioned H2O. This is what works for me and several other ladies I know who “run while natural.” Each of us will have to find what works for our specific hair, but I think my routine is as good place as any to start with. I will not allow sweat and salt to sit on my scalp for more than 2 days without rinsing my scalp with plain old water. This means if I run two days in a row, on the second day after my run I will rinse my scalp and hair with water while in the shower. I do not use shampoo or conditioner since my hair really isn’t dirty, my scalp simply needs to be cleansed. On the day that I do my long run (for me 7 miles or more) I co-wash my hair in the shower after the run. Co-washing means to wash your hair using only conditioner. I rinse my hair with water and then saturate it with my favorite moisturizing conditioner and let it sit on my hair while I handle the rest of my showering business and then simply rinse out the conditioner in the shower. It’s important to use a moisturizing conditioner because textured hair craves moisture whether your hair is relaxed or natural. I wash my hair once a week using a sulfate free shampoo and follow up the shampoo with a deep conditioning treatment. Anytime I rinse, co-wash or wash my hair I always follow up with a good leave-in conditioner! Maintaining well moisturized, soft kinks and curls is very important to achieving and maintaining healthy hair. You have to get the salt and dirt off your scalp in order to do that. No one wants their hair feeling like a brillo pad and if you leave sweat and salt sitting on your scalp for to long, that is exactly what you will end up with…a birllo puff…not cute ☹ Head over to to read more about natural hair care.

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