#WorkoutWed Hair Tips: How to Keep Your Hair in Shape Before & After Exercise
February 05, 2014
I’m an extremely active person. I love working out. I enjoy breaking a good sweat. And because of this, I’m one of the most low-maintenance of women when it comes to my hair. Funny enough, in the gym women frequently compliment me on my hair, while complaining about how much time it takes them to manage their hair pre/post workout. These women also inquire about the “complexity” of my hair care regimen and are oftentimes quite surprised once I tell them how simple my regimen actually is.
Fact is, I’m in the gym almost every single day of the week. On my own, I workout pretty much 7 days a week. My job as a Sports Medicine Physician and Trainer also requires that hit the gym with clients approximately 5 days a week. And truth be told, I don’t like (nor do I have the time) to fuss over my hair. Fussy hair just doesn’t fit my lifestyle. Now don’t get me wrong, I do take very good care of my hair, and I actually wrote a great book on how to grow healthy, beautiful hair. I also like my hair to look nice (I like it to look HOT, actually), and oftentimes you’ll find me rockin’ my hair in its own unique twisted style that perfectly fits my personality and lifestyle.
Simply put, my motto is “Health first, hair second.” So no, you just won’t catch me spending a ton of time primping my hair before or after my workout. Actually, for me messy hair is sexy hair- which is precisely why I’m so low maintenance and don’t spend a lot of time primping, blow drying, etc… But as I said earlier, I do take very good care of my hair. I like having a healthy head of full, flowing hair, so I do have a few hair care basics I implement. And for anyone who’s looking for tips on how to keep their hair in shape before and after you exercise, I’ll be happy to offer up some tips:
Skip the tight hair elastics, metal clips and hair pins
I’m not a fan of putting tension on the hairline, and these types of accessories (tight hair elastics, metal clips and hair pins) can be murder on your edges. You want to protect your hair (and hairline) from breakage caused by tight hair accessories, so skip the tight hair elastics, hair pins, and metal clips, and try holding the hair back from the face with a soft handkerchief or cloth headband.
2. Scale back on shampoo- amp up moisturizing and conditioning
As a general rule, sweating a lot and/or working out more than 4 hours a week means you should be washing at minimum 2 times a week. Problem is, frequent washing with shampoo can strip hair of moisture, leaving it dry and prone to breakage. To avoid this, scale back on shampoo to once a week (or once every 2 weeks), and co-wash during most of your shower sessions. Furthermore, you want to moisturize your hair EVERY SINGLE DAY, most especially on days that you workout in heated spaces or areas of low humidity. Click here, to learn more about my haircare products.
3. Skip the heat- air dry and go low maintenance
Blow dryers, flat-irons and other heat styling tools come at a cost- heat damaged hair. And the more frequently you use these types of heat styling tools, the more stress you’ll end up putting on your hair, which ultimately leads to more breakage. If you absolutely can’t fathom giving up the heat, then at the very least apply a heat protectant to help shield your hair. I confess, I used to be a habitual heat-styler before I went natural, but no more. Now I strictly air dry and keep things natural. And I know it can take some getting used to, but I truly believe that when you just embrace your natural curl and rock that, it just works out to be the best way to style it when working out.
4. Stay up on fitness and nutrition
You may be surprised to learn that regular exercise and staying fit is actually good for hair growth because it promotes things like blood flow to the hair follicle and hormonal regulation. So don’t skip the gym in order to “save” your hair, because you might actually end up achieving the opposite effect. As far as nutrition, first and foremost, be sure to maintain a healthy diet, and then supplement with a hair vitamin if you wish.
Remember, your hair is made up of protein, and your scalp lubricates and protects itself with sebum (which is derived from fat). So in terms of hair growth and scalp health, it’s very important to eat healthy and get adequate nutrition- namely from protein and healthy fats. Click here, to learn more about my premium hair growth supplement, BeautyELITE.
How do you maintain your hair pre- and post-workout? - Doc #WorkoutWed
Dr. Phoenyx Austin is Sports Medicine Physician, Certified Trainer, and #1 Bestselling Author of And That’s Why You’re Fat and If You Love It Will Grow. Find the Doc at DrPhoenyx.com, and ask her your fitness questions on Facebook and Twitter.