Working Out with Natural Hair

Q: How do you maintain your hair while working out? Do you wash the sweat out every day?

A: Hair is usually an afterthought when it comes to my healthy-living routine. But it’s important to note that I’m by no means a hardcore trainer…. You won’t find me at the gym and no, I don’t run, it hurts! I do however, walk it out, briskly, to the tune of 3-4 miles, most days of the week. I don’t sweat profusely, but I do sweat, and we all know the havoc that moisture can wreak on a twist-out or similar wet set.

As for my hair, I bun it most days (high messy, or low side) with the edges tied down with a scarf. I leave the scarf on post-workout until my hair is completely dry before removing it and going about my business. This keeps my edges smooth and set despite the exposure to moisture. My Twist-n-Curls and twist-outs fare pretty well despite my walk sessions. I just make sure to pull my curls up high (or low) and loose with a scrunchie prior to the workout and again, tie my edges down with a scarf. I leave my hair up with the edges tied down until all the roots have completely dried and then I release, fluff and go!

As far as cleansing, the lactic acid in sweat can break down the cuticle of the hair shaft, but only in great quantities. Water rinsing or co-washing after exercise sessions is recommended but many curlies (myself included) get along fine without it.

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