Dr. Regina M. Benjamin, the current US Surgeon General, just called out every woman who’s ever let a teensie bit of vanity about her hair discourage her from working out.
“Oftentimes you get women saying, ‘I can’t exercise today because I don’t want to sweat my hair back or get my hair wet,’” Benjamin said in an interview. “When you’re starting to exercise, you look for reasons not to, and sometimes the hair is one of those reasons.”
And with naturally curly hair that goes bonkers at slightest hint of humidity, I’ve certainly been one of those girls who tries to time her sweat seshes around a stringent hair straightening schedule. She also specifically referenced women dealing with all types of ethnic hair that often take much longer and more expense to straighten and style than even my unruly locks.
My dilemma was this: my hair has a fine texture, so washing it every day probably isn’t a great idea, since daily shampooing leads to dry hair, and dry hair is frizzy hair. However, I try to hit the gym at least four days a week, sometimes more, and with my go-big-or-go-home attitude, I always go home feeling both exhausted and gross. What’s a girl to do?
Get creative, that’s what.
- Find a wash’n’wear style for your hair. Play with it a little! Sheer laziness has helped me find more than one way to bypass my 30+ minute straightening ritual and still look cute and put together the next day. My ladies with ethnic hair have just as many options, as well, though in this case settling on a style before you work out is key. Whether you prefer braids, twists, or a lovely bun, you can find ways to keep even the most stubborn tresses low-maintenance and still looking great.
- Peruse the product isle. It doesn’t matter what kind of hair you have - revitalizing sprays and dry shampoos like got2b’s Rockin’ It Encore Fresh are a great way to revive your style for an extra day and cleanse your icky-feeling scalp without over-washing (and drying out) your hair. I lucked out by trying this one first, but don’t be shy about experimenting with different products to see what works best for you.
- If all else fails, get on a schedule. It sounds goofy, but if you don’t wash your hair daily now, it’s a little tedious but not hard to schedule your workouts around your hair care routine. For instance, if you usually wash on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, those are the days you should hit the gym after work, as you’ll be lathering your locks before bed anyway.
- Get motivated. If you’re pumped to get fit, then you won’t let something like hair get in your way. If you have the drive, you’ll find a way to make your situation work so you can get the most out of your look and your workout.