Do’s and Don’ts for Working Out with Natural Hair
When getting ready for a workout, you’re probably wondering if you remembered your water bottle, which music playlist is going to get you through those reps, or what the hell to do with all of those curls on your head. A bun? Mini twists? Should you have gotten a protective style? Not to worry. Here’s a breakdown of the best and the not so best styles for naturalistas ready to break a sweat.
Let your scalp breathe. Each of these styles gives access to the scalp and the opportunity to keep hair out of your face. Your hair and scalp can breathe and you won’t have to worry about it looking a mess as you sweat your butt off. What I have also found helpful is to refresh your scalp with peppermint and tea tree oil in-between days of working out.
A bun is a general go-to for those with hair long enough since it keeps it completely off of your face, neck and shoulders. You also have the freedom of washing your hair afterwards for a fresh start. This one is sort of a no-brainer.
Box Braids/Crochet Braids/Twists (extensions)
For the dedicated exerciser, protective styles like these are the way to go. Not only can you get away with a little frizz from sweat, it’s the lowest maintenance to have no matter how often you work out. Since these are all protective styles, you can wash your hair as much as you want with no damage done.
Believe it or not, having a weave while working out is a terrible idea. Weave + sweat do not mix and should be avoided. Though many women love this super cute, fairly low-maintenance style, the braids underneath the sew-in gives little access to your scalp, keeping it sweaty and itchy (not to mention, smelly). Then there’s that unshakable urge to scratch any and every itch on your head – not cute.
Wigs may seem useful because your hair is cornrowed underneath, but it will not keep that wig on your head during burpees and crunches. Kinky, curly half wigs are especially harder to tie your hair into a ponytail without exposing yourself. If you are determined to have your hair be protected during a workout, consider some of the protective styles above.