How to Protect Hair from Sweat During Exercise

active woman wiping sweat from face with towel

How to Protect Hair from Sweat During Exercise

If you've got something fun planned after hitting the gym, and you've just got a fresh blowout, you might try to work out in a way that keeps your hair looking great. But that doesn't seem fair, does it? You shouldn't have to choose between a good workout and your hair. Imagine if you could workout without worrying about your hair getting all sweaty. That would be life-changing. In this blog, we're going to explore how to make that happen.

Why Does My Hair Get Sweaty When I Exercise?


active woman sweating with towel around neck
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When we work out, our bodies heat up from all that movement. To cool down, our bodies start to sweat, and that includes our scalp too. Yep, your scalp has sweat glands just like the rest of your body! This sweat then gets absorbed by your hair follicles and hair shaft, making it look and feel wet. It's totally normal, but yeah, it can be a bit annoying, especially if you've just had your hair done.

Is Sweat Bad For Your Hair?


woman sweating while working out outdoors
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Sweat is mostly made up of water and salt, so it's not going to do serious damage to your hair. However, if you let it sit there and build up over time, it can make your hair look greasy, weigh it down, and even lead to some scalp issues or even dandruff.

Plus, if you have colored your hair, the sweat in your hair can impact your hair color, causing all that money and time you spent on the salon chair to go down the drain. Sweaty hair is also prone to be fragile and can break more compared to hair that is not sweaty.

The good news? There are plenty of tips and tricks you can use before, during, and after your workout to maintain your hair health.

How to Protect Your Hair from Sweat During Exercise

Here are some easy tips to help you maintain healthy hair during exercise:

1) Tie It Up


active woman tying up hair outdoors
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Tying your hair up is probably one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect it from sweat during a workout. If your hair is long enough, you've got a few options:

  • Ponytail: This classic style keeps your hair off your neck and out of your face. It's perfect for most workouts, especially if you're moving around a lot. Just grab a hair tie, pull your hair back, and you're done. Try not to pull it too tight, though, to avoid any unnecessary stress on your hair.
  • Braid: Braids are great for keeping your hair secure and tangle-free, even during the most intense workouts. You can go for a simple three-strand braid, a French braid, or even a fishtail braid. Braids are especially handy for running or high-impact activities, as they keep your hair from bouncing around too much.
  • Bun: If you really want to keep your hair out of the way, a bun is the way to go. Twist your hair up and secure it with a hair tie or some bobby pins. A bun is super effective for yoga or pilates, where you might be bending over or lying down a lot.

2) Use a Headband or Sweatband


active woman with sweatband and hair in braid
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Headbands and sweatbands are great for keeping sweat from dripping down into your hairline. When picking one out, look for one that's absorbent and comfortable. You want something that's snug enough to stay in place as you move but not so tight that it gives you a headache. There are loads of styles out there, from thin bands to thicker ones that can soak up more sweat. Some even come with features like non-slip grips and moisture-wicking materials to keep you feeling dry and comfortable.

If you're someone who sweats a lot, you might want to buy a couple of bands. This way, you can wash them regularly without running out. Keeping your headband clean is key to preventing any breakouts on your forehead or scalp caused by sweat buildup.

3) Use Dry Shampoo


woman holding spray bottle in hand
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Dry shampoo works by absorbing the oils and sweat from your scalp, which means it helps keep your hair looking and feeling cleaner and fresher, even after a serious sweat session. Consider making it a part of your daily beauty routine to get rid of all that grime.

Applying dry shampoo is super easy. Just give the can a good shake, hold it a few inches away from your roots, and spray it onto the areas that tend to get the oiliest—usually around your hairline and part. Then, gently massage it into your scalp with your fingertips. After that, just brush it out or tousle your dry hair, and you're good to go.

One little tip: try to find a dry shampoo that suits your hair type. There are formulas out there for all kinds of needs, from adding volume to tackling extra oiliness, and even some that are tinted to blend in with your hair color.

4) Choose the Right Accessories


different color hair ties
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When we talk about accessories, we’re talking about everything from the hair ties you use to the kind of clips or bands that hold your hair back. Opt for hair ties that are gentle on your locks. Avoid those ties with metal clasps since they can catch and break your hair. You can also try out scrunchies. They are super gentle on your hair, and because they’re made of fabric, they’re less likely to cause breakage or those annoying creases that tighter hair ties can leave.

If you have long hair, consider using clips or pins to secure any loose strands that a ponytail or bun might miss. Just make sure they don't have sharp edges that could catch and break your hair. For those with shorter hair, small, no-slip grips can keep hair out of your face.

5) Consider Your Workout


woman at the gym stretching together
Credit: Envato Elements/ DragonImages

If you want to keep your hair safe from sweat during exercise, especially if you've just had a blowout or colored your hair, think about the type of exercise you choose. To avoid sweating too much, skip high-energy activities like HIIT or cardio. Instead, opt for gentler exercises like pilates, yoga, or lifting weights to maintain a healthy body. Also, stay away from any exercise that gets your hair wet, like swimming.

How to Keep Your Hair Fresh Post-Workout


active woman outdoors tying up hair
Credit: Envato Elements/ YuriArcursPeopleImages

After a solid workout session, taking care of your hair is crucial to avoid the sweaty aftermath and keep your locks looking and feeling great. Here's a simple guide to help you keep your hair healthy:

  • Let Your Hair Breathe: As soon as you're done exercising, take out that ponytail or headband. This lets air flow through your hair and can help it dry naturally, getting rid of some of the sweat.
  • Detangle Your Hair: if your hair feels a bit tangled after all that movement, hair products like a detangling spray can be really helpful. Apply it to the ends of your hair and gently work through any knots with a wide-tooth comb.
  • Rinse with Water: A quick rinse under the shower can work wonders. It helps remove sweat and salt from your hair, making it feel cleaner instantly.
  • Use Dry Shampoo or a Dry Texture Spray: If washing isn’t an option or you’re trying to space out wash days, a quick spritz of dry shampoo at the roots can absorb excess oil and sweat, leaving your hair looking and smelling fresher. Alternatively, you can try using a dry/wet texture spray to add some texture to your hair if it's fallen flat.
  • Hair Washing: If your scalp feels itchy or you've been sweating a lot, it might be time for a gentle wash. Choose a mild, sulfate-free shampoo to cleanse without stripping your hair of its natural oils.
  • Avoid Tight Hairstyles: After working out, try to avoid putting your hair back into a tight hairstyle immediately. Letting your hair stay loose can prevent breakage and scalp tension.


Keeping your hair fresh and looking good after a workout doesn't have to be a hassle. By tying it up, using a headband and sweatband, and using products like dry shampoo, you can easily combat sweat and oiliness. Just listen to your hair and scalp's needs, and with these simple tips, you'll be able to keep your locks looking great, even after the most intense exercise sessions.

And for those workouts, don't forget to secure your hair with Burlybands hair ties. Our hair ties are designed to hold tight without causing damage, ensuring your hairstyle survives the toughest workouts. Shop with us today.

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