Exercising is great for your overall health and well-being, but it can be tough on your hair. Sweat, friction, and pulling can all cause damage, breakage, and frizz. However, that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your hair health to stay fit.
In this article, we'll share some tips and tricks to protect your hair while working out so that you can have both a healthy body and healthy hair.
Why Do You Need to Protect Your Hair When Working Out?
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When you work out, your body produces sweat to cool you down and regulate your body temperature. However, this sweat can also cause your hair to become damp and sticky, leading to tangles and breakage. Moreover, constantly washing your hair to remove the sweat and grime can strip it of its sebum, leaving it dry, fragile, and vulnerable to breakage.
In addition to sweat, exercise equipment can also be damaging to your hair. Certain materials, like rubber or foam, can cause friction that can entangle hair or even pull it out. This is particularly true for individuals with longer hair, who may find that their hair gets caught in machines or other equipment.
By taking care of your hair during exercise, you can help keep it healthy, strong, and looking its best. Not only will this help you avoid the damage caused by sweat and exercise equipment, but it will also contribute to a more positive overall workout experience.
The Best Ways to Protect Your Hair While Exercising
Wondering how to protect your hair when working out? Here are the best tips and tricks that can help you out:
1) Apply Conditioner Before Your Workouts
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Conditioning your hair before a workout is the best way to protect your strands against sweat and damage. By creating a barrier on your hair, the conditioner can prevent salts from penetrating the hair shaft, which can lead to dryness, breakage, and other types of damage.
To use this technique, apply a small amount of conditioner to your hair before your workout, focusing on the ends. Avoid applying too much or spreading it too close to your scalp, as this may cause your hair to look greasy or weigh it down.
2) Choose the Right Hairstyle
The hairstyle you choose can also make a difference in protecting your hair during a workout. Tight hairstyles like ponytails and braids may be practical and keep your hair out of your face, but they can also cause damage, especially if you're doing high-impact activities like running. Instead, opt for loose braids, a low ponytail, or a bun. These hairstyles are still practical and can keep your hair out of your face, but they are gentler on your hair and scalp.
3) Select the Appropriate Hair Elastic
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Using the incorrect type of hair tie can break your hair. Traditional hair ties with metal components or that are too tight can be particularly harmful. Your hair may experience tension and strain from these ties, which may result in breakage and split ends.
To prevent hair damage, it's important to opt for gentle materials like soft fabric or elastic that are gentle on your hair. There is less chance of hair damage with these kinds of hair ties because they won't pull or yank on your hair.
4) Use a Protective Hair Accessory
Along with selecting the appropriate hairstyle and hair tie, you can also use a protective hair accessory to safeguard your hair. A sweatband or headband can prevent sweat from seeping into your hair, which can cause frizz. These hair accessories can be particularly useful if you have long hair or if you're engaging in activities that generate a lot of sweat. Plus, they are available in a range of colors and designs, allowing you to select one that matches your workout outfit.
5) Protect Your Hair From the Sun’s Rays
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If you're working out outdoors, it's important to shield your strands from the sun's harmful rays. Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause dryness and fading of hair color. To protect your hair during these sessions, use a scarf or hat that covers your head. You can also use hair products that contain UV filters to help protect your hair from sun damage.
6) Avoid Touching Your Hair During a Workout
Touching your hair during a workout can transfer sweat and oils from your skin to your hair, causing it to become greasy. It can also cause breakage, especially if you're constantly readjusting your hairstyle.
To avoid these issues, try to keep your hands away from your hair as much as possible during your workout. If you need to restyle your hair, use a gentle touch rather than pulling or yanking on the individual strands.
7) Keep Your Hair Hydrated
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As mentioned before, sweat can deplete your hair of its natural oils, leaving it dry and fragile. To keep your hair healthy and hydrated, it's crucial to apply a hair oil or serum to the ends of your hair before and after your workout. This will help to prevent split ends and will leave your hair feeling soft and smooth.
Additionally, it's important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. This will not only benefit your overall health but will also help to keep your hair hydrated from the inside out. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, and if you're doing a particularly intense workout, consider drinking a sports drink to help replace any electrolytes lost through sweat.
8) Cleanse Your Hair Properly After Workouts
After exercising, it's essential to cleanse your hair properly to eliminate any buildup that has accumulated. However, it's crucial to be gentle when shampooing and avoid scrubbing your hair too vigorously, as this can lead to tangling and breakage.
Use a clarifying shampoo to refresh your scalp, and follow up with a moisturizing conditioner to help restore your hair health. You can also use a deep conditioning treatment once a week to help nourish and strengthen your hair.
By having a proper hair care routine, you can avoid hair problems such as dandruff, scalp irritation, and even hair loss.
9) Use Dry Shampoo and a Hair Fragrance
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If you don't have time to wash your post-workout hair after the gym, dry shampoo can help you out. It's available in spray or powder form and can be found in most drugstores and online retailers. To use it, simply shake the can or bottle, and spray the product onto your roots, making sure to hold the can at least 6 inches away from your head. If you are using a powder form, apply it onto your scalp, and then work the product into your hair.
Hair fragrances are also an option to freshen up your strands post-workout. They are formulated to mask any unpleasant odors and leave your hair smelling fresh and clean. Simply spray the product onto your hair, and you're good to go.
Keep in mind that dry shampoo and hair fragrances are not meant to replace regular hair washing. While they can help to absorb sweat and oils and leave your hair smelling fresh, they do not remove dirt or buildup from your scalp.
10) Avoid Using Hot Tools on Your Hair Before or After Your Workout
Hot tools like flat irons, curling irons, and hair dryers can cause significant damage to your hair, especially if you use them frequently or with high heat. The heat from these tools can weaken the hair shaft, making it more susceptible to breakage and split ends. Using hot tools on sweaty hair can be even more damaging, as the combination of heat and moisture can cause frizz and dryness.
To protect your hair while working out, it's best to avoid using these tools before or after your workout. Instead, let your hair dry naturally. If you must use hot tools, be sure to use them with a heat protectant and at a low temperature to avoid causing further damage to your hair.
Whether you're a fitness enthusiast or just someone who enjoys an active lifestyle, taking care of your hair is essential to maintain its health and beauty. By following these simple tips, you can safeguard your hair from the wear and tear of workouts, and prevent damage and breakage. So go ahead and work up a sweat with the assurance that your hair is protected and looking its best.
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