Saturday, February 5, 2011

How to maintain beautiful hair between your workout sessions

I received a reader email the other day with the following question:

Q: In my efforts to stay healthy, I have been going to the gym more frequently. However, when i'm stretching my perm, it can be very discouraging knowing that i'm going to sweat out all my hard work from my pre-poo, deep conditioning and rollerset hair routine from the day before. Do you have any tip on how to keep your hair looking great during stretches while continuing with a gym routine?

First of all, I commend you for your commitment to the consistent practice of healthy exercise. Regular exercise gives you so many benefits from a toned fit body, to improved circulation which benefits the skin and hair. One of the dilemmas one faces if they aren't a daily co-washer or a consistent protective styler is how to keep the hair looking fresh even after a long, intense workout session.

When I think about the adverse effects of a workout to the hair, I think about three areas in particular:
  • the edges
  • the scalp
  • the hair
Let's first start by discussing the edges. Obviously, when the moisture of perspiration comes in contact with the hair, the edges will start to revert, especially if you are mid-stretch. My tip for managing your edges comes in the form of two simple items. A silk/satin scarf and a light leave-in product. Damp edges should never be allowed to dry on their own. They need to be safely secured down so they can be tamed while drying (especially if you tend to wear straight styles). Wal-Mart and Sally's offer a satin head-band like product used to protect the edges from excessive sweat. May I recommend you tie one satin scarf around the hairline and another around the entire head? The first scarf's sole purpose is to protect and properly secure your edges while the second protects the rest of the hair from the increased humidity. If your edges need a little help after the work-out, simply mist them with a light, conditioning leave-in like Biolage Daily Leave-In tonic and re-secure the scarf around your edges 'till it's dry. The daily tonic is really conditioning without creating build-up. Perfect for your daily workout schedule.

Next you probably want to do something that keeps the scalp feeling fresh between washes. One of the biggest things you'll notice about sweat is the salty taste. The sodium released through our sweat has a drying effect on the hair and scalp. If your hair needs a little invigoration, I suggest you look into the possibility of spritzing your scalp with essential oils or apple cider vinegar per my $2 scalp treatment method. ACV has a clarifying effect that will work wonderfully on scalp build-up. Essential oils help stimulate and give your scalp that "fresh, tingly" feeling. Oh, I also want to suggest you make use of the steam room in your gym (if there is one). When I visit the steam room regularly, my body seems to detoxify and my sweat becomes less salty with consistent use. Drinking enough water and having a clean, healthy diet also impacts the quality of your perspiration.

Finally, let's talk about how to maintain your hair after each workout. The silk scarf is critical to maintaining your style, especially your straight style. My all time favorite way of creating great looking hair between washes is with the use of steam rollers. There are so many reasons why I'm recommending steam setting. The biggest advantage is the addition of moisture to the hair with each use versus depleting the hair of moisture with curling or flat irons. Steam curlers can give you nice bouncy curls in just a few minutes. Plus the hair usually feels nice and soft afterwards. Another tip I have is to add a couple of drops of apple cider vinegar to your distilled water when you steam set. This works drop the pH level of the water which helps in seal the cuticle. Your hair will also receive the clarifying benefit that comes with using ACV. This means your hair will receive relief from the build up of salty sweat that works to dry the stands.
If you are wearing textured styles like a braid out. I suggest you braid your hair prior to heading for the gym and dampen the hair a light nourishing leave-in conditioner. The conditioner will counteract the drying effects of the perspiration and will help the braid set within the short time frame between workout and styling. Oh, I should also mention that there are no-water shampoos and scalp cleansers on the market if you are seeking a product that will help you get through 'till the next wash. I hope you received some good ideas that will help your hair "preserve it's sexy" while you focus on creating your healthy body.

  1. Do you think this will work on natural styled hair that has been blown dry and flat ironed.

    Peace, Love and Chocolate

  2. For naturals, I don't recommend the steam setter as that will promote reversion if not done correctly. I think doing something like wrapping the hair will work much better. This way your head acts like a giant roller which promotes the hair setting (or remaining) straight versus just putting the hair in a ponytail.
    Of course you also have the option of using heat to touch up any areas that begin to revert if necessary.

  3. As always, great blog! Awesome tips, I'm getting back into my heavy workout routine along with my juicing.

    Just FYI I did a review on my YT page about a product I found out about from you and mentioned your blog (and how great it is) in the video. You are welcome to watch if you like.

  4. Informative read about how to maintain beautiful hair between workout sessions,Hair can suffer extreme damage from workout sessions.The best way to avoid this problem is to wear a stylish headband,preferably of cotton that will efficiently absorb the excessive sweat.

  5. Hi Nadege!
    You are so full of knowledge, and so very inspiring! I have to have gotten on the caruso roller bandwagon, and absolutely love them. Please tell me though, do you have any recommendations of how to maintain the curls over night without re-doing them each morning? I'm going for the look featured on your March 19th post (I'm relaxed). Thanks so much for your help!

  6. Hi Melanie!
    I'm glad you're diggin' the steam curlers. Honestly, the only way I can think of maintaining the curls is by pin curling at night. If you want the kind of volume/fullness seen in the picture, you probably have to set the curls on flexi rods or satins covered sponge rollers at night. So you could steam set to create the style and use flexi rods (or whatever you like) to maintain the curl over night. I know this may seem like double duty to steam set then use a curling aid but the benefit of adding steam moisture in your hair is worth it.

  7. Thank you! I will try this out and sees what happens...I just don't like to put anything on my head when I workout or jog...but now I have to Preserve my sexiness!

  8. Thanks for your attention to relaxed hair. Natural hair seems to be so trendy/popular and there is not much info how to help the relaxed hair. Thanks again!

  9. I was really suprized to know that workout sessions are not only for improving our body system , but that are also beneficial for maintaining beautiful hairs. This article is really good for those who are struggling hard for keeping their hairs healthy.

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