Workout, Stay Fit and STILL have Great Healthy Hair
It has become more and more apparent that our bodies could benefit from some type of workout program. Our doctors and all of the people who know and love us, books, experts, and ads on television say in so many words that if you want to stay young and healthy, you must workout. We all agree that working out does help us feel and look better as we age. But nowhere in any of those ads or in any conversations about working out do any of these well-intentioned people mention what happens to our hair or what to do with our hair after we work out. Many women struggle with this, particularly black women. Some black women feel forced to choose between working out and having great hair. I am here to tell you that you can do both. That is right: you can work out and have great hair! Some of the challenges that women go through as they try to do both is their hair tends to feel dry, look frizzy, and lack luster; the number one complaint is loss of style retention. A good cardio workout causes our body to overheat and sweat. You know what sweating does to a hairstyle-- it causes the style to flop. So often I hear from black women, "My hair won't hold a style, and my scalp itches." But, have you ever thought about why your hair won't hold a style and why your scalp itches? Or, more important, have you ever thought about the negative things sweat does to your hair and scalp?
Have you ever noticed how you feel after sweat dries on your body? You tend to feel sticky and dirty, and you can hardly wait to take a shower. Your hair and scalp go through similar changes when you work out. If you work out and shower but don't shampoo your hair, your sweat will cause your hair and scalp to become dehydrated and polluted. After working out, even after a heavy cardiovascular session, many women will wait until their "regular shampoo day" to shampoo their hair. Some women will even have several workout sessions before shampooing their hair. The dry and dirty environment that you allow your hair and scalp to stay in will age your hair and scalp. Let's start with what happens to the scalp.
Remember that the scalp is skin, and just like the skin on your face you must clean it on a regular basis, or you will develop a build-up in the pores. You have heard experts warn you about going to bed without cleaning away your makeup, because it can cause aging damage to your face. Well, your scalp has pores and follicles that must stay clear and clean in order to keep a healthy environment for healthy hair growth and to inhibit an itchy scalp, or scalp disorders. When you sweat, your hair becomes dehydrated and brittle causing aging damage, which can shorten the life of the strands.
Quick Fix After Working Out
In order to maintain your hairstyle, I believe we must find ways to create what I like to call a "quick-fix hair and scalp care regimen." If you have time to shower after a workout, you have time to do all that is necessary for your hair and scalp. By the time you finish your shower, you will have a clean and conditioned hair and scalp. One thing to remember is that you will be shampooing often, possibly every day, so one application of a clarifying shampoo will be sufficient. Also, keep in mind that lots of rinsing is important. Most work-out programs have days that you do cardio, which causes you to sweat, and days you do weights, and you may not sweat. One tip to remember is to shampoo on the days that you do your cardio workout; there is no need to shampoo your hair on the days you don't sweat.
Quick-Fix Part 1: Clean and Condition
Step 1. In the shower rinse your hair as you rinse your body.
Step 2. Apply shampoo to your hair as you lather your body. Using an acid-balanced shampoo is safe on your hair, scalp, and body, and it saves time.
Step 3. Rinse your hair and body.
Step 4. Apply conditioner and let it sit while you shave your legs or lather your body one more time.
Step 5. Rinse your hair as you rinse your body.
You are now clean and conditioned from head to toe.
Quick-Fix Part 2: The Five-Minute Hairstyle
The Quick-fix regimen is to style the hair, which for some can be a real challenge. When starting a workout program, some women will cut their hair short, get a curly perm, or braid their hair with extensions. Those are options that you can choose, but don't ever feel forced. There are ways to keep your hair styled without making an atypical change just to manage your hair.
After your quick-fix shampoo and condition, you are ready for the next part.
Step 1. Wrap your head with a towel while you dry off.
Step 2. Remove the towel and lightly apply a leave-in conditioner.
Step 3. Apply a sculptor setting lotion to your hairline. If your hair is curly, apply a moisturizer before the sculpting lotion, then smooth your hair back flat if it's short, or gather it into a ponytail using a cloth holder for longer hair.
Step 4. Spray a sculpting mist to your hair and hairline, and then tie a satin scarf around the hairline.
Step 5. Apply a hair attachment (e.g., bun, fall, or drawstring ponytail).
Step 6. Secure the perimeter with bobby pins, and then remove the scarf.
There are many other quick-fix styles that you can choose from so experiment.
- Avoid conditioning shampoos, because they will add buildup.
- Use a clarifying shampoo with a pH range between 4.5 and 5.5.
- Rinse with a strong water force.
- You can enjoy your workouts and have great hair. Just remember to care for your hair and scalp's fitness as you care for your body's fitness.
I understand the need to keep a style, but don't age your scalp and hair while creating a younger body!