September 23, 2023
Home » 5 suggestions for exercising with Black hair
5 suggestions for exercising with Black hair

In the event you’re a gym-goer with straight or easy-to-manage hair, then you definately’re most likely used to washing it within the health club showers. All you must do is use the shampoo and conditioner on provide after which blow-dry or towel your locks within the altering room after. Easy! Certain, you’ve acquired to navigate widespread obstacles to health corresponding to menstrual cramps, stress, time and lack of motivation to really get to the health club within the first place, however we Black ladies have a further barrier to motion: haircare.

Once I began my very own health journey, I used to be crammed with enthusiasm. Having taken the choice to get robust, I used to be raring to take my well being to the following degree and couldn’t wait to begin seeing outcomes. However I gave up nearly instantly after I began – and it was all to do with my hair. 

I discovered that if my hair was braided, doing cardio workout routines grew to become as laborious as hell. Leaping felt like I had an additional 3kg weight pulling at my scalp. Earlier than lengthy, it felt like my roots had been changing into weaker.

After which there was the truth that my scalp was lined in sweat after understanding. Now, that could be one thing different ladies anticipate to expertise, however in my case, all that sweating left my scalp extremely itchy. I knew that extra sweat wasn’t good for my hair, so I resorted to washing it after each exercise. And that solely made issues worse as a result of my hair acquired drier by the day.

Common washing isn’t good for Black hair; so as to be wholesome, it must have all its pure oils intact. That’s as a result of it tends to be drier and extra fragile than different forms of hair – and shampoo works by stripping hair of every little thing, whether or not that’s flakes, product build-up, sweat or oil.

I considered different types of train that may get my coronary heart pumping with out making me break right into a sweat. Swimming? Completely not: chlorine isn’t massively pleasant to Black hair. It dries it out by breaking down the amino acids within the hair and, as somebody who’s already skilled fairly a little bit of breakage, I didn’t need to threat any extra. There’s additionally the truth that most haircaps don’t cater to afro hair (though Soul Cap is one model designed particularly to help Black swimmers). 

Tips on how to take care of afro hair on the health club

Moisturise and cleanse often (if potential)

If you train, you sweat rather a lot. Sweat accommodates salt, which may make your hair dry. And as you understand, dryness can equal harm.

A weekly wash or cleanse adopted by conditioning could be sufficient; I used a light-weight oil after conditioning to lock within the moisture. In the event you do have braids, washing often will not be an possibility as you’ll most likely need to attempt to keep away from frizz as a lot as potential. As an alternative, attempt spraying your hair with water after which making use of a moisturising conditioner and a light-weight oil afterwards. 

Use a satin head wrap

I really like utilizing head wraps – they’re not solely stylish however they’re additionally handy for relaxed and pure hair. Oh, and so they additionally go a way to assist hold your hair protected against sweat when you train. A satin or silk durag, scarf or headband will do the trick.

Durags are my favorite possibility as a result of they cowl my total hair in addition to my hairline and hold them laid. Once more, when you’ve acquired braids, you may simply use a silk wrap round your hairline. However don’t tie it too tightly – you don’t need to harm your hair follicles.

All the time dry earlier than unwrapping

In the event you select to maintain your hair wrapped up, it’s best to look forward to it to dry earlier than unwrapping it. You need to use delicate warmth to dry up any moisture to stop it from puffing up. In the event you’ve acquired a health club altering room with hairdryers, this could be your only option. 

Train in a well-ventilated room or open air

Plenty of gyms have highly effective AC models blowing chilly air everywhere in the weights space. That may assist with fast drying, however equally, you don’t need the AC sucking all of the moisture out of your hair.

I desire to work out in an open surroundings fairly than an air-conditioned one; working outdoors or doing a pilates observe in your balcony not solely has loads of psychological wellbeing advantages but it surely additionally could assist with sweat wicking.

Attempt a protecting coiffure

After which, in fact, there’s selecting a protecting coiffure that’s not prone to transfer a lot once you’re exercising. 


Whereas I’ve discovered it troublesome to do cardio with braids, it’s nonetheless a go-to model. I hold them quick in order that they add much less weight to my scalp, and I are likely to pack them in a bun or a low ponytail to maintain them out of my face. I additionally suggest making the braids bigger to maintain your hair protected and fewer vulnerable to breakage. Learn our information to conserving braids tidy for longer.

Woman with braids at the gym
Braids may be uncomfortable, so it is best to maintain them quick and tied as much as cut back pressure in your roots.


For me, twists are the best DIY protecting hairstyles for exercise. They take lower than 20 minutes to model and take down put up exercise. They usually look nice whether or not you retain them in or take them out.

I personally don’t like the sensation of hair on my physique whereas exercising, so once more, I simply pack them right into a small bun leaving two twists in entrance for further model. I like to recommend utilizing a light-weight oil to take it down to cut back breakage.  


“That is my go-to model as a result of it’s very handy and lasts so long as 4 weeks,” says Shalom Okpabi, a 20-year-old health fanatic.

She recommends cornrows when you’re into intense train as they’ll nearly stand up to something. “I wash mine as usually as as soon as per week and it nonetheless seems to be nice after three weeks. Plus, I can at all times throw a wig on post-workout when it will get frizzy. Typically I’d use a durag to guard my hair and edges from sweat.” 


Tosin Afolabi, a pure hair content material creator, tells Stylist: “A pineapple is tremendous simple. My hair can keep like that for lazy days and nonetheless rock.”

This coiffure lets your hair fall ahead and retains it on high of your head. That manner, your hair stays off your again and neck when you train. I like to recommend holding your edges down with gel so that you don’t need to cope with frizzy edges after train. 

Woman with pineapple hair style
Pineapple kinds generally is a good shout when you don’t love the sensation of hair in your pores and skin as you exercise.

Quick hair

And when you’re actually devoted to your exercise and over the entire hair convo, then going for a super-short minimize may simply be the best way ahead. It’s low upkeep and requires minimal styling and, in contrast to the remainder, you may simply wash and go everytime you get sweaty. 

Photos: Getty/Brenda Patrick/Tosin Afolabi

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