by Imani Dawson of Tribe Called Curl
Three Easy Gym Friendly Hairstyles okay to be lazy with your hair, but definitely not with your body. You already know that exercising helps control weight and maintain a healthy, toned physique but did you realize it also helps fight health conditions and diseases like high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and depression? Besides that, working out boosts energy, promotes better sleep and makes sexy time sizzle. We’re team fitness all the way, but since we’re also team less-is-more when it comes to natural hair care, we’ve compiled a few curly hair tips and ‘dos for women who want to exercise without sacrificing style, the Lazy Naturals way.
First, the (sorta) bad news. Working out with natural hair requires a bit more effort than the bare minimum. The length of your hair, and the amount and intensity of your exercise should determine the changes to your regimen. Sweat is the primary factor. If you’re dripping after a few minutes of cardio, you’ll probably need to cleanse your scalp and strands more often. Keep long hair off your neck and away from other moist areas. Stretched hair looks like twist outs and braid outs can be preserved with a cotton bandana tied at the hairline to absorb sweat (we use these exclusively for exercising). Protective styling works best for active Naturalistas. Here are three easy, gym friendly looks for various lengths.
1) Finger Coils (short-medium length hair)
If your hair is out of the TWA stage and at awkward length for two strand twists and braids, try coiling. It’s as easy as twirling and rolling small sections of washed, freshly detangled and moisturized hair. Add your favorite gel for hold. After an initial time investment of an hour or two, depending on length and texture, you can rock these for up to a month. They’ll stand up to sweat and spot cleansing of your scalp with apple cider vinegar or an astringent. For a looser variation on this style, try a flexi-rod set. Check out how vlogger The Fashion to Live styles her finger curls.
2) Two strand Twists (medium-long hair)
We think two strand twists are the easiest and most versatile natural hairstyle in a Naturalista’s arsenal. This style is perfect for active naturals who can pull them back in a ponytail and literally keep it moving while exercising. Usually, we braid the roots to anchor our twists, but when we’re working out more than four days a week, we do a simple twist to make take down easier. We re-do this look every 10 days to two weeks and unravel for a cute twist out variation on non-workout days. We think Youtuber Lady Key’s twisting method is boss. Take a look.
3. High Buns (long hair)
Long hair is the easiest to handle, when it comes to gym time. Just throw in a scrunchie and you’re done, right? Sure, if you just want it out of the way, a hair tie is quick and painless. But, suppose you’ve got your eye on a fellow gym rat, and you want to add a little glam to your gym time. A top-knot is easy and fashionable, even in sweats. There are almost as many bun variations as there are natural textures. Here’s one we’re feeling from gorgeous vlogger Mahogany Curls.
How do you wear your natural hair while exercising?[author image=”http://tribecalledcurl.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Mani-In-The-Middle-small-620×360.jpg” ]Imani Dawson is the founder of TribeCalledCurl.com, she is an award winning writer and TV producer with nearly 13 years of experience working in media and a passion for telling Black women’s stories. And, not just the ones that come with lots of weave, dysfunction and intimacy with athletes. I’ve worked for outlets like BET, MTV and yes, VH1 during a short stint on a reality show special that cured me of any misconceptions about people willing to parade their lives in front of the cameras.[/author]