Hitting the gym is one of the best things for your body but it can sometimes be one of the worst things for your hair. Too-tight ponytails and excess washing can leave strands brittle and breakage-prone, but you don’t have to sacrifice a killer workout for soft, healthy hair. Instead of just tossing your hair into a topknot before your spin class, give it the T.L.C. it needs. Below, four tips to get your strands into shape while you shape up at the gym:
Whether you’re gearing up for a long run or prepping for a mid-day Pilates class, the ponytail is, no doubt, a workout-friendly hairstyle, but tying it too tight can break strands mid-shaft. To avoid this, I tie my hair back with stretchy ribbon elastics like Emi-Jay Hair Ties ($14 for set of 5, emi-jay.com). They eliminate the unwanted ponytail crease and are comfortably loose enough to prevent breakage but still strong enough to keep your style from falling out. Bonus: They come in so many cute colors and patterns — I like to match them to my workout gear!
Spritz On Some Dry Oil
My go-to gym hair is a messy topknot. It’s functional, keeps my hair off my neck and still manages to look a little bit cute while I’m drenched in sweat, but I started to notice my ends were getting seriously distressed from bending every which way. Before my workout, I spray Macadamia Natural Oil Healing Oil Spray ($30, ulta.com) from mid-length down before tying my hair up, which makes a huge difference! This ultra-fine spray adds instant hydration and shine that makes my hair soft, manageable and easy to style.
Avoid Over Washing
It’s hard to not suds up following a sweaty workout, but too much shampoo can dry out your hair and strip it of essential oils. We’re firm believers in the power of dry shampoo and I always keep one, like Dove Style+Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo ($4, drugstore.com) stocked in my gym bag. If you can’t jump on the dry shampoo bandwagon, we suggest trying a cleansing conditioner like WEN by Chaz Dean Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner ($32 for 16 oz. bottle, chazdean.com). A sulfate-free, low-lather formula will keep your hair’s natural oils in check while still washing away all the sweaty stuff.
Use Your Sweat as a Styler
As gross as it may seem, a little perspiration can give your hair some much-needed grip for certain hard-to-master styles. Avoid heat-induced damage by using your post-workout hair to your advantage and pulling it into a low side braid, then slide on a pretty headband like Goody FashioNow Patent Bow Headwrap ($5, Walmart stores). This look is an easy transition from workout to work-ready!