Truth be told, hitting the gym is a New Year’s resolution for most of us. Whether you want to shed pounds, tone up or just improve the health of your heart, routine workouts are sure to make you feel accomplished and on your way to a healthier lifestyle. But just because you’re squeezing in sweat sessions doesn’t mean your hair has to suffer.
If you can keep your strands in place, you may reconsider squeezing in a spin class on your lunch break or a yoga slot before a date night. We touched base with hair pros on tips and tricks to help you leave the gym with flawless strands.
Perfect your protective style
Workout hair is anything that’s away from the face and off the neck, although there are some brave warrior women who can run 6.0 on the treadmill with their hair down. But what will keep strands protected while you burn your cals? “If you plan to break a sweat, you want a hairstyle to keep you cool,” shares Dana Tizzo, senior hairstylist from Butterfly Studio Salon. “A high ponytail will keep your hair away from your neck, but make sure to use a non-creasing hair tie to avoid any dents or snags in your hair.” For girls who rock heat-styled strands, Tizzo also suggests smoothing back your pony with a sweat-wicking headband to keep edges dry and frizz-free.
If you have curly or textured strands, a loose bun or topknot may be a better option. “Women with curly or coily hair can also opt for satin or silk scarves to keep hair frizz-free and smooth,” Giovanni Vaccaro, Glamsquad creative director shares.
Sneak in hair treatments
As all millennial women know, mastering all our desired tasks can only be done by multitasking, and hitting the gym is no different. Instead of carving out 30 minutes for a deep treatment, apply product to hair before you sweat and rinse out post-workout. “Providing hair with extra moisture during a low- to medium-intensity workout can be a great way to kill two birds with one stone,” says Vaccaro. “Use a leave-in conditioner or oil on damp hair while tossing hair in a bun so the hair can fully absorb the product during your workout.”
Gauge your sweat levels
Now that you know how to prep hair before you train, let’s tackle what to do post-yoga or -spin class. If you’re on the fence about washing your hair or air-drying and heading to work, here’s how to know what to do. “Treat your hair differently based on the intensity of your workout and the amount of sweat you produced,” says Vaccaro. “For a low- to medium-intensity workout where sweating is kept to a minimum, you don’t necessarily have to wash your hair.”
If you’re hitting Bikram yoga or a boot camp-style class, shampoo is a must. “Sweat can clog pores on the scalp and can cause dry scalp and stunted hair growth,” says Vaccaro. It can also cause foul odor and shorten the lifespan of your hair. If you’re a gym rat, consider using a scalp exfoliator one to two times a week to rid hair of any built-up debris.
Avoid styling foes
Your workout is over, and it’s time to head to the office or out with friends, but your strands are unmanageable. If flyaway pieces or frizz are your problems, grab a lightweight cream or pomade. Curly girls should opt for an edge-control gel you can use before and after your workout without gunky buildup.
Another pro tip for post-sweat styling is dry shampoo. “Apply a dry shampoo to your roots before your workout to prevent moisture from transferring from your scalp to the rest of your hair,” shares Tizzo. For darker hair colors, make sure your dry shampoo goes on clear and doesn’t create a white film on your strands.
If you have fine or thin hair, try a style that will give some texture to strands so they don’t fall flat. “If you don’t have time to wash, use the cool setting on the blow dryer and blow your roots upside down to add some volume,” suggests Tizzo. “Another trick is styling hair in French braids before your workout to add texture to hair once your sweat session is done.”
You’ve got the lowdown on how to perfect your hair before, during and after you sweat, but in order to pull off your best look, you need to be stocked with the best products. Here are some stylist-approved hair helpers to keep your strands intact while you reach your new-year goals.
Originally posted on StyleCaster.