Work Out and Protect Black Hair? No Sweat
Single-Minded: This hair wrap takes away African-American women's last good excuse for avoiding the gym.
I bought the "full triangle" wrap -- one of three options that also include the narrow band and the wide band. From my days as a professional cheerleader, I knew that short hair that can't be pulled into a ponytail needs wider coverage during a workout to avoid frizzing up your edges, your "kitchen" and your crown. So I tied on my new sweatband, making sure to cover my entire head, and hopped on a bike for a two-mile ride.
The gym wrap isn't an anti-perspirant, so in no way does it stop you from sweating. Instead, the three layers of "anti-wicking" material in the wrap function to "grab" sweat before it wets your hair, allow heat to escape and let cool air in. Parker also added a bonus: sateen fabric on the inside of the headband that keeps hair smooth, much like the satin pillowcases or wraps that many black women sleep with at night.
After the bike ride, which was mostly uphill and hot, I unwrapped my hair and was pleasantly surprised that it not only stayed in place but was still flowy and dry when I shook it out. So I decided to push Save Your Do even further and run another mile and a half to the grocery store to flaunt my unperturbed do in front of actual people.
By the time I'd jogged up to the sliding doors of my local Safeway, all was safe when it came to my short bob. I felt especially sporty, like a print-ad model for fitness, and not at all like a dripping painting. No one who saw me reacted as if I'd just run a marathon through a monsoon, which is what I usually look like after about 20 minutes of cardio.
Reviewers on YouTube felt the same way. Most reported a great experience with Save Your Do, from "normally my hair is soaked" to "wow" to "I'm pretty impressed." One warning, though: Don't get overzealous and tie the wrap too tight, which might result in headaches or light-headedness. One knot is enough to keep your hair in place and intact.
So now that there's a product out there that eliminates any textured hair as an excuse for not working out, even an excuse impresario such as myself can't hide from the gym -- for long. I keep my Save Your Do out on the dresser as a reminder that (as always) all that's stopping me from a good workout is me. I don't know whether to hug or to hate Nicole Ari Parker. Maybe I'll decide after I get back from the gym.