Illustration for article titled ‘Gym Hair’ Answers: Dry Shampoos, Conditioners and Thermal Sprays

Your hair or your health? I asked, you answered. Seems there are quite a few products to keep hair from “going back” to its natural state, which women of all ethnicities would prefer not to deal with after a great workout at the gym.


Understood. If you spend a lot on perms or relaxers, you’d like to maintain that style for as long as possible. Sounds like moisturizing conditioners and products that dry out the dampness caused by sweat are your best bets, in addition to working with your hair before and after a workout. Thanks to reader emails here and on Facebook, here are some products and tips to keep your style fresh, post-sweat.

1.      Deep condition. Use deep conditioners when you wash your hair to maintain a healthy sheen and elasticity while in ZUMB dance class. Most recommended are protein formulas for perms and relaxers or color-treated hair. You usually have to sit under a heated dryer for 15-20 minutes for the conditioner to work.


2.      Dry shampoos.  These are powder shampoos, and I actually saw this being applied to someone’s hair two months ago. The powder is usually some form of cornstarch or clay, which is supposed to absorb the oil in your hair. If you have a blow-dried or flat-iron style, this might be the answer.  How it works: Sprinkle the product in your hair, and then leave it on for a few minutes. When done, brush it all out, and the dirt and goes out with the shampoo.

3.      Leave-in conditioners. Just like it sounds. If you experience a lot of breakage, this could be the answer. They completely coat the hair and your hair. To use, just apply right after you shampoo and leave in until the next time.

4.      Hot oil treatments. This is along the same lines as deep conditioning. Once a month is good, but if you go to the gym more often, it’s a good idea to add more hot oil treatments. If your gym has a sauna, think about applying the hot oil before going in there, and letting the heat go to work on your hair as well as on your body. When finished, simply rinse it out in the shower.

5.      Thermal sprays.  Never heard of ’em until a reader sent me a link to this article, which quotes a hairstylist who says, “Always use a thermal spray when you straighten your hair after you've been to the gym.”  Heat styling with flat irons or blow dryers will damage your hair, but thermal sprays coat the shaft and make your style last longer, too.


I haven’t mentioned any specific products because I haven’t tried any of the above, but if you’ve tried and can vouch for the quality of a shampoo or condition, please do so in the comments below.

Hair has always been important.  ~   Diana Ross

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Leslie J. Ansley is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who blogs daily for TheRoot. She lives in Raleigh, NC.

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