Share Your Hair Care Tips for the Gym

Of course, there's always this.
Of course, there's always this.

Wrap? Scarf? Just leave it free?

Are you natural? Got a weave? Extensions? Doesn’t matter; just tell us how you take care of your hair.


I’m asking because of the few areas of discussion we were able to squeeze in during the 20 minutes I was on air last night with “The Daily Drum” host Harold T. Fisher, the hair issue was one of them. I’ll be on again 7:10 p.m. next Friday, so if you’re in the D.C. area, tune in to WHUR-FM.

Yes, I wrote about this last week“Is Your Hairstyle Keeping You Overweight?” – but there was so much feedback I wanted to focus on solutions.

Though I have Sisterlocks, I still have hair issues when it comes to working out. The natural state of my locs is straight, and I never wear them straight. Once every week or so in the evening, I’ll spritz my hair with water and braid it or roll up it using the Lock Loops I bought a few weeks ago. My hair dries overnight, so in the a.m. I unbraid for crinkles or unfurl for curls, which last a week or two, depending on the weather.

But gym sweat definitely loosens my set. Because my locs are thin, I lose all that nice volume at the roots, so the first 3-4 inches are somewhat straight the rest in loose waves or curls. That would be fine if I thought I had the face for it, but I don’t. At the gym I pull my hair up into a tight ponytail, and that’s not a good look for me, either. I look forward to my face thinning out more so I can wear ponytails in public. Right now I look like an eggplant when my hair’s pulled back. (Stop snickering.)

I want to hear from hairdressers as well. What solutions can you offer clients? Remember this frightening stat: 49 percent of the women indicated that hair care directly affected their exercise patterns.

Surely African-American women are the only group where hair rules so much of our lives. But are we seriously choosing hair over health?


My mind drifts to perfectly coiffed hair on women . . . in caskets.

As I stated on Fisher’s show last night, whenever I’d go on one of my many, many diets, I’d pull my hair back into a ponytail. If I didn’t have enough, which was often the case, I’d get braids. At one point I had a weave, which 20 years ago really looked . . . obvious. But the goal was to not let hair issues keep me from the gym.


My daughter, Sky, isn’t feeling locs at all. She loves relaxed hair, and during competition season she’s at the cheer gym four nights a week and five hours on Saturdays, and comes home with her always hair damp from sweat. She washes and flat-irons her hair at least twice a week, in-between monthly hair appointments. Sky uses non-breakage and deep conditioning products, but I believe her hairdresser is the key: After years of damage, then extensions to cover the damage, we found someone who really knows how to care for Sky’s hair. It’s healthier now than it’s ever been. She went on maternity leave and lost her spot at the salon, so we tried someone else. Breakage. I tracked down the other hairdresser, who’s now doing heads out of her home. Sky’s hair rebounded after one visit.

So is a trusted hairdresser the answer? What about avoiding salons altogether? Let me know. And tell me the length of your hair and how you style it.


And if you’re avoiding the gym because of your hair, I’d like to hear about that, too.

A black woman’s hair makes a statement and is often the subject of many conversations. ~  from an article by Consuelo H. Wilkins, M.D.


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