Working out is a mood and spirit lifter.
But what it often doesn’t lift is our hair.
Yeah the problem is our tresses can end up looking greasy, flat or worse.
The endorphins may be putting you in a good mood. That is until you see your hair. Awkkkk!
Meaning sometimes you may have skipped the endorphin rush to get another day out of your last shampooing. Or you may have big plans for after work and can’t risk walking in looking like a grease ball.
We’ve all been there.
But you don’t have to let your hair get in the way of working out.
There are proven post gym hair hacks that will bring your locks back to life after you do. Or keep your style from a near death experience in the first place.
Quick Section Navigation
- What To Do With Sweaty Hair After A Workout
- How To Protect Hair From Sweat During Exercise
- Post Gym Hair Hacks and Workout Products
What To Do With Sweaty Hair After A Workout
It starts with knowing how to dry sweaty hair after your workout.
It’s best to dry sweaty hair right away. Start with patting it with a microfiber towel to absorb as much moisture as you can. Then use a blow dryer on the cool setting and max power to blast the sweat away from the roots.
Trust me. A few minutes spent with your hair dryer can be a style saver. So consider this a must do as it can help dry out the roots and your scalp quickly.
Some find it best to concentrate the air blast on their hairline or the nape of the neck. The goal being to being avoid leaving behind any excess moistness that can turn things frizzy in a hot minute.
The good news is even a mini dryer stashed in your workout bag can work wonders when it comes to drying things up.
It also helps to have at least a comb if not a round brush handy to salvage hair teetering on a hot mess.
Again the dryer settings of choice to completely transform your post workout tresses? Cool obviously as any heat would be counterproductive with the power button set to the max.
This way even if you tend to get more than a little sweaty this hack will help keep you looking none the worse for your gym time.
Oh and for those who may feel blow drying hair in this state sounds kinda nasty think of it this way. Look at sweat as Nature’s salt spray.
By the way, committing to a regular workout is hard enough without having to worry about your curls getting in the way. To help we put together some genius curl saving ideas that will keep you from leaving the gym looking like a hot mess.
If the thought of working out with curly hair and still having bomb shell curls has you curious just click that link. Then drink in our post explaining how to avoid messing up a perfectly good set of curls in the name of a better body.
How To Protect Hair From Sweat During Exercise
First think elevated hairstyles like a bun or tightly twisted top knot. Second use a sweat wicking headband that soaks it up so your hair doesn’t. Finally use dry shampoo before working out to help absorb excess moisture before it drenches your hair.
Okay so most agree that the big idea is to keep the sweat away from your hair as much as possible. As was just pointed out there are three common ways to do that.
- Buns and Elevated Hairstyles
- Sweat Absorbing Headbands
- Dry shampoo
Buns and Elevated Hairstyles
Who hasn’t had to pause the treadmill to swipe strands out of their eyes or give that low pony a tightening tug?
Or scrambled to rescue hair that was bathed in sweat during a cardio routine.
Now the ideal way to keep your ends out of harm’s way is to put your hair into a top knot or bun.
This will keep them from clinging to your sweaty back or shoulders as they might were you to wear your hair down. Which also keeps them from getting all snarly for doing so.
With a twisted knot the trick is to twist it tightly enough and then use bobby pins to secure it. You want it to be more or less immovable. Like a little “Bun of Steel” if you would.
Then here’s another way to do it. It’s not glamorous, elegant or especially cute but it is effective. Put your hair up and out of the way on top of your head.
Okay so getting your hair on top of your head keeps it off your scalp for one. That way you don’t have hair laying on top of hair. Knowing that only traps the heat and increases the sweat factor.
You basically want to grab the top half of your hair, bun it up loosely and secure it with a soft hair tie.
The key here is loosely. Or not so tightly tied up it sticks to your head and sucks up the sweat as you’re cycling your heart out.
This is a super simple way to keep your locks from getting super sweaty.
Then too this move over-directs the hair on top of your hair which always helps to keep things more voluminous.
And if you have bangs? Best pin them back and off your face for your workout session.
Then there’s headbands.
Benefits of Sweat Absorbing Headbands
The good news is anymore you don’t have to look like a refugee from an early Jane Fonda workout video.
Sure these may not be your idea of gym glam. But a sweat-absorbent terrycloth headband can sop up droplets of hairline sweat like there’s no tomorrow.
Such sweatbands can also cut down on baby hairs gone wild.
Plus work to keep your hair in front looking its freshest.
Not to mention they can also keep the hair outta your face.
One more added benefit is bands will also absorb moisture from that other sweaty hot spot – the nape of your neck.
Just make the right choice. Yeah thin may be less noticeable, but thick and soft will do a better job. All without any annoying dents the thin tight ones can leave behind that take a shower to banish.
Now the best ones wick away the moisture, dry fast, and resist odor.
Also they’re stretchy enough so it doesn’t feel like you’re wearing a tourniquet.
For best results you want it positioned right at the start of your hairline to prevent root soaking.
So if you’re wondering “Should I wear a headband at the gym?” the answer is absolutely.
Finally let’s talk dry shampoo.
It’s shouldn’t be a surprise dry shampoo is seen as a super hero among workout addicts.
Not for wet hair, it should be applied before breaking out in a sweat. That way it will be on the job when needed. You know to help absorb the excess moisture before it gets to your hair.
How you apply it is probably more important the specific product you use. Think roots not ends. And if you’re wondering doesn’t dry shampoo damage your hair you might want to check out our deep dive into that very subject.
You also want something light. That way in two or three days’ time you don’t feel like you have an entire can of dry shampoo in your hair.
Some report a powder can often let you target where the product goes better than a spray.
Not to mention powders don’t have the alcohol, butane or propane in them sprays do. Although those with darker strands many find powders harder to work in without any weird, telltale residue.
Now for sure you want to concentrate application on your part.
For better coverage do three parts around the crown of your hair.
Then work the product in with your fingers.
Oh and if dry shampoo is going to put in a regular appearance then so should clarifying products. That way you can head off build up at the pass.
How often depends on your hair. For some it might be every week. Others can go two weeks. But it is certainly something that deserves a place in your hair cleansing routine if you’re going to use dry shampoo regularly.
One more tip. Think about trying this wonderful invention – microfiber towel scrunchies. They can give your bun or high pony tail sweat absorption super powers. Okay maybe not superpowers but every little bit helps, right?
Certainly no one can guarantee no more sweaty gym hair. But using ideas like these it’s quite possible to have post workout hair that looks as good, or in some cases better, than right after washing.
Here’s five more hacks to get you there.
Post Gym Hair Hacks and Workout Products
Okay so your sweat sesh is over and you feel awesome. You catch your breath, chug some water only to catch a glimpse of your hair in the mirror. OMG! What’s up with that?
Now the dirty truth is it’s just such a pain to wash your hair every time you work out.
Plus doing so can leave you with victimized strands that are brittle and dry, loaded with split ends or frizz. Or you may trigger your scalp into overcompensating. You know producing extra oils for all being lost to shampoo.
So you have to learn to deal. And break out the post workout hair care hacks.
These five tips and tricks can help you avoid facing the world with dreaded gym hair after exercising. Nothing earthshaking to be sure. But even a little post workout primping can make a difference.
Hair Hack #1 Parting Ways: One way to manufacture volume would be to either go with a deeper part or change the side your hair is parted on. This almost always creates volume where none existed and is easy to do.
Hair Hack #2 Spray In Texture: After a brief cool down and banishing the sweat by blasting your roots with a blow dryer set to cool try this. Spritz in some texturizing or beach wave spray. It can help make up for the texture your hair lacks.
Hair Hack #3 Go Slick and Sleek: Some feel the last thing you want to do is ladle on more product to an already grungy, borderline gross mane. Instead turn lemons into lemonade by working with what you got. That is use the excess grease and go for a slick, sleek style that looks like it was done on purpose not because you had to.
Obvious styles that come to mind include the slicked back high ponytail, braids or tight bun.
Hair Hack #4 Targeted Mini Wash: No workout hairstyle is sweat proof. So if your hair seems like a lost cause after working out try this.
See if you can’t get by with a little light washing. Target your bangs and the hair that lives in the hairline zone around your face. Blow dry and viola get what looks like a fresh new you.
Fast too. Usually accomplished in five minutes.
Hair Hack #5 Rise and Shine: Reach for the shine spray or serum. These can offset any matte finish from all the dry shampoo and keep things looking sparkly and crisp. This can make your hair look like a fresh blow out unless you get a little spritz happy. Please don’t.
Anyway at this point your hair should now smell and look awesome. Meaning no one will be the wiser you’re sporting post workout hair. Which is what you want.
One more thing. Some will advise you to plan your workouts around your hair. You can that.
You can work in something low impact like Tai Chi that doesn’t leave you drenched in sweat if your just lathered up. Saving hot yoga or an intense spinning session for a day you plan to shampoo anyway.
But for me it’s hard enough some days to keep my exercise motivation alive and well without having to consider what my hair thinks. So I don’t. Just saying.
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