Does that cardio workout leave your curls soaked to the bone? Then what?
Is it a struggle to know how often wash your locks if you workout often – like almost every day often?
Maybe you’re wondering if sweat is bad for your hair and scalp?
But worst of all does knowing you’re going to get super sweaty cause you think twice about going to the gym?
Look. Curls always need more attention – just because. That’s all the more true if you’re a workout fanatic.
Now the common misconception is you can’t have cute curls after working out without lathering up.
Pfffffft! That’s completely false. You just need to know the right moves to make.
That’s what makes any list of dos and don’ts invaluable.
What’s that? You want the list of Dos and Don’ts? Fair enough. Here you go.
List of Dos
- Do Use Workout Hairstyles For Curly Hair Before Cardio or Hitting the Yoga Mat or Treadmill
- Do Follow a Refreshing Sweaty Curly Hair Post Workout Routine
- Do Learn How To Use Products to Refresh Curly Hair
List of Don’ts
- Don’t Think You Have To Lather Up Every Time You Hit The Gym
- Don’t Expect a Perfect Outcome Every Time You Refresh
- Don’t Forget to Give the Hair On Top a Little Love
- Don’t Consider Sweaty Hair to Be To Be The Enemy
Of course there’s more to it than just knowing what tips made our list. So we fleshed those out the dos in more detail in what follows. While dishing on the don’ts for refreshing sweaty curly hair after your workout at the other end of that link.
Do Use Workout Hairstyles For Curly Hair Before Cardio, Spin Class or Hitting the Treadmill
Okay so an often asked question is what to do with curly hair while working out?
Great question. Cause wondering how to wear curly hair at the gym shows you’re thinking along the right lines. Knowing the style you rock when doing your cardio goes a long way to determining how your hair will look in the light of day.
The best workout hairstyles keep your hair
- Off your head
- Off your body
- Outta your face
- They don’t take forever to do
Now by far the most common choice for protecting curls when at the gym is pineappling using an elastic.
Just click the link to read our recent look at that curls coddling technique.
So when it comes to protective hairstyles for curls this is by far the most popular choice. Maybe high and outta the way should be your go to too when looking work out styles.
Why is that?
Let’s look at a couple of benefits and things to know.
Having your hair on top of your head keeps it out of sweats way.
That’s right. Unless it’s on the much longer side using an elastic to tie your curls up in a pineapple keeps them off any parts of you that might get all sweaty. Think face, nape of your, shoulders.
Otherwise once the heat is on some curls can stretch out and you can end up with spent curls glued to your face with sweat.
And is there anything more annoying that swatting wayward curls off your face. Some just hate that.
Don’t Wrap the Elastic Too Tight
You probably only want to wrap the elastic around at most twice.
You don’t want breakage to result from an elastic that has a death grip on your hair.
Also you don’t want to stress the hair line hairs by pulling things back too tight or anything like that either.
Tip: What if your hair does not fall back into place when you remove the elastic? Try using a silk scrunchie to see if that makes a difference.
The thing is when pineappled your hair is still free to safely move around some.
But you don’t want it to have so much freedom it falls out mid workout. So you want it secure enough so that doesn’t happen. Using bobby pins or a few claw clips from your stash if need be to keep it securely in place as demonstrated here:
This is a way to preserve the curl pattern and without doing anything wonky to your curls that will endanger it.
When you’re ready to refresh remove the pins or clips and your curls should still be decent.
Of course an extra layer of protection would be a bandana.
Let’s take a look at another quick segment from Glam Belle’s video. Here she demonstrates how she uses bandanas explaining the benefits she gets.
Clearly pineappling should make any “do” list. It’s such a smart move for naturally curly hair care whether protecting your curls when working out or at night when catching some Zs.
Do Remove Any Hair Ties ASAP
This is kinda key. When done working out immediately remove whatever tie you’re using. That will encourage your curls to dry in whatever their pre work out state was.
But a pineapple is not your only option.
Those with longer hair may be better off with a very loose braid slung over one shoulder. That’s because pineappling ain’t gonna do much for keeping long locks outta your face or off your neck.
Plus your longer locks can end up waving all over when piled high creating friction which isn’t good for the ends.
Which is why a braid is another way to gather up your curls to keep them from getting all wild and crazy when you’re working out.
Putting your hair up in a bun gets honorable mention.
Although these are kinda “dent” risky. By that I mean what you use to tie them up can create unwanted dents in your curls. Although an invisibobble reduces that some.
No look at workout hairstyles would be complete without at least a passing mention of silk scarves.
They make for a frictionless way to hold things snugly in place keeping your curls from flying around. This is a great strategy, especially for day one hair, to preserve your curls for another day.
Whatever workout style you go for the idea is to be gentle on any first wash day hair so you can make it through to day two still looking good.
Besides hairstyles that keep your hair up up and away there’s one other thing to consider.
How To Use Workout Headbands For Curly Hair
Ever used a head band or sweat band when working out?
This is a simple way to sop up the sweat and preserve your curls. Perfect for handling the sweat beading up all over your hairline.
Plus these can do double duty. Keep the hair off your face and nape of your neck.
A head band lets the length of your curls free to do its own thing. While again sopping up sweat off your scalp and wicking it away at least a little bit.
Tip: Suffer from headband insecurity? You can always secure it with a couple of bobbie pins to pin it in place.
Then once your workout is done, remove the headband and refresh the roots with some kind of spray leave in conditioner.
Or you can combine the head band with an elastic to pineapple your hair up and outta the way.
There. Headbands to the rescue – of sweaty, curly workout hair.
Now you can’t say you don’t know how to protect your hair from sweat during exercise.
Which brings us to the next do.
Do Follow a Refreshing Sweaty Curly Hair Post Workout Routine
Truth is good post workout curls and a good workout are not mutually exclusive.
Even if you feel your sessions are the sweatiest of the sweaty and the curls you see reflected in mirror afterwards seem impossible.
Now pretty much all curl refreshing routines that I’ve seen involve the same steps with a few tweaks. The biggest difference is in the product of choice.
- Step 1: Mist your hair with with continuous spray water bottle. This does the two things. The moisture alone can be helpful. It also reawakens product you’ve already put in your hair. Which is never a bad strategy.
- Step 2: Add a bit more product. That could be a gel of various strengths, mousse, cream, leave in or a combination of all or some of those. Usually using the praying hands technique to run it over the outer layer of damp curls. That’s followed by scrunching it in.
- Step 3: Diffuse or give your freshly dampened strands time to air dry.
- Step 4: Break any cast if you used gel
- Step 5: Finish with a volumizing fluff and scrunch
How damp to get your hair varies. The right amount for your hair can only discovered by trial and error cause your curls may need more or less water for all sorts of reasons.
Another excuse to reach for the sprayer? Some find wetting their hair before applying product allows for a softer finish and better all-around results
Just please always keep in mind that what works for your sister’s hair isn’t necessarily going to work for your hair.
Also you may not need to take all these steps. Feel free to pick and choose to see what works for you.
Which leads to one of the most important things to do:
Do Learn How To Use Products to Refresh Curly Hair
Did you notice step 2 there?
Add a little more product.
That’s right. It’s something pretty much everyone does.
You want to get a little help from your friends gel, mousse or even refreshing spray. Or some combination of cream and gel.
Of the routines we saw every one of them relied on a product to help revive the curls. So much so I’d say it’s expecting too much to think you can get gorgeous refreshed curls without using some product.
That’s important. Products matter.
Oh and don’t feel you’ve got to pitch what’s in your bathroom now either.
Whatever products already work for your hair are the ones you should be using. Or at least trying first on your refreshing post gym hair journey.
Tip: Don’t want to use more product full strength? No problem.
- Break out your spray bottle and dilute your leave in, thin gel or whatever before spraying the watered down version on your curls.
- Be sure to shake well.
- Then just lift your curls and spray away.
- And maybe finish with a good scrunch.
If going diluted expect to play around with the recipe of water to product for best results.
Also know this. Thicker gels can sometime clog up your spray pump. You’ve been warned!
Now it’s understandable if you think you need to wash your hair every time you workout. You may be grossed out by all the sweat and if that’s you be you. Lather up.
But don’t feel like you have to. Most find a refresh routine that works and let’s their curls live to fight another day.
Just saying there are things you can do to refresh your hair post workout that will leave you with curls that are better than just okay. In fact here’s one more idea with potential.
Do Discover How To Use Dry Shampoo For Post Workout Hair
I know dry shampoo is a product few curly girls reach for. But you may want to after your time on the tread mill is up.
Here’s on approach you can use to get started. Tweaking to suit your curls over time.
- Step 1: Dry your roots with blow dryer right away after taking your hair down – low air / medium to cool heat setting
- Step 2: Spritz dry shampoo at the roots – and don’t forget the nape of your neck
- Step 3: Give it 60 seconds or so the product has a chance to start work
- Step 4: Shake out/fluff the roots to soak up any excess oil – bonus the roots smell good
- Step 5: Lightly spritz water on the lower ends of the strands to reactivate product already there. You’re going for damp not soaking
Tip: No time to lather up and prefer to NOT give dry shampoo a try?
In that case maybe try applying a curly girl approved mousse instead. This will do two things. It might just revive the volume for one. Plus any scent may disguise any dirty hair smell if you’re worried about that.
Now if things are really bad you may have no choice but to lather up – the root area.
If that’s what you need to do here’s a trick suggested by Curly Susie.
- First apply conditioner to the lower half of your hair
- Shampoo the roots letting the suds run down your strands
Did you catch the trick? Any cleanser used will mostly slide over the conditioned portion of your hair. This prevents the already driest part, the ends, from drying out even more due to more shampooing.
BONUS: Curly Hair Refresh Without Water or a Diffuser
Naturally you may not always have a water bottle or blow dryer in the gym bag. Or you may have forgot them. Relax. As this video shows, all is not lost. This gives you a way to refresh curly hair that’s dry.
The thing is when you don’t have a spray bottle or diffuser you really need products. And that’s the key here.
After fluffing the root she sprays in Noughty Hello Curls focusing on the undersections. You know where the curls may have been stretched out and so lost their definition?
After application she scrunches it in to bring her curls back to life.
After applying this refreshing spray she follows up with DevaCurl Beautiful Mess Curl Sculpting Pomade.
HOW TO USE: She takes a fingerful along with a drop of an essential oil, rubs the two together over her hands then glides them over her hair using the praying hands method followed by more scrunching and fluffing to reactivate her hair.
She especially focuses attention on any curls that lost their definition – maybe finger coiling the more problematic ones. Or splitting apart others that have clumped together.
As always this is simply an example of a dry refresh routine. It may or may not be the product combo you want to use on your curls.
For a steady stream of borderline genius ideas like these that can help your hair be curly fabulous be sure to follow our Curls Gone Wild Board on Pinterest.