In the last couple years we’ve seen the resurgence of black women embracing their natural hair; whether kinky, straight, short, or long and I for one am a fan, but with this movement of black women rocking their natural hair out comes the anger of sweating it out-in the gym. Every week I’m on the receiving end of death threats from clients who have to go to the salon more often due to me putting them through an hour and a half of training. While I’m sure they won’t kill me,right? I do understand their plight but it led me to thinking” is this a reason some African American women don’t want to workout.”?
I figured by understanding the financial investment in her hair helps explain why there is apprehension to exercise. I did some research ( asked some cool ladies on Twitter ) and found out that Black woman often times go to the salon and spend up to $50 to 200 per visit on hair service. Now, after spending money on that it makes sense that many women feel that it would be a waste their money to “sweat out” their hairstyle at the gym. Any woman who has naturally curly or coarse hair understands the difficulty of keeping their hair straightened, while working up a sweat.
According to a recent study conducted by the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, in Winston-Salem, N.C., 31% of the 103 African-American women surveyed admitted that they exercise less because it may harm their hairstyle.(that’s about 2 out of every 5 women)
So with all that being said… I’m here to save the day or your hair, whichever sounds better. Let’s start by listing the top five things women of color can do to maintain their hair while working out.
Use dry shampoo.
Spray it directly onto roots before your workout to absorb sweat and oils
So I’ve been told that lightly spraying your scalp after exercise with olive oil, shea butter spray, or argan oil to rejuvenate hair, reduce frizz, and offer a sweet natural smell.( I wonder if coconut oil counts too)
Wrap hair up with a satin scarf.
A satin scarf will help soak up the sweat while you work out and protect your style. If you don’t want to cover your entire head, try folding the scarf in half and using it as a headband.
Cornrow or twist or bantu knots
This is called a “protective style” by doing so you prevent your hair from shrinking.
First you should get a sweat-absorbent headband and then pin your hair up, ( I know way too much at this point) you can help keep your hair away from sweat on your scalp, forehead and back of your neck which obviously won’t hurt your look.
Iight, BOOM… my job here is done. You can catch me at the next “all natural” beautiful black women convention passing around these tips on cue cards to pretty Nubians. Until then, go forth and prosper.