Exercise is important for everyone and naturals are no exception to that rule. Washing textured hair can be a time-consuming chore that is taxing. I love my coils, but I do roll my eyes when I think of wash day and put it off more than I should. So when you factor in exercising regularly (at least three times a week), the wash day may come more frequently and that can pose a problem for some.
Working out is important and no one is disputing that fact. The next question is how to properly maintain or cleanse your hair while exercising regularly? Is there a one size fits all kind of routine and does that go for all hair types? NaturallyCurly member Ivory.conley from our Curly Q&A section needed some advice on whether her wash routine was sufficient.
I have type 4a hair. I workout moderately – intense at least 3-4 days a week. I hear a lot of women saying they co-wash every time they workout but I don’t feel the need to. My scalp is not irritated or itching by the end of the week if I only co-wash once between workouts. Is this a bad thing? Should I wash more frequently?
You can find multiple ways to preserve your style, but as Ivory.conley has found out, no one is giving advice on how often to wash your hair when working out regularly. Every curly does not want to be glamorous. Many curly girls just want to know the basics on caring for their tresses while they exercise and worry less about keeping a style. Neither concern is less important than the other, but both issues need to be addressed.
To answer the question, you do not have to wash your hair after every workout. For one, too much washing can compromise the health of your hair causing hygral fatigue, which causes elasticity problems that lead to breakage. Since excessively washing your hair can strip the hair of the natural oils, no one should be washing daily. A perfect alternative to washing your hair after every workout is just rinsing or leaving it alone. Also, there are some amazing products on the market that were created just for that sort of problem. It is important to knowing your own hair and whether or not you feel your hair needs to be washed after every workout. Ivory.conley has assessed her hair’s needs and realized it is not necessary for her to wash her hair but once a week with regular workouts.
What are the needs of your hair?
Some women wash their hair weekly, biweekly, or even monthly, so that must be determined prior to factoring in working out. If licensed cosmetologists advise weekly or biweekly cleansing, then you may have to increase it in order to remove the sweat from the scalp to avoid potential scalp buildup. Using witch hazel with a cotton ball to absorb the oil is great for in between wash days.
Preserving your style
Save Your Do Full Triangle Gymwrap was created by the lovely Nicole Ari Parker. It is a stylish headband with an edge control technology that minimizes sweat absorption into your hair. Moisture is whisked away from your tresses and not only does it preserve. Also consider using protective styles that expose the scalp (e.g. Havana twists, cornrows, braids) that make for easier access and cleansing.
Washing daily or after every workout is not necessary and may actually be detrimental to your hair’s health, but how you style your hair will determine how often to wash your hair when you workout regularly. The frequency will be determined by your own workout, hair, and needs. Listen to your hair and know that once a week is not a problem if your hair has no problem with it. Ariella from MsAriella89 shares her experience with working out (and being a Zumba instructor) with natural hair. It is a very informative video and she discusses how just wetting her hair is working just fine for her.