How To Care For Your Natural Hair & Scalp While Working Out

How To Care For Your Natural Hair & Scalp While Working Out


Hair, Sweat, and Oil a Recipe for A Unhealthy Scalp

Oh baby, is it cold outside! Who else will be turning up the heat on their home workouts this winter? If that’s you, then let’s talk hair! 

“A 2011 study proved that 45% of Black women who were polled admitted to avoiding the gym because they didn’t want to ruin their hair.”

Now obviously it’s not 2011 anymore, and wash-and-go’s and nappy are very much in, in 2021. Still, no black woman should have to swear off weaves and blow-outs for the sake of getting fit. A sew-in can be a great protective style, but hair growth requires a healthy scalp. And taking care of your scalp with a protective style can be tricky because you want to avoid build-up.  But with the right care, it doesn’t need to be a challenge. 

You might not have noticed but sweat build-up can be a real obstacle when you are attempting to maintain a clean and well-oiled scalp! The combination of sweat, oil, and chemically-infused hair products becomes a recipe for clogged hair follicles. “Sweat glands secretion is mixed with bacteria if not washed, it can lead to the formation of fungal infections,” [as said by stylist Kristine Cruz in an article with Well + Good.] But rest assured, balancing healthy locs with exercise is completely doable. You do not have to sacrifice health for beauty! 

But if you’re working out regularly, washing your hair infrequently, and using chemically-infused hair products, you could cause wide-spread, clogged hair follicles that would lead to eventual hair loss. So, if you are an active woman who is experiencing hair loss/ and or thinning, pivot your wash day routine by keeping your hair shafts and follicles as the main focal point. 

For targeting hair loss, begin with making sure the products you use on wash day and beyond are good for your scalp. Some say the first ingredient should be water. If it’s not a water-based or natural product it won’t assist in unclogging your follicles. Read beyond the all-natural label. Curology blogger, Chinyelu Chukwurah says this: 

Avoid ingredients like coconut oil and cocoa butter. These culprits are comedogenic (potentially pore-clogging). Instead, try hair products that contain non-comedogenic oils such as jojoba oil, avocado, olive oil, castor oils, or grapeseed oil.”

We all know washing your hair every day can do more harm than good. If you work out five days a week; however, it’s hard not to wash your hair more often*. Rosemary oil is a great in-between oil to use between washes. One research article points out that several studies have been done that prove, “rosemary extracts show biological bioactivities such as hepatoprotective, antifungal, insecticide, antioxidant and antibacterial. It is well known that the biological properties in rosemary are mainly due to phenolic compounds.”

**We give some pointers on how to structure your wash routine to fit your workout routine in our Workout Hair Care Tips below. 

Dilute a pure (food-grade) Rosemary oil with a non-comedogenic carrier oil. Apply to your scalp after (non-wash day) workouts to keep your scalp healthy.

We’ve put together some more quick tips on how to care for natural hair below! 

Workout Hair Care Quick Tips

  1. Keep your hair off the nap off your neck and back; high ponytails and buns are ideal. 
  2. Do your more intense workouts on the days you plan on washing your hair. If your hair is drenched in sweat you could risk damaging your hair by not washing it asap. The salt content from your sweat may dry out your hair, leaving it vulnerable to brittleness. Allegedly the salty build-up can also dry out your scalp. A dry scalp is an equally itchy scalp!
  3. Invest in a sweatband to cover your edges and wrap your hair before you break a sweat. 
  4. Ideally, pair lighter workout session with non-wash days. If your hair isn’t drenched in sweat don’t unwrap your hair right after your workout. Hold off, keeping it tight until your hair dries to reduce frizz, protect your style, and lay your edges. 
  5. Wash your bonnet and workout scarf on the regular... 
  6. But on that note, also have at least 3 dedicated workout scarves so you can always ensure a clean scalp. 
  7. Skip cotton head-wraps, cotton is notorious for pulling the moisture from your hair.
  8. Make your own hair Products! 
  9. Try hair, skin, and nail vitamins. The recent rebrand of Body Complete Rx came with some exciting new products! Including our women’s multivitamin, Thrive. This vitamin was formulated with the active woman in mind. It is not your ordinary women’s multi. Thrive not only fills the gaps in your nutrition to boost your energy, strengthen your bones, and enhance your mood, but it also goes to work to keep you at your vibrant best every day. With premium antioxidant support, the formula delivers green tea to power your metabolism, plus coconut oil and pomegranate to enhance breast and heart health and keep your skin, hair, and nails radiant. Designed by women, for women, Thrive is your foundation for better health in just three capsules per day.