The Cookbook


How To Maintain Natural Curly Hair While Exercising

Happy New Year! We’re so excited to begin 2021 anew, with our favorite resolutions fresh in our minds. NaturAll is here to support you in those endeavors, and if you’re like most Americans, you hope to get more active in the new year!

Unfortunately, statistics show that if you have natural, curly, or kinky hair, chances are that you have a frustrated relationship with exercise. When you put time and money into your hair, the last thing you want to do is ruin it with 30 minutes of excessive sweat and if you only wash your hair once a week, how on earth are you supposed to work out several times a week?! We’re here to help, curlfriend!

black woman exercise

1. Find a dedicated “gym hairstyle” that works for you

Try a bun, ponytail, or pineapple to keep your curls off your face and neck. This will reduce your hair’s contact with sweat on your forehead and neck. We also recommend leaning on protective styles to provide a low manipulation solution if you find your hair may be too short to pull back. This can help you reach your fitness goals and your growth goals in one step.

We love a two for one! Use this natural Flaxseed Edge Control to keep your baby hairs smooth and aligned while strengthening them with all natural ingredients! These Edge Controls are available in a variety of strengths so you can get your best hold depending on your hair texture.

black woman yoga

2. Workout in a cool environment

There's no way around it- exercise involves sweat. Sweat can leave your hair feeling dry, salty, or sticky. However, you can make choices to reduce the amount that you sweat, which will preserve your hair longer between washes.

If you live in a warm climate, work out early in the morning or in the evenings when it’s cooler. Workout from home? Turn the heat down in your house while you do weights and cardio. If you workout in a gym, look for the treadmill, exercise bike, or workout area that's close to a fan or vent, which will help keep you cool.

Take a little time post workout to let your hair and forehead dry off before touching your hair. It’s all about doing what you have to do, to make it work for you!

protect curly hair while exercising

3. Use a satin-lined scarf or headband while you work out 

This will prevent your edges from getting frizzy. Satin will also reduce friction and breakage during your workout. Remember the sweat we mentioned? Having fabric across your forehead can help to wick the excess moisture away from your strands and into the material, thus preserving even more of your style effortlessly.

While satin protects your hair from breakage, it can increase and trap sweat if you overdo it. Let your scalp breath! Be sure not to tie the scarf too tightly to ensure proper airflow. Too tight and you might give yourself a headache. Remove the scarf or headband after you complete your workout, to let your hair breathe and dry.

black woman natural hair

4. Refresh your scalp and hair.

Try a co-wash or essential oils if your hair feels dirty or sweaty in-between workouts. Many naturals who work out frequently opt to shampoo once a week and co-wash mid-week. NaturAll's Hydrating AvoKiwi Leave-in Conditioner is perfectly formulated to use everyday to prevent dryness and breakage. Check out this video tutorial for refreshing curls.

5. Resist the urge to shampoo after every workout

Sweat already dries out your hair, and using shampoo too often will remove natural oils from your hair and scalp to dry them out even more. Opt for lightweight products when styling your hair to avoid excess product buildup. This will allow you to go longer between washes.

When you do eventually shampoo, use a sulfate-free shampoo like NaturAll’s Hydrating AvoKiwi Shampoo that will thoroughly cleanse your hair without stripping away moisture. When you're in between washes but your hair feels dirty, we recommend a co-wash. You can use NaturAll's Hydrating Conditioner as one option.

haircare while exercising

6. Make a schedule and stick to it.

A schedule will help you coordinate your hair and workout plans so you won’t have to deal with any surprises. If you plan ahead, you won’t have to make a choice between caring for your health and your hair. For example, if you know you're going to wash your hair Sunday night, that makes Sunday afternoon the perfect time for your sweaty workout!

A deep conditioning routine is essential to replenish your hair with moisture and protect it from damage and sweat. We suggest deep conditioning every two weeks using NaturAll's Fresh Frozé Treatment Deep Conditioners which are especially formulated to suit your specific hair needs whether it’s strengthening, repairing, or curl defining.

Doing your wash n’ go at the end of the week might help if you use your weekends to go harder in the gym. Keeping a schedule can also help to improve your eating habits and water intake (especially if you made those resolutions too!) Increasing your water intake actually helps your hair and scalp, keeps your hair healthy, and the added hydration will definitely make your workouts more effective to help you get stronger.

black woman weight training

7. Don’t get discouraged or sacrifice your health for your hair.

You’ll feel better as you get used to a coordinated routine that makes you look and feel your best. We know that this can be a huge undertaking, especially if you’re new to working out. Remember to stay inspired and dedicated. This journey is all about your health and wellness so don’t hold yourself back.

The host of benefits exercise has on our bodies and psyche is profound, once you conquer your routine you will be hooked. Fitness transforms lives every single day and you can’t let something as simple as bad hair days disrupt your journey to better health.

black woman yoga

We’re so proud of you for undertaking this journey, and we are grateful that we can help you along the way. Our fresh hair products feature all natural ingredients so that you can be sure you have everything you need on the road to better health and wellness. Have more tips you want to share? Leave a comment below!

Muhga Eltigani

Muhga Eltigani

At NaturAll, we create and elevate clean haircare and beauty standards, providing freshly-made products that are better for you and your hair. Sourced from small farmers in Jamaica and Ghana. We source ingredients directly from small farmers in Jamaica and Ghana, so we always know how our ingredients are sourced and exactly who is being supported by our business. We are proud to support Black farmers and small businesses around the world. We believe that what goes on your body is as important as what goes in it. Too many hair products are made with synthetic ingredients that are irritating, damaging, or even hazardous, and the problem is worse in hair products marketed to Black women.

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