Getting your hair to do what you want it to do is difficult enough for most of us. Add in a rigorous workout schedule to the mix and you’ve got an ongoing problem. If you’ve ever had to choose between your workout and your blowout, you know exactly what I mean. We’ve all seen those hats that say “Bad Hair Don’t Care,” but let’s be honest, bad hair, or gym hair, can be stressful. So how can we have simultaneously good hair days and good gym days? I tried some new products and asked a few experts to figure this out.
The winner of all products
If I had to make just one recommendation, it would be to buy Hair Warrior, which is a treatment you put in your hair before hitting the gym. It is formulated to prevent frizz, dryness and color fading.
While every beauty product makes claims, I can personally attest that Hair Warrior is for real. I went to an event where I received temporary highlights with a purple hair spray. The next morning, I applied Hair Warrior before a barre class without thinking (hey, it was early). The color did not wash out and I am currently stuck with purple highlights. So, if this product can help retain hair color that is supposed to wash out ASAP, imagine what it can do for a fresh head of permanent highlights.
To wash or not to wash?
How can you avoid washing your hair every time you’re finished with a workout but still have a good hair day? According to Master Pilates Instructor, Jessica Schatz, the key is to use dry shampoo both before and after getting your sweat on. She suggests, “Spraying a little on the scalp to help keep your hair protected from absorbing the moisture from sweat.”
Make the most of your workout up-do
Schatz also recommends putting your hair in a loose bun. “This way sweat will have an easier time evaporating rather than getting stuck on the scalp and in turn transferred to your hair,” she explained. “It also helps maintain volume.”
But if you tend to get dents from hair bands, try DryBar Hold Me Clips instead. They hold hair like magic, even through intense workouts. Because these clips weren’t exactly designed to be worn outside a salon or bathroom, I hide mine almost under my bun in the back of my head. The moment class is over, I shake it out and end up with lose waves. Then I use Alterna Bamboo Beach Ocean Waves Tousled Texture Spray and scrunch a little. This product is a great alternative (no pun intended) to sea salt sprays because it gives you the same texture without the drying affect of salt.
If you decide to go with a post-workout blowout…
Celebrity hair stylist Anthony Pazos shared a few guidelines on how exactly to do one of these with me. “The only way to blow dry sweaty hair is by blow drying it first with absolutely no product,” he said. “Then once you’ve blown out all the moisture, you add dry shampoo only at the roots. This will absorb all the oils left after your workout. The stronger the blow drier, the better.”
But washing your hair eventually is inevitable, which also means drying it is. To keep your hair frizz free and to avoid split ends, skip those rough towels stocked in the locker room. Over the years, I’ve tried lots of specialty hair towels, most of which have essentially been a fancy car shammy for your hair. But I was recently sent a Hair Remedie Towel and it was totally different. Made of a super soft and thick cotton jersey, it’s designed to absorb water and eliminate frizz. At first I was skeptical, but after a few minutes I was surprised how much water the towel absorbed and how little time it took to dry my hair. Another thing I like about this towel is the size – 39 X 25. If you like to bring your own towel to the gym and want to avoid bringing multiples, Hair Remedie is large enough to also dry off your body.
Speaking of bringing things to the gym, I also tried (Spin)Mist Hydrating Dry Oil by Espinache, which is a multitasker for your body, hair and beard (if you have one). Made with coconut, chia seed and pumpkin seed oils, it’s 100% vegan, paraben free and handmade. Because it doesn’t have mineral oil or silicone, it won’t build up or make your hair greasy, which is good if you are trying to avoid washing your hair. This product is particularly good for people who shower at the gym or travel because it cuts down on the number of things you have to tote around.
Getting good hair is kind of like working out in the way that there is not just one way to do it. It’s different for everyone. But if all else fails, there’s always the classic ponytail or braid (or something a little fancier if you’re feeling up to it). Only you will really know how sweaty you were about an hour ago.