11 April 2012

Exercise and Natural Hair

Enjoy the best of both worlds 

Crystal Nnenne Azu, Founder of Ishimma, shares these invaluable tips on how to take good care of your natural hair and not neglect your workout!
Not only is taking care of your hair important, but taking care of your whole body is critical for good health. Sometimes women who have 'gone natural' and want to stay fit and work out are nervous about how to maintain appealing, healthy hair. We came up with some tips for how to work out and take care of your hair without drying out your hair or leading to breakage. You can keep your hair looking right and your body looking tight!

As a precaution, keep in mind that sweat can dry out your hair as it is designed to evaporate, so moisture will leave the hair. This is why it’s important to learn about hair maintenance after and before exercising. Taking good care of your natural hair when you exercise frequently can be accomplished through a variety of ways:  
  • If you exercise regularly, shampooing and conditioning your hair weekly or even more frequently is very helpful. With exercising and accumulating sweat on your scalp, cleansing the scalp and hair is needed. After you exercise and it's not a 'wash day,' rinse your hair with clean cool water to clean off that sweat off your scalp, prevent build up, add moisture, and keep a clean scalp. 
  • Wearing a sweat band around your hair line helps to absorb some sweat, limiting the sweat that gets in your hair and scalp. You can also put some of your favorite base oil around the nape of your hair and edges for the same effect.
Once again, protective styling is helpful to minimize the manipulation of your hair and have a nice style to use while exercising. Some potential styles:
  • Braiding your hair up into large sections, you may have less detangling to do when you take down the braids;
  • A high bun (pineapple) or other bun style- a style that won't be affected by working out;
  • Twists, braids, twist/braid-outs- this is a popular way for women with natural hair to protect their hair and go to the gym, you can also wash/condition your twists and braids, without having to untwist, which also helps with reducing manipulation.
You can also spray in some leave-in conditioner after working out and rinsing your hair, which can also help to offset sweat.

If you want to do so, you can plan your high intensity workout for Wash Day or the day before Wash Day.

Use co-washing (conditioner washing) every couple of days with frequent exercise to maintain the optimal level of moisture.

Remember that taking care of your body and your hair are both important, but don't sacrifice your body for the sake of your hair!

Thanks for reading! Enjoy these tips. Comment and add your own!

- Crystal Nnenne Azu
Founder, Ishimma

Ishimma™  was founded to address the concern of attaining affordable, quality, natural products that provide adequate moisture  to hair and encourage healthy growth.  After thorough research uncovering that women’s top complaints with their hair related to persistent dryness, Ishimma™  formulated products to counteract this problem.  These products are made from organic and natural ingredients and are designed to bring the maximum benefit to hair.  Our focus is on bringing you the products that help you develop and maintain beautifully healthy hair and promoting hair education.  Read more about hair care and maintenance through our free guide: How to Grow Beautiful Hair

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