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woman with a protective hair style

How to Preserve Your Protective Hair Style During and After A Workout

October 29, 2021

3 Min read

We know working out is good for our mind, body, and overall well-being. But, let’s face it, as the post-workout endorphins kick in and the sweat drips down our bodies, we are reminded that our hair and scalp require some attention. For curly, coily, and relaxed hair types, a wash is never quick. The same sentiment applies even to protective hair styles. And, we can’t forget to add that there’s an extra layer of worry when not wanting to disrupt fresh braids or refreshed locs before they truly need a good cleanse. 

So, what do we do to maintain our protective styles and hair health at the same time? We have a few tips and tricks that are ideal in-between washdays for protective styles that won’t require too much time out of your day.

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1. Pull your hair up

For a protective hair style with lots of length, having the hair move around or, worse, stick to the sweat on your body isn’t at the top of anyone’s list. But, there’s a simple remedy: gently pulling the hair up into a low bun, top knot, or even a messy bun. Now, we know having extra hair wobbling around on the crown of your head can also be a distraction, so use a silk scrunchie versus a traditional hair elastic to tie up each braid or loc as they secure the hair without adding too much tension. Finally, for added protection for your edges, place a headband around the hairline to keep them smooth and in place.

2. Refresh your scalp

With a protective hair style, the health of your hair and scalp should remain a priority. Post-workout, your scalp might need a refresh. In some cases, this won’t require a full wash day rinse. For example, witch hazel is a beloved ingredient used for centuries on the scalp and is a coveted, budget-friendly ingredient that many keep on hand. 

Keep a water bottle filled with equal parts of water, witch hazel, and about four drops of tea tree and lavender oil in your gym bag will come in handy. The DIY concoction can be sprayed directly on the scalp after working out to not only remoisturize the hair, but the witch hazel can help relieve any scalp itchiness.

3. Cool down the sweat

Sweating in your scalp is a sign you left it all on the floor during your work. However, scalp dampness can be the breeding ground for bacteria and, of course, causes unwanted frizz. If you find your scalp excessively damp and don’t have time for a cleanse, pick up a blow dryer and dry your roots on the coolest heat setting. Taking this step will help reseal the cuticle layer of the hair. In addition, you can tie your hair down with a silk or satin scarf to reset the hair and calm frizz.

4. Cleanse the scalp if you need to

An unplanned cleanse isn’t ideal. However, instead of going through your entire routine, focus on your scalp. Adding a scalp scrub to the mix will cleanse away buildup, debris, and sweat. Drying braids and locs even after a quick rinse can take additional time. But, a hair tool can speed up the process, like a microfiber towel or turban. Wrapping braids or locs up for twenty minutes is usually all you need to cut drying time in half, depending on your hair density.  

Wrap up

A protective hair style is super convenient in that you can wake up and have your hair ready for the day with zero effort. However, it requires you to pay close attention to your scalp and hair health, especially during and after a sweaty workout. Follow these four tips and your scalp will be itch-free and ready to take on any activity.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bianca Lambert is a freelance journalist. She covers beauty, travel, and culture. Bianca regularly contributes to Byrdie, HuffPost, The Everygirl, and more. 

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