Your workout, plus strain caused by the most popular gym hairstyles, could be damaging your strands. Here’s how to swish your way through your next spin class…
Believe it or not, ‘gym hairstyles’ is a much Googled thing now that the need to share glamorous gym selfies on the Gram are an increasingly common phenomenon.
But let’s face it, wet-look fitness Hair gym hair is only cool if you’ve styled it with a heap of gel and shine spray. Drenched in sweat, it could actually be damaging your strands.
‘Sweat contains salts that can dry out hair, ’ says Michael Lendon, creative director at Aveda. ‘Salt is osmotic, meaning it will leach moisture out of strands. These same salts can contribute to the break down of pigments in your hair colour, too, resulting in premature dulling. ’
Added to this, the water in sweat can cause strands to stretch and easily snap.
Handy then that we’ve got the solution for how to sweat-proof those gym hairstyles…
Before Your Workout
Start by raking a leave-in conditioner through your hair. This will create a barrier between the sweat and your strands.
Pull your hair away from your neck and forehead to avoid contact with sweaty skin.
‘But remember, hair elastics can tear strands especially when you’re working out, ‘ says Lendon. ‘Excessive and repeated use of tight ponytails can also cause too much strain on the hairline and may result in something called traction alopecia, or hair thinning. ’
Fabric hair ties or an Invisibobble are safe options for gym hairstyles as they won’t get caught in strands.
‘While buns, top knots and high ponytails are all practical gym hairstyles, make sure you vary where you tie your hair up for each workout to avoid putting too much strain on the same spot, ’ explains Lendon. ‘Switch things up, too – plaits are a great option and kinder to hair. ’
After Your Workout
The most effective way to protect hair from sweat is to re-think your post-workout hair regime.
Dry shampoo is a great way to avoid an oil-slick, but the key is to apply it before you start sweating—not after.
‘If your hair is drenched with sweat, the starch in dry shampoo will cake on the scalp and strands as it airdries, ’ says Lendon. ‘This can contribute to the growth of unwanted bacteria, resulting in an itchy and flaky scalp. ’
Plus, the alcohol content of many dry shampoos mixed with sweat will seriously dry out strands. ‘Alcohol is used to ‘carry’ the product out of the can and onto your hair. The trouble is, alcohol evaporates very quickly and as a result can also whip moisture from your hair, leaving it rough, brittle and lacklustre, ’ adds Lendon.
Instead, find an alcohol-free dry shampoo and spray it throughout your roots before you workout to mop up excess sweat before it can do any damage.
Fiona Embleton has been a beauty editor for over 10 years, writing and editing beauty copy and testing over 10, 000 products. She has previously worked for magazines like Marie Claire, Stylist, Cosmopolitan and Women’s Health. Beauty journalism allowed her to marry up her first class degree in English Literature and Language (she’s a stickler for grammar and a self-confessed ingredients geek) with a passion for make-up and skincare, photography and catwalk trends.