Raise your hand if you are still trying to keep up with those fitness goals you initially made for the new year? With the amount of daily demands we all face, it sure isn’t the easiest task to keep up with an exercise regimen, but it shouldn’t have to be the hardest either.
One setback that people tend to complain about is ruining a fabulous blowout they just spent their hard-earned money on because they decided to run like an Olympic track star on the treadmill. We get it — you want to get fit and still look presentable to hang out with your friends after working out. Nobody experiences pure bliss by leaving the gym looking like they just did 1,000 backflips in a steamy sauna.
Researchers at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., published a study in 2012 that “found about two of every five African-American women said they avoid exercise because of concerns about their hair, and researchers say that is concerning, given the United States’s obesity epidemic.” While this may or may not still be true for a number of African-American women, it’s safe to say that all women face some sort of challenge with keeping their hair polished while busting a sweat.
However, there are more than enough hairstyles that you can wear during your fitness routine that won’t get in the way of keeping your hair cute. Whether you have curly natural hair texture or sleek, short strands, hair shouldn’t be an excuse to skip a workout.
“When working out, you want to avoid a hairstyle that is going to fall out or end up looking a mess. Keep it cute, sexy and simple,” says hairstylist Liam Carey, owner of boutique hair salon Broome and Beauty. “Stick with a look that will still look good, even if you take it apart for a sexy bed-heady look — which looks good on everyone!”
Yahoo Beauty teamed up with Carey to create gorgeous hairstyles that will take you from a hot workout session to a hot date. Click ahead to see six different hair looks on six different hair textures to try before your next sweat session.
If you have naturally curly hair, this half-up topknot ‘do is for you. To get the look, Carey advises you to begin by smoothing away frizz from the curls by applying a small dollop of Moroccanoil Light Treatment oil throughout the hair. Then separate hair into a top and bottom section. Secure the top half with a ponytail holder, create a loose bun, and secure with a large bobby pin. Finish by smoothing edges with a light hold product, but stay away from any strong hold gels, as they can be drying and create flaking.
For an evening out after the gym, simply give your hair a quick fluff and use a boar bristle brush to touch-up edges. Throw on a little eye shadow and gloss, and you’re good to go!
This is a great option if you have longer hair that you are trying to keep out of the way. Carey recommends starting with a little dry shampoo to pump strands up and add volume. Follow by gathering hair toward the center of the head and creating three ponytails (think faux Mohawk). Tie each ponytail into a knot, and secure with large bobby pins.
If you are looking to hit up a fun after-hours spot postworkout, you can leave this style as is. Maybe pull out a few soft strands for flair.
This is probably one of the easiest gym-hair styles you can pull off. “For this hairstyle, use a strong-hold gel that could handle some sweat,” says Carey. Proceed by simply parting hair down the middle of the head, and then gather each section high up at the top of the head with ponytail holders and twist around into a bun. Secure with tiny bobby pins. “Just stick to one product when creating this look. The gel should be enough and make it look sleek and edgy,” he says.
The real trick behind this double-bun look is that you can either keep your buns in after hitting up the gym or you can let them down for a sexy, tousled bed-head look.
If you can braid, or at least have a friend who’s great at braiding, give this beautiful look a shot. Start by separating hair into two sections. Tightly cornrow each section back, and secure the ends with an elastic band. Slightly pull braids apart to add volume. Finish by connecting and tucking braids under, near the nape of the neck. For this look, Carey says to “stay away from strong hairspray and oils, as they will make hair too slippery and could cause flaking or too much product buildup.”
You do have the amazing option of taking the braids apart the next morning after a hard-hitting fitness routine for a head full of gorgeous waves.
For this updo, begin with a dry shampoo and a light styling spray. Once products are worked in, slip on one or two skinny headbands a little past the forehead. Slightly tease hair at the crown, and then create a high ponytail. Tuck the ends of the ponytail under, and secure with a bobby pin.
Keep this hairstyle fun by using decorative elastic headbands. Remember to spray with a lightweight holding spray to tame flyaways during up-tempo workout sessions.
Carey recommends starting this look for short hair by working a little dry shampoo through the hair to add a voluminous texture. Continue by placing a headband around the neck and sliding it up to your desired position. Use a lightweight styling hairspray to create some grip, and proceed to French-twist the hair, adding bobby pins where needed. Leave a little hair out near the nape of the neck. “A small section of hair falling out is OK. It gives this look a kind of cool, messy reverse French twist feel,” says Carey.
Pro tip: Stay away from cream-based products for this style, since they can make the hair look too greasy and weighed down.
Here’s to more happy hair days while keeping your body right and tight! That’s something we all can toast (with a glass of green juice, of course).