Workouts needn’t wreak havoc on your hair. The experts weigh in on how to establish a healthier locker room routine.
By: Cassie Shortsleeve, Q by Equinox
Yet another example of no good deed going unpunished: You work hard to improve your body, then subject your hair to brutal abuse in the locker room. A new survey from Head & Shoulders found that 91 percent of women damage their hair every day — by brushing while wet, throwing it into a high pony, you name it.
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So we asked celebrity hair stylists Nick Arrojo and Philip B. for ways to implement a kinder, gentler post-gym routine.
Break up with your brush
“When your hair is wet, it’s at its most fragile. The cuticle opens up, the strands aren’t as smooth, and they’re more prone to breakage and stretching,” Philip says. “Boar-bristle brushes — while fantastic for blowouts — aren’t made for wet hair.” Look for a comb or brush with nylon bristles — they’ll glide through hair while the cuticle is open and won’t shred it.
Upgrade your hair tie
Rubber ties can do serious damage. “I like the satiny, elastic ribbon bands — like EmiJay Hair Ties or Twistband Hair Ties,” says Philip. If you frequently wear your hair up outside of the gym, consider switching to a clip when you’re not exercising, says Arrojo.
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Fight heat damage
Just like you wouldn’t start a jog on cold muscles, you shouldn’t take a hair dryer to your scalp without the right prep. Before you turn up the heat, Arrojo’s Protective Thickening Lotion will thicken your hair’s shaft and protect against breakage.
Chill with the shampoo
Over-shampooing will make your hair dry and unmanageable, says Arrojo. (Nope, you don’t need to shampoo every day — let alone after every workout.) When you do rinse, maximize moisture by choosing products that are paraben-free with no sulfates or sodium-chloride. Arrojo’s Shine luxe shampoo and conditioner fit the mold, and come in travel size — perfect for your gym bag.
Related: Workout-Proof Your Blowout
“Dry shampoo is a wonderful way to extend the life of your shampoo and your hair color,” says Philip. You’ll also avoid the need for heat.
Photography by Sarah Maingot / Trunk Archive