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5 Fitness Bloggers On How They Style Their Textured And Afro Hair For The Gym

Because sweaty edges aren't cool.

Whether your hair is chemically straightened, curly, kinky or wavy natural hair, or braids, keeping textured hair looking on point becomes even more of a factor when you start to increase your fitness game.

So you've gone swimming, but did you factor in that when chlorine mixes with a chemical relaxer it can seriously damage your hair? Running it is. But even then, a sweaty morning run can leave even the bounciest of curly natural 'dos looking limp and flat. Don't even get us started on fixing our braids for that intense underwater spin class...

Yup, it's a minefield out there. Which is why we quizzed our go-to fitness bloggers on how to bring gym hair realness to any exercise situation...

Hannah Bronfman, DJ and founder of fitness and wellbeing website HBFit.com, New York

'My favourite workouts are definitely hip-hop classes. I love them because they don’t feel like work at all. I get into a groove and totally forget that two hours have passed, until I’m soaked in sweat. I’m not afraid to sweat out my blowout, but to maintain my hair I like to keep it in place with a cute French braid when I work out and a colourful headband by Scunci.

'I’m mixed race, so my hair is naturally curly. I’ve tried everything from surfing to hot power yoga and the outcome with my hair is always the same. Anytime my hair gets wet, whether it’s sweat or salt water, it curls immediately — can’t fight it!'

'The main thing with my hair is that I don’t let it get in the way of my workouts; I love being able to share my personal journey with wellness. Being a role model for young girls is my main priority and of course repping brown girls is another responsibility that I take very seriously. There aren’t too many brown girls in the fitness space, so I hope I’m doing them proud!'

Hannah's Top Tip For Perfect Gym Hair

'If there's a shower at the gym I’m working out in then I'll pack a little kit, which includes leave-in conditioner. It’s a great way to keep my hair hydrated and soft, plus keep my curls maintained throughout the day.'

Sanchia Legister, member of Run Dem Crew and Swim Dem Crew, London

 

'I’m hard to miss when I’m running. I just completed the Hackney Half Marathon and I ran with my full curly afro out, in colourful leggings, with my jewellery on. A little mixed race girl was running with her mum and she spotted me, and said "Mummy, look!" and smiled at me. It was very sweet, because she was at that age where you start recognising self and people who look like you.

'We also have the Run Dem Crew youngers crew and I love that the group is a mix of ethnicities and full of young women who will ask me about running. I’ve also just started swimming with Swim Dem Crew, which is so fun.

Happy International Yoga day! It's funny how yoga is seeping through every element of my life on a basic and more complex level. Things like: No longer impulsively smash ?with a shoe (and this ain't cos me and dem is frens). When manna man cut me up on the road, I find myself grinning teef and hoping they don't do it to the old slightly hot-headed version of me later that day. I've become a little more selfish, but only to find more love, time and patience for those I care about. I've stopped cussing out the PPI people on the phone. I believe more than ever, that where I am right now is exactly where I'm supposed to be and that I will buss out a handstand in the middle of a room sometime real soon. Watch me nah! . ?Debbie Castro . . . . . #yogahood #internationyogaday #yoga #yogi #selfcare #selflove #wellness #wellbeing #lovethyself #love #afro #naturalhair #bhujangasana #betterandbadder #realtalk #humpday #gyalflex #breatheandstop #gyaldem

A post shared by Sanchia Legister (@misssanchialege) on

'I love my hair but I definitely don’t let it get in the way of what I want to do and achieve with my fitness! For swimming, I put organic olive oil on my hair the day before, which acts as a barrier for the chlorine. Co-washing has really helped too.'

Sanchia's Top Tip For Perfect Gym Hair

'I love Speedo swimming caps. When you're putting one on, I advise making your bun as small as possible. The great thing about afro hair is that it’s so versatile you can make it big and small. So I make a small bun and then compress it to put my cap on. Having your ears outside of the cap is not as attractive, but it provides a snug fit and lets less water in.'

Cantara Armah, fitness, health and lifestyle blogger at simplycantara.com, London

'That said, I've started straightening my hair less and less, partly because I'm trying to minimise heat damage and partly because it became ridiculous having to plan my workouts around my hairstyle or vice versa. When it’s curly I default to the topknot style too. It's quick, easy and having my hair up and out of my face means I can get as sweaty as I want.

'If my hair is curly then I won't even attempt to straighten my hair post-workout as it will take well over an hour and I'm sure other ladies in the changing rooms will complain! Instead I prefer a wash-and-go, so I'll pack a leave-in conditioner and my trusty Classic Wet Brush.'

Cantara's Top Tip For Perfect Gym Hair

'I love the The Classic Wet Brush by The Wet Brush, which a hairdresser introduced me to. Before this, I would detangle my hair with a wide-toothed comb, parting my hair into small sections and it would take ages. The bristles of the Wet Brush adjust so it glides through my hair easily without pulling. Detangling is a breeze now.'

Tamu Mcpherson, editor and founder of All The Pretty Birds, Milan

'I alternate between workouts and get in about 25 sessions per month when I'm not travelling. My favourite workouts are running and strength training. Right now I have natural tight curls. When I had relaxed hair, I would visit my hairstylist on a weekly basis and enjoy an amazing hairstyle for a day or two before my workout schedule ruined the look.

'This is absolutely not an issue with natural hair; I've had very few days where I've had a hair crisis after working out. Wearing my hair cropped short in a TWA (tiny weenie afro) style is totally workout friendly.

'With my website and Instagram feed, I didn't set out to be a role model. I just want to encourage a balanced lifestyle. The key to maintaining our health is through solid nutrition habits and physical activity. I just want to communicate that the benefits of putting good things in our bodies and being active helps prevent disease and promotes longevity.'

Tamu's Top Tip For Perfect Gym Hair

'I moisturise my hair every day, and I don't do anything in particular when I workout. I use natural oils like jojoba, coconut, argan and castor. They seem to do the trick all year round.'

Alexandria Williams, triathlete, sports nutritionist and co-founder of SportyAfros.com , Dallas, Texas

 

'I love running beyond the health aspects; I am a member of the National Black Marathoner Association. I've seen what this group of runners has done to help change lives in the community. It’s also great watching myself get fitter and also encouraging others through fitness. I also love medals, as well as beer and tacos, which are provided at most races so it’s a great motivation, not to mention all the great friends I've made.

Alexandria's Top Tip For Perfect Gym Hair

'Before and after exercising, spray hair with a hydrating spray and secure with headbands, a hat or scarf. UnderArmour has some of the best headbands and Boni Bands are a good alternative too.

'Also be aware that jumping and running with heavy weaves or box braids overtime can cause friction on the hair, so always keep hair secured in a hat, headband or your go-to preferred hairstyle.'

This article originally appeared on elle.com

BY ELLE BEAUTY TEAM

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