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Is Natural hair more ‘workout friendly’?


I’ve mentioned numerous times on my trying to lose weight.  Eating correctly has and continues to be a much easier task for me.  When it comes to exercise I really have to work hard at starting and staying on it. 

The only time I’ve ever been really motivated to exercise was when we were still living in New Orleans and I was into Jazzercise.  Nothing, I mean NOTHING kept me from going to Jazzercise at least four times a week.  I tried to get into it when we moved here but I just couldn’t.  I do miss it quite a lot.

So, here I am….seriously trying to muster up the energy and positive thoughts to get me back into exercising.  Money is tight so I won’t be going back to Jazzercise anytime soon, but I’ve got walking trails in the neighborhood, a mountain bike and a slew of workout DVDs from Denise Austin to Flirty Girl.  I know, I know…what the heck was I thinking??

Back in New Orleans, my hair was relaxed but when I was heavily into Jazzercise I was a stay-at-home mom and was primarily wearing my tresses straight back and washing it as often as I felt necessary.  I was using a hooded drying and using a curling iron sporadically so I was not being very nice to my hair but it was manageable and I wasn’t going to a J O B everyday so the constant washing and wearing it straight to the back worked.  Not so sure it would in my life now.

So, here we are five and a half years later and my life, work, and HAIR couldn’t be more different.  I have to say that I feel more confident in taking better care of my hair then I did back then.  Not just because of the knowledge I now possess for a healthier and kinder way to manage my hair, but to me Natural hair is extremely more ‘workout friendly’.


Yes, I’m biased, but I have solid reasons for my beliefs.  I understand I can only speak for myself since different women take care of their hair in their own unique way and wear their hair accordingly.  I also have to remember that I’m an avid Wash-n-Go girlie and jumping in the shower to co-wash after a mean workout wouldn’t make me bat an eye.  If you are sporting flat-ironed tresses you don’t see the world like I do. 

I came across an article in Black Voices under the Lifestyle tab called,
6 Workout-Friendly Hairstyles discussing the problem quite a few Black women face with their hair and working out.  I understand and sadly must admit at one time I was one of those women. 

“But with a 2008 Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center study that found that one-third of black women surveyed forwent exercise because of hair care, coupled with statistics that point to higher percentages of black Americans as overweight or obese, Richardson Joyner says black women just aren’t in the position to gamble with their wellness.” 6 Workout-Friendly Hairstyles

Their list of the 6 best workout-friends hairstyles were (in this order):


The only other style I feel should be up there are the braids.  I don’t know how most women sweat during a workout nor do I know if their hair feels as nasty as mine does when I’ve sweat in it.  All I know is there is no way my hair will be looking good after a workout if I don’t wash it!  I also didn’t like them putting Natural hairstyles last on the list and even if it wasn’t intentional, it does imply it’s a LAST RESORT.  OK, maybe I’m being a little sensitive.

Water is so essential in Black hair care and many Black women practically RUN from it when relaxed!  Now that I’ve came to terms with this and with my Natural hair, I can see working out won’t be stopped by me for my hair.  The freedom I posses with my hair allows me to go swimming when I please, workout when I please and allows me to walk in the rain with a smile on my face from ear to ear.  I would think Natural hair is the most workout friendly hairstyle for Black women.

Let me be clear.  There are many Natural women who are flat-ironed or have their hair in protective styles not conducive to constant co-washing or washing.  I’m merely saying for me as a wash-n-go queen, I find Natural hair as the ultimate workout friendly hair styles.  Now, I just gotta start working out to prove it.



Leave a Reply


  1. March 30, 2011 / 2:22 pm

    I totally agree that being natural is wonderful for working out. In the warmer months I definitely like to walk outside 8 miles a day briskly for my workout. During that time I like my WNG's and it is wonderful to be able to wipe the sweat up in to my hair away from my face. My hair is usually drenched by the time I finished. In the winter I like to use twists or french braids and I will cowash or rinse after a workout. I donot mind shrinkage and sometimes with my shrinkage a person can not see how it has grown. But I do! Natural hair is best for me… all the time. Just have to learn how to be even more versatile.

  2. March 30, 2011 / 2:47 pm

    I think they only thing I don't work out in are bantu-knot outs, everything else is fair game. If I'm doing a twist out, I will work-out with the twists in, and then take them out in the gym locker room lol

  3. March 31, 2011 / 5:35 am

    I agree with the both of you. I don't feel that all the benefits of being Natural are being mentioned nor advertised. Workout friendly as a perk would make some permies give going Natural a thought!! I just need to get my butt in gear and do some exercising. Thanks for the comments.