How to Maintain Your Hair During Exercise for African American Women -by Monae Everett


All of the women studied agreed that it is important to lead a healthy life, which includes exercise.

Exercise is especially important in the African-American community because we are more prone to diabetes, hypertension, and complications due to obesity, including heart disease. Though we face many health concerns that exercise will combat, African American women have a legitimate concern about their hair while  working out.

African American women are known to spend more money on their hair than women of any other ethnicity. This explains their apprehension to exercise and undoing their costly hair style. It is not uncommon for an African American woman to go to the salon and spend $100 on her hair service. After spending money on their hair service, many women feel that it would be a waste their money to “sweat out” their hair style at the gym. Any woman who has naturally curly or coarse hair understands the difficulty of keeping their hair

After spending money on their hair service, many women feel that it would be a waste their money to “sweat out” their hair style at the gym. Any woman who has naturally curly or coarse hair understands the difficulty of keeping their hair straightened while working up a sweat.

Perspiration causes the hair to become wet and revert back to its naturally curly and/or coarse state. Sweat, which is comprised of water and salts (sodium and potassium), can make the hair appear dry and dull. In order for a woman  to wear her hair in her preferred straightened hair style after vigorously working out, she would have to repeat the straightening process. That process generally includes shampooing, conditioning, roller setting or blow drying, and flat ironing the hair. This process can take hours. Contrary to popular belief, curly and coarse hair is fragile. The hair cannot be shampooed and thermally styled numerous times per week. Over shampooing, the hair will cause it to become dry and break.

There is something women faced with this dilemma can do.

Things You’ll Need:

  • single or double prong clips
  • silk or satin scarf
  • duckbill clips
  • elastic bands
  • sweat band
  • swim cap
  1. Step 1

    If you are going to the gym or for a run try these style savers. For straightened hair, try brushing your hair into a firm ponytail. Make sure to use an elastic holder covered in cloth and a holder without a metal clasp to avoid ripping your hair. Place a sweat band at your hairline, this not only helps to keep sweat out of your eyes, it will keep your edges in place. Once the hair is in a ponytail twist it and secure it with a hairpin. This will allow the hair to retain body and bounce in your post workout hair style.

  2. Step 2

    If your hair has been curled with a hot curler or roller set, try a pin curls. This is done by taking large sections of the hair, combing each section into one large curl, twisting the curl down onto the scalp and securing the curl with a bobby pin or metal two prong metal clip. Six to ten large pin curls should suffice. After your hair has dried, finger style your hair into place. This preserves your curls and keeps the hair full of body and volume.

  3. Step 3

    If you are taking part in water sports, wrap your hair around your head in a circular motion using metal duckbill clips to hold the hair in place if necessary. Cover your hair with a satin or silk scarf. Finally, cover the scarf with a latex or silicone swim cap.

  4. Step 4

    There are many convenient hair options for African American women who workout including natural styles. A woman with natural hair does not have any chemicals, such as a relaxer or hair color, in her hair. Sisters who wear their hair in locs, natural curls, braids, twists, and other natural hairstyles are less likely to let their hair stand in the way of a good workout.

Tips & Warnings

  • Many women question how often they should shampoo their hair to keep it healthy. I recommend shampooing your hair every seven to ten days depending on your hair texture and the amount of oil your hair produces. For example, if you have fine hair that falls flat or gets weighed down, shampoo your hair every five days with a volumizing shampoo and conditioner. If your hair is coarse and appears dry, shampoo it every 10 days with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.
  • So whether you wear your mane curly, straightened, or natural you can no longer use your hair as an excuse to avoid exercise. Your hair can be wrapped up, pinned up, or brushed back. In any event, your hair style can be preserved. Feel empowered and don’t let your hair stand in the way of improving your health, and your sexy!

Thanks, Monaé Everett for these tips.


Monaé Everett is the featured hair and makeup writer for Alive magazine. Her work has been featured in “The Downtowner”, Theaaeaaqaaaaaaaaciaaaajge4nze3ngi2ltuxzdetnge0ns1hota1lwjkywq3ndvlzje0yw Georgetowner, Sports and Entertainment Today, and JET” magazine publications.  Monaé is also a respected practicing editorial and commercial hair and makeup artist with eight years of experience will all hair textures. She is an American Board Certified Hair colorist.
See Monae’s masterpiece’s

Author: Geo Gee

I'm a curious one that finds politics, social issues, and diverse progressive solutions interesting. I believe information and education are the most powerful weapons one can arm himself with. Those two dynamics alone open the doors to opportunities. I also subscribe to each one teach one for a better world for all.

6 thoughts on “How to Maintain Your Hair During Exercise for African American Women -by Monae Everett”

  1. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts.
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  2. This was an enjoyable article however, you only adviaed how to manage long hair during a workout, assuming that everyone has long hair. What about short hair as in Halle Berry short?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. LaToya you are right. This post uses long hair as a study. It wasn’t intended to ignore the challenges short style wearers face when exercising. Part of what I hope the post would do was to introduce readers to Monae’s YouTube channel and blog where they could find solutions specifically suited for their needs. Here is a link to her YouTube Chanel. Thanks for investing your time to give the post a read and comment.


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