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Managing Hair While Working Out: My Transition to Natural Hair

Many women with textured hair, primarily Black women, have struggled with how to manage their hair while working out. Many times women don’t want to sweat too much or mess up their hair so they forgo exercise. I had the same challenge as I became more and more committed to working out and living a healthier lifestyle.

Since about the 6th grade, I had my hair relaxed to make it straight and “easier” to manage and every 6 weeks I would get a retouch to relax the new growth. But this became a problem when I began working out and sweating so much. My intense workouts and sweating made it increasingly difficult for me to maintain healthy hair AND a healthy body. My hair would become so saturated with sweat that I would have to wash, condition and style my hair every time I exercised. All the wear and tear on my hair began to cause damage so I had to make a change.

I began to wear styles that didn’t require much maintenance and that would not damage my hair, primarily braids and other protective styles. But it didn’t make much sense for me to relaxer my hair and then get it braided. It was too expensive and the stress from the braids would eventually cause breakage on my hair. So I decided to make more permanent change and let my hair go natural.

I began my transition in May of 2012 wearing braided ponytails, micros and weaves. It only took a year before I was 100% relaxer free…and I do mean FREE! I am free to work out without worrying about wasting money I’ve spent on a hairstyle. I am free to wash condition and style my hair as often and I need to without worrying about damage or breakage. I am free to wear whatever hairstyle I choose…straight hair, curly hair, long hair, short hair, braids hair, twists hair, my hair, fake hair...whatever I choose.

My health is very important so I found a way to maintain a healthy lifestyle across the board, hair and body, and I can’t be happier with the results.

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