Sunday, March 6, 2016

Natural Hair and Exercise: My Top Three Tips to Natural Hair Maintenance while Exercising

I love working out!!! I love how my body looks after I work out! I love to sweat when I work out! I love how working out makes me feel; there's nothing like that rush of energy and instant mood boost following a workout!

And this isn't new for me! Honestly, I've always loved working out since I was in elementary school, completing the Cindy Crawford fitness tapes my college age sister left behind. I would also ride the stationary bike for an hour or so (Don't judge me;-). Even beyond elementary school, I stayed pretty active, playing basketball (although I wasn't good at it) to running track to simply completing a routine gym workout. I like to keep my body in shape, and I love the overall benefits that exercised has on my physical and mental health!

With that said, it's no secret, that I work out at least four to five times per week!  I typically run 1 to 3 miles per day, and I lift weights according to what body area (i.e. arms, chest, back, legs, abs) I'm focused on for the day! But sometimes working out with natural hair can be difficult. I can walk in the gym with natural hair hang time or a twist out that flows in the wind and leave looking like "who done it and why". 

I'm not willing to compromise the overall health of my body just for the sake of my natural hair style. In fact, I'm sure working out/exercise helps to stimulate hair growth. So here are some of my top three tips to help exercise and maintain my natural hair:

1. Rock a protective style. You can wear braids, Marley twists, Senegalese twist, flat twists, buns, roll and tucks, and the list goes on, but a protective style is key for maintaining your hair during exercise. I personally love box braids because I am able to exercise and still maintain a nice hairstyle. I can go to the gym one way and rest assured my hair will look the same when I leave.

2. Clean that scalp, girl! I sweat a lot when I work out! I mean, I sweat on my face, arms, legs, and yes, my scalp sweats too!!! So you can imagine how much sweat and dirt build up on my scalp after a five day work out routine!?!?! This is one of the main reasons I like to clarify my scalp. Clarifying the scalp helps to remove the sweat, dirt, and excess sebum that can clog pores and prevent hair growth. So my clarifying treatment of choice is apple cider vinegar. I simply take a spray bottle and mix 1 part Apple cider with 3 parts water. I then spray the mix and massage my scalp to loosen any sort. I rinse. Wash out with warm water and repeat.

3. Moisturize you hair. Exercise and sweat go hand in hand. Sweat running down the strands of your hair can actually cause dryness so it is essential for you to moisture your hair strands. Keep them hydrated with a spray bottle of water and your favorite leave in. If you are a lover of the LCO/LOC method, moisturize with your favorite products, but keep your hair moisturized by any means necessary. 

Since health is the new wealth, you really can't compromise your health for the sake of your natural hair. You have create a plan for your health and natural hair that work in conjunction with each other. You don't want to have cute natural hair with a body that looks like______ (You can fill in the blank)!  So, I encourage you to review some of these tips above and concoct a regimen that works for your body and natural hair. 

Until next time... 
Be faith-filled, fearless, and fabulous,
Kurly Ken 

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