Working out with curly hair is a special kind of ridiculous.
I cannot tell you how many times I have had to stop mid-run to put my hair back up in a ponytail because it fell, not once, not twice, but at least half a dozen times.
I’ve tried pinning my ponytail, I’ve tried using multiple hair ties, and I have absolutely zero success.
And the best part about the whole endeavor? Sticking my hair in a ponytail leaves me with a big dent anyway. So basically I’ve just completely failed at saving my hair during a workout.
Workout hairstyles for curly hair
What long-haired curlies really need are styles that will go up and stay up so we can focus on our workout instead of our hair. But if curly girl workout hair was that easy, I guess we wouldn’t need to talk about it so much.
So, once again I turn to the curly hair experts. Smadar, a stylist at Devachan Salon, our flagship curly hair salon in NYC, breaks down the best way to wear your hair during a workout, along with tips to help your quickly refresh your curls.
Curly hair workout: wavy hair edition
Your go to workout hairstyle should be: A loose braid.
“It won’t alter your texture too much, since wavy hair already has a soft bend,” says Smadar. Try working a bit of Wave Maker into your hair pre-braid, which will help keep your hair from frizzing, and help define your hair.
To refresh your waves after a workout:
You can mix a drop of Wave Maker in with some water and scrunch it into your hair to help rejuvenate your waves. If you’re extra sweaty near the nape of your neck, spritz the area using a spray bottle that contains a mix of water and conditioner, or try a dry shampoo.
Steam from the gym shower can also help rejuvenate your hair. Just let the hot water run while you rinse off, then post-shower go back in with a styler to smooth down the hair.
Ok, but what are cute workout styles for curly hair?
Your go to workout hairstyles: You have a few options for curly hair workout styles. When you want to workout with curly hair that’s about mid length, go for a tight pineapple at the top of your head (secure with a bungee cord instead of an elastic, which can be too tight on your scalp and can fall out). But if your hair is too long for a pineapple you can also consider doing a kind of French twist. Twist your curls at the nape of your neck, as if you were going to make a bun. Then continue to bring the hair up, rolling it towards the scalp. Secure in place with a strong clip or spin pins. (Side note if you haven’t tried a spin pin before, they are CRAZY, like life changing. I got all of my hair to stay up through a dance class with one of those bad boys).
To refresh your curly hair after a workout:
Steaming your hair with the gym shower is the go-to method for curly girls. Refresh curly hair after workout sweatiness by letting it soak up all the extra moisture in your hot shower. If you feel like that just isn’t cutting it, you can always rinse with water alone or try a co-wash. Smadar recommends retouching any pesky spots with Styling Cream. “Make sure you glide the product down the hair to seal the cuticle, then scrunch up to encourage curl definition. Any curls that are mis-behaving can also be finger coiled.”
If you don’t have time to jump in the shower, turn to No-Comb Detangling Spray. Mist the hair from about arms-length, until the hair is saturated but not soaked. Be sure to flip your head over to make sure you get to the bottom layers. After misting, spray product on your hands and gently glide down your curls to help them re-clump and minimize frizz.
Super curly hair workout styles you must try
Your go to workout hairstyles: If you’ve got a twa or super short hair, your best bet is to turn to one of those old school elastic stretch headbands. They’ll gently keep your hair off of your face, and absorb some of the sweat that can cause your edges to frizz out.
For longer hair, you can do simple side twists, rolling the curls in tightly and securing with pins. Or you can wrap your hair in a scarf, just be sure to secure it in place with pins.
To refresh your curly hair after a workout:
Your best bet? Yep, steaming. But instead of refreshing with styling cream, opt for SuperCream which is infused with coconut oil for even more hydration and control. You can also use Mist-er Right, DevaCurl’s refreshing spray that’s infused with lavender oil to help refresh your hair from the inside out (and um, you’ll smell AMAZING).
What about those edges? You can mix a little bit of SuperCream with water and press it in along your edges, or re-lay baby hairs with a pomade like Beautiful Mess. Beautiful Mess can also be used to finger coil and smooth any wayward curls.
What are your go-to styles and tips for working out with curly hair? Do you struggle with refreshing or simply securing your hair pre-workout? Share with us in the comments below!