How Can I Protect My Hair During Exercise?

Everyone knows the havoc exercise can wreak on the hair; it only takes a few minutes for your workout routine to do its worst. If you’re at a loss as to how to protect your hair during exercise, you’re in the right place. We’ll reveal everything you need to know to keep your hair looking right as you sweat your way to a healthier life.

How To Protect Hair During Exercise

No one should have to choose between having healthy hair and working out. There are several ways to mitigate damage and keep your hair protected while you work out. Below are a few of our best tips on protecting your hair during exercise. Keep them in mind during your next visit to the gym, and your scalp and hair will thank you!

Pull Your Hair Up

Before a workout session, pull your hair into a high bun or ponytail. Keeping your strands off your back, shoulders, and face will protect them from sweat and prevent your hair from getting in the way while you focus on exercising. Just be sure not to pull your hair too tightly, as it could cause breakage.

Wear A Scarf, Wrap, Or Headband 

Sweat contains salt, which has a drying effect on your hair and scalp, so it’s important to keep sweat under control to the best of your ability. In addition to enhancing your look, scarves, wraps, and headbands wick away sweat and keep your hair from getting in the way. When wearing a head covering, try not to tie it too tightly. The friction it generates can damage fragile strands. 

Try A Pre-Workout Treatment 

Applying a nourishing oil or cream before your workout will counteract the drying effects of sweat and give your hair a much-needed hydration boost. A pre-workout treatment will also cut down on frizz and help preserve your hairstyle, so your hair doesn’t turn into a frizzy mess by the end of your workout. A quality leave-in conditioner works as a fantastic pre-workout hair treatment.

Sprinkle Dry Shampoo onto Your Roots

Dry shampoo sucks up moisture and oil, which prevents your hair from becoming oversaturated with sweat. Dry shampoos can also neutralize odor, add body and volume, cut down post-gym styling time, and keep your scalp feeling fresh.

Note: Avoid using dry shampoo more often than 2 or 3 times a week without washing your hair – doing so can lead to buildup. 

Use Sun Protection 

Nothing beats working out in the fresh, open air. Unfortunately, exercising outside exposes your hair and scalp to damaging UV rays emitted by the sun. To counteract these rays, consider protecting your hair with a: 

  • Hat

  • Scarf

  • Hair SPF

Wash Your Hair After Your Workout

While this tip is for after your workout, it’s worth mentioning. The longer sweat sits on your hair, the more damage it will do. Additionally, a sweaty scalp provides the perfect breeding ground for fungus and bacteria. If your hair is drenched with sweat, cleanse your scalp immediately after your workout. For minor workouts with minimal sweating, you can get away with not washing your hair for a few more days, although both your hair and scalp would benefit from a quick rinse or co-wash. 

The good news is that you don’t have to compromise between having healthy hair and getting regular exercise. By making minor adjustments to your routine, you can keep your hair safe from the damaging effects of sweat and exercise. We hope this article has proven that and shown you everything you need to know to keep your hair protected while you work out. 



Author: Andrea Reyes

Andrea is a mother, wife, writer, and natural hair enthusiast of 15 years. Currently on her natural hair journey, she’s been trying countless products and techniques to understand and embrace her natural hair. She is the creator of, a new website featuring informative articles that share tips, tricks, and techniques aimed to help others learn to love their hair through proper hair care. She writes with the hope of making hair care easier to understand and implement.

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