How To Wear Relaxed Hair To The Gym

The problem that plagues me and many other women of color is this: How do you work out without sweating out your relaxer? Most women skirt the issue completely and just skip the gym — myself included — but fearing the frizz is no reason to sacrifice our health and well-being. Luckily, there are a few pointers we can follow to make sure our relaxed hair lasts for as long as possible.
Use a humidity-fighting product
According to Joico international artistic director Damien Carney, a humidity-fighting spray or oil helps battle the dreaded gym puff. "Apply the oil or spray generously over your hair prior to the gym," he says.
Joico K-Pak Color Therapy Restorative Styling Oil, $19.99, available at salons.
Tie your hair with a bandana
You want to pull your hair into a topknot or a high pony, using a bandana, not an elastic, which would only leave a crimp. But, if being fashionable while working out isn't important to you and you're pretty hardcore about maintaining your hairstyle, hair educator Veronique Morrison recommends wearing a scarf. "Wrap your hair with a satin scarf during an aerobic exercise, when your sweat glands are most active," she says.
Goody Fabric Headwraps, $3.49, available at Target.
Try gym-specific hair products
Certain products were created with this sweaty-hair predicament in mind. When I attended Dark and Lovely's launch for their 6 Week Anti-Reversion Cream Serum last year, I rolled my eyes during the presentation because it sounded like nothing more than marketing executives making lofty claims once again.
I was cynical, but I gave the cream a test drive. I washed and conditioned my hair as usual, worked in six pumps worth of product throughout my hair, blew it dry, and hit my ends with a flat iron. After a week's worth of sweating (and I sweat a lot) at the gym, I can honestly say my hair wasn't shipwrecked like usual.
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