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Work Out with Your Natural Hair in Mind: 7 Styles That Will Take You From the Gym to the Office

By September 26, 2012Thank God Im Natural

Ladies, we all know the importance of keeping our hair tightThere’s no feeling that can substitute or compare to the feeling we get when we’re having one of our great hair days. But some of us have taken that sense of euphoria too far. We’ll get our hair done, and then won’t go to the gym to stay in shape. (As I wag my index finger in your face with my Ricky Ricardo accent) Uh oh, Lucy, you’re in big trouble!

Our hair’s health is just as important as our overall health, so we need to stop playing games and get it in at the gym.

“But I’m not trying to sweat out my hair.”

Don’t worry babes, neither am I. So that means I’ve obviously figured out how we can still be haute while getting hot. Check out these styles that will take you from spin class to the office. I’m sure you’ll be presently surprised.

Twist Out/Afro Puff

If you just finished pounding it out on the treadmill, you can get away with either one of these styles. The twist out is great, because the more you sweat the fuller it gets. The afro puff is also a fabulous option, because with a little bit of aloe vera gel, you can slick your edges down for a  more polished and sophisticated look.

Kinky Twists

This is my go to hair style. No matter how many days a week I go to the gym, I’m always office ready with these kinky twists. The key to keeping this and any other braided style looking fresh is misting your hair with water and wearing a scarf immediately after your workout ends. The longer you can rock your scarf, the better your results will be. I also make it a point to get my edges touched up every 3 weeks, so that my mane always stays looking nice and in tip top shape.


It’s still cold outside, so this option is still in season. If you’d like minimal work for your hair in the morning and still be able to workout, try rocking  braids. Braids are stylish and professional. The reason why braids are good for us natural women is because when you sweat, you won’t be sweating the style out. Yes, you’re going to have to co-wash your hair as your normally would, but at least it’ll be easier to manage.


I know there aren’t a lot of natural women who wear a wrap, but for the few out there (and for those who rock twist outs or fros) you can apply this one as well. The best way to preserve your hair while working out is to wear a head band so that your hair is out of your face and you can limit the amount of sweat that hits your roots.


 Similar to braids, corn rows are great for maintainning style, and your health. Now, the woman pictured above has a rather elaborate style. If you dig it, go for it! But if you’re more simple in your approach, corn rows can be worn regularly at whatever length you desire. Why does this style work? Well, you can continue to work out as much as you want to, and really get a good sweat going, and, still wake up looking like you never even lifted your pinky finger. If you wash your hair every week, (and the person who did your hair did it well) you can get a good month out of those cornrows. Eh, maybe three weeks.


For all the newly transitioned ladies out there, this is like prime time for you guys.. With your hair short, nothing should stop you from hitting the gym, and I mean NOTHING. If you’re doing cardio three times a week, and then your weight training the other two, your hair will get dirty from all the sweat. Not to worry. All you have to do is wash and go. POOF! and your done. While other women have to go through a long and sometimes exhausting hair regime, you don’t. So take full advantage, but don’t get too comfortable, because your time will come.

Develop a workout schedule

This may sound like a “duh” moment, but you should definitely develop a workout schedule. If you’re doing cardio three times a week, it should coincide with the days you co-wash your hair. The other two days of the week, can be used for your weight training, which is cool beans, because you shouldn’t sweat a lot. That’s what we call a win-win, babes.

Okay ladies, we gave you three styles, a head band option and developing a workout schedule. So, like dude, hop on a treadmill real swift. There’s no excuse anymore. NONE!

For more information about natural hair care, please pick up a copy of the book Thank God I’m Natural: The Ultimate Guide to Caring for and Maintaining Natural Hair now available at,, and Barnes & Noble.