We’ve all skipped working out once or twice to save a hairstyle. Unfortunately, this is an all too common practice among women with textured hair. Believe me; I know the agony of sitting for hours in a salon chair, only to watch my hairstyle lose its shape after five minutes on a treadmill. It feels like the money and time I spent just disappeared into thin air and took my sleek edges with it. It’s no wonder we steer clear of the gym after wash day.
Now, just because we all do it doesn’t mean we should keep doing it. Ironically, regular sweat sessions are key to keeping blood circulated throughout the body, including the head, where hair follicles need that moisture to grow. With that being said, there are ways to get your cardio in and look cute doing it. And who better to lead us in the right direction than Taliah Waajid? For over 25 years, she’s been a leading natural hair specialist and even created one of the first chemical-free product lines for textured hair. Ahead, she shares the easy tips and tricks that will stop you from putting hair ahead of health, once and for all.
Regardless of your texture, length or lifestyle, there are a core set of items that should always have real estate in your gym bag. The first no-brainer Waajid recommends is a sturdy water bottle, since “proper hydration prevents perspiration from taking a toll on the moisture levels in the hair, skin and body.”
If you’ll be performing floor exercises, lifting weights or sitting on a stationary bicycle, you should also invest in a non-greasy moisturizer, like Taliah Waajid’s Nutrient-Rich Shine Butter, and a set of gloves to protect against bacteria. For those with medium-long hairstyles, like braids, extensions or wigs, a scrunchy or large butterfly clip will keep you focused on your workout. “These protective styles are beautiful,” says Waajid, “but can be distracting if not properly secured into a ponytail or pinned.”