The 2 Edged Sword: Health or Hair
Posted 12/20/2012 12:03:00 PM

A new study found that two in five African-American women avoid the gym so as not to mess up their hair! The study was conducted by Dr. Amy McMichael, a dermatologist at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Findings identified costly salon visits, the need for frequent washes and messed up hairstyles as the reason many black women avoid working out. With obesity rates rising in the U.S. and women of color having much higher rates of obesity, this is an issue of concern. In this study, 50 percent reported exercising less than 75 minutes a week, and more than 25 percent said they didn’t exercise at all. The primary deterrent from exercise was messing up their hairstyles.


Now this ain't the crew I run with at all.


Natural hair, weaveless hair, short hair, long hair braids...I know my sistas work out! I mean, yeah there are some who shun fitness to have a tight do. Me? I'd rather have a tight and healthy body. Some tips to keep your bod and your do?


Wear a ponytail. That’s simple. Of course ponytails, need a rest. Don’t pull them too tight as your edges can break and wearing it in the same spot can cause breakage.


Pile and pin it up. By wearing a sweat-absorbent headband and pinning your hair up, you can help keep your hair away from sweat on your scalp, forehead and back of your neck and stop moisture from ruining your look.


Dry shampoo. I haven’t tried it but have heard it works to keep it fresh.  A few spritzes will absorb sweat and oil and freshen up your hair.


Wear your hair in braids or twists or natural hairstyles. Just have your products ready to tame it afterwards! Plus, if your hair is natural anyways, you can still do braids or twists while working out so it doesn’t shrink.


Wrap hair up with a satin scarf. I know wrapping is not always the hot look but oh well!  I will look ugly at the gym so I can rock a hot look later. You need to be healthy, right? So work it out and wrap it up! Plus, a satin scarf will help soak up the sweat while you work out . It will also protect your style. If you don’t want to cover your entire head, try folding the scarf in half and using it as a headband. You can always invest in Nicole Parker’s new Save Your Do Gym Wrap that keeps the edges of your hair straight, no matter how much you sweat, or use a satin scarf to taper your hairline.


Hair is important but so is overall health. And did you know a healthy diet, working out and taking vitamins promote better hair health including growth? Exercises that increase cardiovascular (the blood flow of the heart) activities help to increases hair growth rate. (Sidebar: take multi vitamins with Biotin or try Viviscal Extra Strength supplements at They are expensive but people swear by them.) Remember, too the key to better overall hair growth is nutrition, care (products, processing) and genetics. (So yes black women we can grow long hair if those three components are there!) And don’t forget: water is very important for hair growth as it hydrates the hair shaft and follicles and prevents hair from drying out excessively. But no matter long or short, we love our hair. That’s good but let’s love our bodies just as much and keep them fit.


Posted By: Julee Jonez  

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