While it’s well known that working out is beneficial to the body, it can actually be good for hair, too. Mild to moderate exercise helps to reduce stress levels, calm anxiety and ward off a whole host of health problems – all of which can affect hair growth. There are even things you can do to immediately improve the condition of your hair while exercising. However, there can also be drawbacks. Below I’ll explain how to keep your hair in tip-top condition during your weekly workouts.
It’s a definite must to protect your hair when you swim. Like bleach, chlorinated water is an oxidizer and can seriously dry out your strands. It may also turn blonde hair green. A safe bet is to wear a silicone swim cap. And if you have hair below shoulder length, purchase one specifically for long hair (Speedo, amongst other brands sells them and in an array of fun colours). Personally, I like to apply our waterproof hydrating Philip Kingsley Swimcap Cream before doing my morning laps. It not only protects the hair, but also moisturizes it. Shampoo it out and condition as usual for shiny post-pool hair. You can even wear it under your regular swim cap if you don’t like getting your hair wet. The longer you leave it in, the more intensive the treatment will be – so as an added benefit it gives me extra incentive to crawl through those last laps (pun intended).
Take a look at how you tie your hair up. If it feels like your ponytail/bun is pulling, make it looser. Traction from tight styles can break hair around the hairline and temples, and over time pull it from the follicle resulting in hair loss. What you use to keep your hair in place is also important. Tight rubber/plastic bands can cut into the hair shaft and fracture it. I suggest purchasing some large scrunchies and/or fabric-covered bands. They are gentle on the hair shaft and less likely to pull.
It may seem obvious, but you should wash your hair after you work up a sweat. Your scalp becomes just as sweaty as the rest of you. Forgoing shampoo is bad news for two reasons. Firstly, hair traps sweat, which creates the ideal environment for bacterial growth. As bacteria begin to break down the sweat, your hair can start to smell. Secondly, proliferation of bacteria can irritate your scalp. If you don’t have time to shampoo, make sure to use an anti-microbial dry shampoo and scalp toner. (PK One More Day Dry Shampoo and Scalp Toning Tonic).
Don’t Overdo It
High intensity work-outs can be fine, but overdoing it can send your androgen (male hormone) levels rocketing. And if you have a genetic pre-disposition to hair thinning, this could be a problem.
Eat nutritious, energy dense foods post workout. Nuts, bananas and granola are good choices. If your body is left hungry and depleted, your hair cells are going to be feeling it even more. As hair is a non-essential tissue, it is usually the first part of you to take a hit from any form of dietary or energy deficiency.
Depending on the class you take, you may not work up a huge sweat during an hour of yoga, Pilates or meditation. You may also have washed your hair in the morning, or leave it until the next day. Do yourself (and your hair) a favor and wipe down the mat you use before lying on it. You are otherwise subjecting your hair and scalp to other people’s germs and sweat while your doing roll ups, hip lifts and mindful breathing.
Using a weekly deep conditioning hair mask can do wonders for the condition of the hair. But sometimes it’s hard to find the time. The solution? Work one into your locks before working out. I recommend our Philip Kingsley Elasticizer – a multi-award winning pre-shampoo conditioning treatment that was originally formulated for Audrey Hepburn.
Have questions for Anabel? Please comment on this blog and all will be answered.