Maintaining Your Natural Hair While Exercising

by Alicia James of

Summer is in full swing, and we all want to walk around the beach in our sexy swimsuits! I love working out, and it is very important for me to stay fit year round. It is also important that my hair is taken care of and always looks presentable.

How Do You Wear Your Hair When Working Out?
  • High Bun
  • Low Bun
  • Pineapple Method
  • Satin Cap
  • Twist
  • Braids
  • Bantu Knots
*Leave the hair alone until it dries after usually after my shower and make up. If I style or manipulate the hair before it dries, it frizzes up.


Is Sweat Bad for Your Scalp and Hair?

via The Beauty Brains

Sillabear says… I am looking for ways to minimize the amount of times that I wash my hair and I recently came across information that utilizing a mixture of 1:2 parts of peppermint oil to jojoba oil will break down the salts that are deposited on the scalp from pores after a strenuous exercise. Is this true? If not, do products such as dry shampoo rid one’s scalp of these potentially damaging salts?

The Beauty Brains respond:
Before we talk about sweat removal let’s do a quick recap of what’s in sweat.

Sweaty chemistry
Our bodies sweat through two different glands: eccrine (which are found pretty much all over the body) and apocrine (which are concentrated where there are hair follicles.) Both glands produce sweat that consists of water and minerals (or salts). Specifically, sweat contains sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. But only the apocrine glands product lactate, urea, and other substances which make this milky sweat so tasty to odor causing bacteria.

Peppermint oil or jojoba oil have no special ability to breakdown or remove sweat. Peppermint oil could have some antibacterial properties which might inhibit some of the odor associated with eccrine gland perspiration but it is also a mild irritant and may end up making your scalp inflamed. The “stuff” you’re trying to get rid of like salts, Sodium lactate and urea are water soluble so jojoba oil won’t do much to remove them either. A dry shampoo which contains a water absorbent starch might help “soak up” some of these materials if you’re that determined to get them off your scalp. Which brings us to the main point of this post…


“You have some pretty hair…for a big girl.”

by Caroline of

“You sure do have some pretty hair…for a big girl.”

From the 8th grade until age 22, I weighed over 300-pounds and frequently received compliments mixed with insults like the ones above. This made me feel as if my mix of Indo-Guyanese and African-American hair was the only physical trait the world found beautiful, so I took biweekly trips to the salon and had relaxers every six weeks. I am ashamed, to this day that I felt validation from comments like “relaxers show off that you got good hair.”

Megan Hodge Competes for the Gold! #TeamNatural

Angie writes:

Today at 6:30pm one of my  best friends, Megan Hodge, will compete for a gold medal in women's indoor volleyball!

We have been teammates for three years on the national team and she is one of the most humble and hard working people that I know.  For that reason, there is no way she would have submitted anything to Nikki letting her know about her fabulous hair and accomplishments... that's why she has me!

This is her first Olympics and she is only 23!  Before making it to the national team and the Olympics, she played 4 years at Penn State where she was a 4 time All-American and 3 time National Champion.  As far as her beautiful coifs go,  she has been natural for almost a year now and transitioned for 6 months while she was in Poland playing for a professional club.   In Poland, she turned into a huge product junkie, an addiction we both share, and learned many new styles that worked for athletes since we sweat everyday.

If you can watch the game tomorrow, you will see her beautiful twist out pulled back with a headband to contain the sweat and give some flair.  Hope all of you can watch Megan and the team win the first gold in USA indoor women's volleyball history!

 Show Megan some love in the comments below!

How to Maintain Natural Hair & An Exercise Routine

Hola Chicas,

It's Thursday which means we've officially taken over Essence for the day!

¡Viva la Revolución!

Check out my latest installment, where I discuss how I protect my hair while 'working out'. Head over there, check it out, 'like it', share it and comment! Also, leave questions of your own for the next article!

Thanks divas!

Later Gators,

Looking Good While Getting Your Body Bikini Ready

by NaturallyChelsea via NaturallyCurly

Summer is coming and that means minimal clothing and sexy bikinis. With this in mind, I’m sure we are all making a mad dash to the gym to turn our flabs to abs and have buns of steel. But while all this sweating is going on, what will you do with your hair?


If your hair is straight, your number one concern will probably be preventing reversion. To help combat this problem, pull your hair into a high, taught ponytail and tuck your ends away. The “taughtness” of the ponytail will help to keep your hair stretched and tucking your ends away will prevent them from touching your shoulders and becoming drenched in sweat.

It’s important not to loosen your ponytail until your hair is completely dry to ensure it dries in a somewhat stretched state. Protect your hair line with a sports headband to soak up your sweat and prevent the hair at your hairline from doing so.

Should your edges become frizzy, DO NOT RETOUCH THEM as too much heat causes damage. Simply grab your favorite pomade (not gel as it is wet and will cause more reversion) and a scarf. Apply the pomade to your edges then use your hands or a brush to slick them back. Wrap the scarf around your hairline then leave it on until you’re ready to leave the house (the longer the better). Once you remove the scarf, you will be left with smooth edges.

It is important to note that reversion will probably happen if you go hard at the gym or sweat a lot on your head. Instead of fighting against it, why not work with it? You could start off with straight hair then roller set your hair to hide the extra volume at the roots. Then, when reversion becomes more noticeable or the hair at the roots becomes too thick for down and out styles, try rocking ponytails and buns for the remainder of the days until it is wash day.


If you wear your hair curly, then here are your gym tips:

  1. Pineapple your hair. Just like you would at night, pull your hair into a high “pineapple” ponytail with a scrunchy. It will get your hair out of the way and prevent body sweat from getting to it. Also the scrunchy will allow your hair to effortlessly fall back down when released without leaving an annoying dent.
  2. Do your hair at the gym. If you are in the habit of styling your hair at night before bed and working out in the evening, then why not style your hair at the gym? If you’re worried about your hair frizzing up at the gym while you work out, then twist/braid it up right before exercising then pull the twist and braids into a ponytail and go. You don’t have to worry about ruining your style as it is already being set for the next day. Once your home and showered, you can go straight to bed rather than fussing in front of a mirror with sore muscles.
  3. Get rid of the sweat. Sweat is sterile when it leaves our pores and only begins to smell when it has been exposed to the air for a while and bacteria grows. If you follow the tip above, then grab a wash towel and warm water. Dip the rag in the warm water and gently run it along your parts and in between the braid/ twist if possible. This will help to get rid of some of the sweat and the smell that comes with it.
Hairstyles to Weather the Sweat Storm
  1. Wash and Go: If you sweat a lot then wash and gos are the perfect go-to hairstyle for you. This style will allow you to wash and restyle your hair as often as needed to keep your hairstyle fresh and your hair clean.
  2. Wet buns: If you don’t really sweat a lot on your head, then try wet bunning. The wet bun is easy to do and is as simple as cleansing, applying product, then pulling hair into a ponytail and bunning. This style will keep your hair looking cute and stylish so you won’t really have to worry about ruining your style. Also, since your hair is already up, there is no need to fuss with it at the gym. Once you feel the need to wash, you can quickly and easily do so and restyle.
  3. Double duty: The gym provides a wonderful opportunity to do double duty by exercising and pampering your hair. While exercising, you can deep condition by applying the product to your hair then donning a shower cap and beanie. This works best for activities that do not involve a lot of movement, like weightlifting. Also utilize your gym’s sauna to steam your hair without investing in an expensive hair steamer.

How do you style your hair for the gym? What's your routine following?

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