5 Workout Styles that Keep Pressed Natural Hair in Tact

By Whitney (pictured above) of SportyAfros.com

When I straightened my hair this time, I tried to come up with some new ways to care for it while maintaining a consistent workout routine.  Here are a few workout hair care solutions to keep your hair looking fab while staying fit.

Workout Hair Care Solution #1: Wrapping

Generally wrap my hair going to the right. I don’t know why, it just seems to lay down better that way. I wrap my hair around my head using the paddle brush and securing it with bobby pins as I go.

Hot huh? Then I put on my black scarf and workout.

I let is air dry and then I take it down and style it.

Workout Hair Care Solution #2: Pin Curls

I use bobby pins, a brush and a little argon oil to pin curl it in big chunks.

Then, I wrap my silk scarf over it and workout, let it dry completely then take it down.




Workout Hair Care Solution #3: Wigs

I know Alex and I talk about wigs all of the time, but these babies come in handy! In addition to my curly wig, I have a straight one that I like to wear when I have my hair pressed. I usually wear it later after my press starts frizzing. This way I get the straight hair look without fussing with my hair! Plus its super easy to throw on and look presentable right after a hard workout.

This is a synthetic half wig I ordered online for only $20. I cant remember than brand though!

I separate the part of my hair that’s going to be outside of the wig…

Then I pull up the back and pin it down.

Then I throw the wig on and arrange my hair in the front. Boom! Instant, tamed hair in 2 minutes.

Here is a shot of the back, its cut even but its really hard to take a shot of the back of your hair by yourself…..

Workout Hair Care Solution #4: French Braids

I experimented with putting my hair in french braids before I worked out then took them down afterwards. This one is a little tricky. You need to leave in the braids for a while and use a little product to get the braided look to hold after you take it down. I would recommend doing this one of the last days you wear your press because you have to use a lot of product to get the waves to stay put!

I separated my hair into 3 big braids.

They are janky…but oh well….

Then I took them down and arranged my hair.

*Tip* The longer you leave the braids in, the better your style will look.

Workout Hair Care Solution #5: Bun

This is always a great alternative. The key is to use a little oil and twist it around as you put it in a bun that way it looks nice when you take it down.

Pull it up in a ponytail and twist it around like so. Then use some bobby pins to arrange it in a cute bun.

Embrace the Poof

I hate to say it but the longer you want to keep your press, the poofier your hair is going to get. But the thing is you have NATURAL hair, so its going to be poofy regardless. So stop trying to make your hair be something its not and embrace what it does….


Ladies, have you tried any of these methods? How do you maintain your styles while working out?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...


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22 thoughts on “5 Workout Styles that Keep Pressed Natural Hair in Tact

  1. @Whitney:

    How do you keep the heat from the pressing comb from damaging your hair? Or do you just flat iron it? Does flat ironing also damage your hair?

    I got my hair pressed a couple of times, and it seems to have damaged it. Or perhaps the hairdressers were doing it wrong.

      • As I mentioned, it’s time for a hcriaut. a0I have an appointment this weekend, and I’m thinking a bob, somewhere between the Alexa, the Freja, and The Haircut of the Year:a0the Karlie. a0I’ve done the shaggy anda0asymmetricala0thing before, but this time I think I’ll try to clean it up a bit. a0These ladies are giving me major short hair inspiration for something almost all one length, but still textured and modern.

  2. Great post! The reason I went natural is that I sweat in my scalp like crazy. So fixing relaxed hair for work was hard. I hardly ever straighten my hair because it will keep me from working out. My hair will poof at the first sight of water (a little bit of sweat goes a long way on my hair). So I applaud for being able to work out with your press. I will have to sit on the sidelines if I get one. Sigh….

  3. Hmmm…I don’t straighten my hair, but sometimes I have a stretched style that I want to maintain. However, now that I’ve been going to the gym daily, forget out it. I sweat and it’s like I just washed my hair. I had been putting my hair into flat twists but maybe flat braids would work better. Also letting my hair completely dry before I take them down. This has definitely given me something to think about.

  4. One of the main reasons that I haven’t flat ironed or pressed my hair in about three years, is that straight hair does not work with my lifestyle of working out. Its too much once I sweat and my roots get puffy. If I ever do straighten my hair again, I would take one week off from exercise:)

  5. None of those styles work for me (except braids) because I sweat too much from my head. Only two things work:

    1) 3-4 tight ponytails. This provides channels for the sweat to swim down and keeps the hair that’s at my scalp tight enough so that it doesn’t have room to draw up. To give my hair time to dry, I leave my hair in the ponytails until after I’ve gotten completely ready to leave.

    2) Lugnuts (most people call them Bantu knots). This keeps my hair so tight that it doesn’t have room to draw up and if it does get wet, the moisture just adds to the curly look. Again, I take it down as I’m leaving – or sometimes, when I get to work. The only danger with this style is that sometimes my hair can still get really wet. Sometimes, I’ll take them aloose before I work out, but I’ll twist it tight at the root and secure it with a bobby pin. Other times, I’ll brush it out a section at a time and re-knot it after working out (to disburse the moisture)

  6. The way I sweat none of these style would work. 5 minutes into my workout and I am already sweating. That’s why I just stick to no heat it makes life so much easier. A bun or sometimes I even put in my deep conditioner, put on a plastic cap and workout.

  7. My hair isn’t SL yet, so keeping my hair presentable (I’m relaxed) whilst working out is a b!tch! Thus far I would come home after gym every evening, jump in the shower, co-wash and roller set and dry with drier on cold air setting and wrap before getting into bed. And it translates to awesome looking hair each morning, but a very tired me, and I’m gonna sweat it out every afternoon anyway. It also translates to A LOT of manipulation. HELP PLEASE!!

  8. When I workout, I sweat a LOT, sometimes to the point where I can wring the sweat out of my clothes. There’s no way that wrapping or pin curls will work. I do the bun thing but it’s not that my hair is puffy..it just basically reverts. So when I straighten my hair, the first time I workout, it’s over. I’m going to try putting a lot of oil at the root and tying it flat to my head–ensuring that my ponytail does not get wet from the workout. The salt water that is sweat will break down the grease, so it won’t be all greasy when the workout’s over, i don’t think. We’ll see…

  9. Weaves do the trick for me when I want to wear the straight look. Otherwise it really just starts reverting 2 minutes into my workout.

  10. Rod sets!!! I love a rod set! I wear them as a low-manipulation style and they work wonders for my hair while working out. The best part is-poofing makes the style look even better! The poofier and bigger it gets the more “natural” my curls look. Maybe its just me but I really think a rod set is one of those styles that looks better the older it gets.

  11. Wearing my hair in a tight ponytail or braids work for me; I sweat like crazy. My roots stay somewhat straight when I wear a tight scarf around my edges (even though it sometimes causes a headache :-(

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