Monday, October 21, 2013

Fitness and Hair

In a recent article in Forbes, exercise is #1 on the list of things super successful people do before 8am.  A healthy lifestyle is integral to being a well-rounded person.  However, there is a stigma in the black community that women don't work out because of our hair.  Now if we are honest, hair is a huge contributing factor to not working out.  Who really wants to work out after a fresh perm?!  I can recall pre-perm days, when the press was in full effect (you know), being told not to go outside to play because it would mess up my hair.  These lessons I learned at a young age had a tremendous impact on me.

Since I have been wearing my hair in its natural state, I'm less concerned about working out, swimming, and being active period.  Although maintaining a fitness routine while being natural provides its own set of challenges.  How often do you wash?  Should you deep condition more?  What hairstyles will last? 

As with any hair care regimen, you have to find what works for your hair.  I noticed my hair was breaking more than usual while working out (mostly due to post-partum shedding).  I spoke with my hair stylist and learned I should have altered my regimen.  I typically co-wash my hair every 2 weeks.  Now I'm co-washing a couple times a week.  Sweat causes a buildup on your scalp that can lead to drying and breakage if you don't wash enough.  Here are a few more tips for working out:
  • Tie your hair up either with a scarf or a high ponytail
  • Keep your hair moisturized
  • Wash with a clarifying shampoo to remove buildup
  • Choose a protective hairstyle that can be maintained while working out
As a young girl I learned subconsciously, you don't sacrifice your hair for anything.  Current day you can find women dogging each other about their hair but no mention of being unhealthy.  You can be completely unhealthy but you better not have a hair out of place.  Where are our priorities?  What are we teaching the future generations?  Yes hair is important but at what cost?  You shouldn't have to choose between hair and health.  Ladies let's get active!  Just imagine the impact we could have on our community if we put as much focus on our bodies as we do our hair.  We could change the really we could.


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