Sometimes, getting through your workout is only half the battle. The other half is figuring out what to do with your hair after your workout is complete—especially if you’re headed off to work or need to run errands.
Anyone who’s ever spent time in a gym bathroom knows it’s not the most ideal place for a full wash, dry, and style. Plus, washing your hair too frequently can lead to a dry, flaky scalp and brittle, unhealthy strands. Experts recommend washing your hair only every two to three days—even if you work out a lot.
Depending on your hair type, you may be able to get away with just a quick mist of dry shampoo, or you may need a rinse ASAP. Here, we’ve compiled some dos and don’ts of post-workout hair so you can get your style back in a snap!
Prep Your Hair, Pre-Workout
One of the secrets to great post-workout hair? At-home prep. Before heading to the gym, apply an intensive hair treatment, like Redken’s Extreme Anti-Snap leave-in treatment for damaged hair, and comb from the root to your ends. Then, pull hair into a simply ponytail or bun. This offers a couple benefits. One, the treatment will help keep your hair in place during your workout and two, the extra body heat created from your workout will allow the product to penetrate deeper and work harder.
After you’ve finished working out, comb out your strands for a loose look or pull back into a sleek, low nape knot for a chic and sophisticated post-gym look.
As previously mentioned, over-washing your hair can lead to dryness, breakage, frizziness, and other problems. Skip the post-workout wash and instead toss a couple of reliable products into your gym bag. Look for hard-working dry shampoos, like Redken’s Pillow Proof Two-Day Extender Dry Shampoo for brown or blonde hair, that soaks up excess oil and sweat without being overly drying. We also like KEVIN.MURPHY’s FRESH.HAIR, which removes odor, adds body and soaks up excess oil. Bonus: for every can purchased, a contribution will be made to help reduce carbon emissions.
If you can’t stand the idea of not fully showering post-sweat session (hey, we get it!), your best bet is to simply rinse your strands, sans shampoo. To help nix frizz, rinse hair with lukewarm to cool or even cold water, rather than hot water. This helps seal the cuticle and allows hair to lay smoother and look shinier. After rinsing, towel-dry hair and let air dry.
Embrace Your Natural Texture
Save time—and space in your gym bag—by leaving the styling tools at home and instead of playing up your natural hair texture. If you’ve got naturally straight or wavy hair, a sea salt spray can add beachy texture. We like HAIR.RESORT.SPRAY from KEVIN.MURPHY. For curly girls, run a styling cream, like Redken’s Curvaceous Full Swirl, through rinsed strands to add shine and definition while reducing frizz.
Save Your Style
If you want to work out, but you’re having a great hair day or just got a blowout, try these tips to help preserve your look. First, use hair ties that won’t crease. Avoid tight elastics and instead opt for a cloth hair tie or scrunchie. Next, to keep your strands from getting too sweaty, section the hair near your face and loosely clip it back. Pull the remaining hair up into a loose ponytail and secure with a soft elastic. The key is to avoid pulling hair too tight, which can lead to dents.
After your workout, let hair loose and gently comb or brush out with your fingers. Apply Redken Dry Shampoo Powder 02, which uses charcoal to absorb excess oil and odors for light, clean-feeling volume.