"I don't want to sweat out my hair!” These eight words pierce my soul. I cringe every time one of my beautiful sisters of color says sweating out her hair takes precedent over her physical health. Women of color are prone to life threatening conditions such as obesity, congestive heart failure, hypertension, type II diabetes and this daunting list goes on and on. According to the American Heart Association, “African-American women have two times the risk of stroke than Caucasian women, and they are more likely to die at an earlier age when compared to women of other ethnicities.” With these frightening health statistics, we must strive to become leaders in physical fitness and healthy lifestyles for ourselves and our families.
You cannot be beautiful on the outside while ignoring your physical health and well-being.
As an avid fitness enthusiast, yoga instructor, and lover of organic raw foods, I encourage all women to tap into their ability to take charge of their health and make it a priority over all things, including your hair. Your workout regimen should include cardio and strength training a minimum of 3-4 times a week. Talk with your doctor and/or fitness trainer to design a workout that caters to your personal health needs.
Growing up with a glamorous African-American mother, I developed an appreciation for keeping my hair healthy and looking good. It's a known fact that when you look good, you feel good--and ever since the tender age of eight-years- old my sister and I attended a standing weekly appointment at the beauty salon. So I understand the struggle and frustration that comes from sweating out your gorgeous mane after every workout. Here are a few tips to help accommodate your fitness regimen along with your opulent mane:
Find a unique hair style. Find a style that works for you and your fitness routine. Extensions are a great option for individuals like myself who are natural and workout regularly. Whatever style you choose make sure it fits you and your healthy lifestyle.
Plan your workouts around your hair appointments. No one wants to leave the hair salon and head straight to the hot yoga studio to sweat out their hair. An option to this is to schedule your hair appointments at the end of the week following your workout routines.
Simplicity is best. Have a go to style that is simple yet amazing. For example, an extension pony tail, a full wig, a high or messy bun. These are all versatile options that will allow you to sweat hard in the gym and stay looking great.
Be creative. Turbans and hair wraps are not just used for bedtime anymore. There are many colorful and trendy varieties to be worn as accessories and they make the perfect companion for the gym, so you can look fabulous and maintain those edges at the same time.
Braids. There are enough braided hairstyles to suit everyone’s personal style. Long luxurious box braids or micro-extensions, cornrowed updos, flowing twists or faux dreads are just a few different types of braided options. Not only will you avoid sweating out your hair during your workout, you will also protect your hair from heat damage.
Closures. This new trend is changing Black hair. A closure is a unit of hand-sewn hair extensions to a piece of fabric, usually comprised of lace or silk. The unit is applied to the area traditionally designated for leave out with sew-in hairstyles. Closures come in different sizes and can cover a small area or the entire frontal area of the head. The key is to choose a well made closure that will not be conspicuous once installed. Do your research, and work with your stylist to select an appropriate option for you. You will go to the gym looking fabulous and leave the gym, you guessed it, STILL looking fabulous.
Whether you are a working mom, busy student, or just interested in finding a new way to be healthy and stay stylish, remember this quote, “A healthy outside starts from the inside” -Robert Urich.
Happy weaving and working out #DHFglamdolls