Should You Blow Dry Your Scalp After The Gym? How To Keep Hair Looking Fresher

Get hair that's just as good as your post-workout endorphins.
Image: Sisterhood Of The Travelling Pants

There’s nothing that ruins good hair game quite like a sweaty workout, but boy, does it feel good to do it. Workout girlies on the internet have been asking themselves – how can we keep our hair looking fresher for longer even when exercising daily?

TikToker Taylor Jade recently shared her go-to hack: blow drying her post-workout sweaty scalp. However, the tip, designed to rid the scalp of excess moisture, received quite a bit of controversy.

“I never knew this tip would upset so many people,” she wrote. “Just here to share the love & everything I do and have done to manage my hair & transform my scalp and hair health.”

“I’ve been using this tip for as long as I’ve worked out & everything’s all good here.”

“You are not blow drying OUT the sweat, you are JUST DRYING it. It’s still in there, honey,” one person wrote on the video.

“Um what? They want you to leave the sweat in your hair?” another wrote.

So, the question is: should we really be blow drying our hair after the gym?

How Can I Freshen My Hair After A Workout?

According to Belinda Jeffrey, founder and owner of La Boutique, Double Bay and Belinda Jeffrey Hair, this can be a useful technique to stretch the gaps between washes, but shouldn’t be your only tactic.

“There is nothing wrong with occasionally blow drying the scalp after the gym per se, although if you are going to the gym regularly, your hair and hair line obviously get sweaty,” she says.

If you’re working out a few times a week, stick to using hair washes to keep it fresh. However, if you’re working out every day you could use this tactic alongside others.

“I don’t recommend washing your hair more than 3 times a week,” she says. “Dry shampoo is the ideal solution.

“If you put your hair up and keep it off your face whilst working out, you can then let it down post showering, spray some dry shampoo where needed once cooled off and re-‘zhuzh’ your hair to revive your blow-dry.”

If you’re looking to go longer between hair dries, you may also want to look at changing up your style.

“It is good to occasionally slick your hair back and keep it dirty (as that replenishes the natural oils in your hair and scalp),” she says. “You can also add some mousse to the roots of your hair and only blow dry them briefly in order to create volume and keep your hair looking good in between blow dries.”

How Often Should We Be Washing Our Hair?

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Even if you’re working out daily, Jeffrey doesn’t recommend washing more than three times a week.

The exception? “Some people with extremely fine hair like to wash daily, but then is essential to use a very light shampoo and conditioner, formulas that don’t contain a lot of chemicals, in order to maintain body,” she says.

marie claire Australia Put It To The Test

“As a daily morning runner for the last six months, I’ve noticed my hair has become more prone to looking oily within a few days. Where I could previously wash once every 4-5 days, it’s now more every 2.5-3 days.

This morning, I decided to try out this technique. After my run I sprayed a touch of the Olaplex Dry Shampoo and then put my Shark FlexStyle (in Malibu Pink) on the cold setting. The cool air on my scalp was so nice after a hot run, and my scalp felt dry very quickly.

The hair stayed fresh all day (day three), which is longer than it usually would. While it’s definitely not ever as clean as a proper wash (which should still be done regularly), the technique has helped to stretch out between washes so that I can wash just twice a week.

Why Dry Shampoo Is Not The Enemy

If you’ve used the dry shampoos of yesteryear and felt that they dry out and produce build up in the hair, you’re not alone.

We sat down with the team at SWET, who have recently developed a dry shampoo designed for post-gym hair.

They say that modern dry shampoos are designed to absorb the moisture generated by a the scalp during your workout, without drying out the hair. Look for a dry shampoo that is pH balancing, antimicrobial, and volumizing.

“Our dry shampoo will not only leave your hair feeling mattified and fresh, but also features enzymes and vitamins to help balance pH and nourish both your hair and scalp,” says Will Kepreotes, cofounder of SWET Beauty.”

What Are Tips To Keep Our Colour Nice If Washing More Frequently?

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Image: Getty

“The best thing you can do for your hair is to have a treatment (in salon – or at home) once a week. Ideally, [look for] a moisturising treatment as it both maintains colour and a healthy moisture level,” advises Jeffrey.

As an expert colourist with a specialty in blondes, Jeffrey recommends using a blonde shampoo and conditioning treatment masque to add moisture while toning.

“[You’ll be] adding creaminess back into the hair and eradicating the gold tones that the hair might be throwing as the colour gets older,” she says.

“If you are washing or blow drying regularly, it’s important to use a heat protector and a spray in detangler, as these protect against the damage to both your hair and your colour from the washing, heat and exposure to all the other everyday elements.”

What About Grey Or Coarser Hair?

Washing frequently may be required for fine hair, but coarser hair and grey hair begs for special treatment when washing more often.

“If you have coarser hair or grey hair, it’s good to use a protein treatment—something like an Olaplex or a Wellaplex which adds strength back into your hair,” says Jeffrey. “With those, you just shampoo your hair, put the treatment on, leave it for 15 minutes then shampoo it back out. I would then add a moisture treatment on top of that to add some shine back as there is nothing worse than having dull and lifeless hair!”

How To Protect The Hair If You’re Swimming

While the above works if you’re working out in the gym or pounding the pavement, what should you do if your exercise of choice is swimming?

“If you love the beach or swim a lot, it a great idea to put a treatment in your hair and leave it in for the day/whilst swimming,” says Jeffrey.

“Then just rinse it out when you get out or get home. In addition to maintaining moisture, it works as a UV protector in your hair in the same way sunscreen does for your skin and protects your colour from fading. A UV protector is something I am currently working on to add to my range.”

Best Post-Gym Dry Shampoos & Hair Products To Try

Your ultimate post-workout hair kit is here.

Olaplex N.4D Clean Volume Detox Dry Shampoo 250ml, $54, Adore Beauty


This super light dry shampoo feels fine on the hair and will never leave you looking dusty. No more powdery roots, your hair will look fresh and voluminous.

  • A sustainable source of detoxifying antioxidants
  • Neutralises odour-causing pollutants and impurities
  • Soothes the scalp

SWET Dry Shampoo, $39.99 SWET


Rich in enzymes, amino acids and antioxidants, this natural dry shampoo cleanses, mattifies and adds volume to the hair. Perfect for post workout, it’s antimicrobial and antibacterial.

  • 100% natural ingredients
  • Antimicrobial & antibacterial
  • Supports damaged hair
  • Balances PH levels for a healthy scalp

AMIKA Perk Up Dry Shampoo, $47, Sephora


This talc-free dry shampoo absorbs oil and add volume while also removing any odour. With sea buckthorn and natural rice starch, the hair will feel nourished and fresh.

  • Free of parabens, formaldehydes, phalates, mineral oil, sulfates SLS & SLES
  • Vegan and cruelty free
  • Delicious scent of warn vanilla and fresh citrus

Belinda Jeffrey The One For Blondes Bundle, $150, Belinda Jeffrey Hair


This formula is especially created for blondes who find that they get a little brassy over time. Designed to tone and brighten your blonde or lightened hair, it uses rice bran, avocado and argan oils to nourish and hydrate, while quinoa proteins protect.

  • Panthenol to help the hair maintain its moisture
  • Rice bran, avocado and argan oil to hydrate
  • Calendula extract to soothe and condition the scalp

FlexStyle Air Styling & Drying System in Malibu Pink, $399, Shark


This powerful styling tool uses fast, lower heat technology to curl, voluminise, smooth and dry your hair. Easy to use and in a delightful pink colour, it will be your new haircare best friend.

  • Hair dryer and styling system in one
  • Lightweight and powerful
  • Fast drying
  • Reduced heat risks less damage to the hair

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