If we’re honest, one of the main things that puts us off going to the gym (aside from, you know, the whole exercise thing), is what to do with our hair afterwards. It’s all well and good for Kayla Itsines and co. to preach pre-work gym sessions, but they don’t have to front up for that 9am meeting looking impeccably polished – not like they spent the last 50 minutes sweating it out at F45.
But that’s no excuse. Especially not with the below gym-proof hair tips to guide you from barre to boardroom to (actual) bar with ease.
1/ Preparation is key
Just as you sleep in your gym clothes to ensure you don’t hit snooze, a little forward planning is required in the hair department too. Using the right shampoo and conditioner is crucial for healthy hair – particularly in summer, when sweat, sunscreen and saltwater can wreak havoc, aggravating dandruff and causing itchiness and dull, dry strands. Having healthy hair and a healthy scalp will help to regulate oil production, so it’s vital to look for hair products that keep both in optimum condition: try the head & shoulders Smooth & Silky shampoo and conditioner.
2/ Style your hair to suit the activity
That means no hair out, no matter how good-looking your PT is. Headbands and bobby pins are your best friend here to ensure all hair is pulled away from the face and neck. We like Invisibobble hair ties, which allow you to secure your hair into a ponytail without any risk of kinks. Failing that, a braid is the best option for exercise – it will stay put no matter how intense your activity, and has the added bonus of leaving you with S-bend waves when you take it out.
3/ Post-gym hairstyles
Take gym devotees like Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Jasmine Tookes (pictured above) as your ultimate #hairspo – they’re frequently spotted with hair slicked back into a low bun or high ponytail, activewear still on and clutching a Starbucks. Use gel to amp up this slicked-back style, or simply mist hairspray onto a brush before running it through your hair for a more natural look that will still eradicate gym-induced frizz. If you prefer to wear your hair out, make use of the hairdryers your gym change room provides – a quick blast through dry hair will revive limp locks.
Of course, the better your hair before your workout, the better it will look after, which is why proper maintenance is crucial.
4/ Essential gym bag kit
Keep the following products in your gym bag: dry shampoo (try a powder version like Aveda Shampure Dry Shampoo to avoid suffocating everyone else in the change room); dry texturising spray (we like Oribe) and hairspray (try Moroccanoil Luminous Finish, which leaves hair with touchable texture, not tell-tale crunch). And of course, always include shampoo and conditioner for those days when you have time to wash your hair after a gym sesh.
5/ Hair care for gym junkies
Regular sweat sessions can lead to an itchy, irritated scalp, so it’s vital to use a shampoo and conditioner designed to boost hair health and prevent flaking. head & shoulders Smooth & Silky shampoo and conditioner cleanses, protects and moisturises your strands and scalp, resulting in soft, smooth hair that’s up to 100 per cent flake-free*. The formula contains micro zinc particles to improve scalp condition over time, as well as top notch conditioning agents to boost shine, all while delivering a proper clean. Also consider adding a detoxifying mask to your routine once a month to keep your hair in optimum condition, no matter how many times you’re hitting the gym.
*no visible flakes, with regular use.