Puff Balls

Puff Balls

Thursday, May 26, 2011

If You're Dead, Hair Doesn't Matter: How Can We Exercise and Still Look Fly?

Image found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/58555480@N05/5374157219/ by RachelJBenson

Want to know a crazy way that hair has affected my life? How much and what type of exercise I do! This probably sounds all too familiar to some and may sound ridiculous to others. But, I’m not the only one who has faced this. Check out this great news video that explains the issue: http://perfectly-pretty.com/2010/04/22/unique-perspectivehow-womans-hair-effects-womans-health/.[1]

Let’s look a bit deeper. Sweat, comprised of water and salts, causes the hair to get wet and look dull. Further, for people with naturally curly hair, the wetness can cause relaxed hairstyles to droop (ugh, I used to hate it when I sweated out a newly crafted coif) or natural hair to look “nappy around the edges”. This might sound like vanity but it’s also a practical challenge. Many people think that kinky, coily hair is rough; however, the hair is actually quite fragile and must be treated with specific care. For example, washing kinky, coily hair everyday is often a no no because this would strip the hair of natural moistures and potentially lead to breakage. Not to mention, that could take HOURS and I am just too busy to spend hours on my hair every single day.

So, what to do? Keep our hair looking slamming but pack on the pounds? Or, be fitness mavens but have jacked up hair? Thank goodness there are healthy alternatives! I’d definitely say that women need to take exercise seriously. Perhaps we can personally mandate a minimum amount of exercise per week and figure out how to take care of our hair as a secondary thought. We are creative people. If we say, “I am GOING to exercise. Hmm, how can I keep my hair nice?” we will have much more positive outcomes than if we say, “Oh no, I’m not messing up my hair so no exercise for me”. In other words, the way we mentally frame hair and exercise will influence our attitudes about exercise. To put it bluntly, it doesn’t matter how your hair looks if you’re dead.

Here are a few resources to help take care of your hair and exercise (I’ve included information for people with natural and chemically altered hair): http://curlychic.com/excersise-hair-care-tip-how-to-protect-your-curly-hair-while-you-workout/; http://thefitnessgoddess.blogspot.com/2008/08/hair-products-for-black-women-that.html; http://www.curlynikki.com/2011/02/exercise-routines-and-natural-hair.html; http://www.ehow.com/how_5177077_maintain-exercise-african-american-women.html; http://blacknaturalhaircare.net/tag/exercise/; http://chocolateorchid.blogspot.com/2009/12/hair-exercise-sweat.html.

I still haven’t figured out how to manage my hair and go swimming. I’ll talk more about that later. If you have suggestions about hair care and swimming, or exercise in general, please post a comment. Thanks!

[1] The anchor woman got a straw set though she normally wears a straight relaxed style. I love how she asked, “Does one (style) seem professional and acceptable and other not?” It was also interesting that she said, “If you don’t insist that I remove it, I’ll keep it”. I guess anchor people’s appearance is that controlled by the audience?

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