Thursday, June 11, 2009

Balancing Hair and Health

Typically I try to post tips and other helpful information. But today I need to share how my hair is currently affecting my exercise routine.

Over the past week I have been really frustrated with my hair. My frustration stems from my move from Chicago to D.C. and having to find a new stylist. Right before I left I got my hair cut because the ends were damaged. It took me a while to get used to but I like the cut. My only concern is finding a stylist that can care for my hair and be sensitive to the fact that I work out and sweat hard at least 5 x week. After chatting with a friend I realized that a better option would be to rock a short cut, that way I would have less hair to worry about. This may seem drastic but I am tired of worrying about my hair. I am tired of not being able to swim regularly and arranging my workouts around getting my hair done.

I have been working out consistently for about 1.5 years now and my hair has remained an issue. I thought I had a good system (washing and conditioning my hair once a week and not putting heat on my hair) but apparently it wasn't working because my hair was still damaged. I have considered other styles (braids and weave) but I don't like the idea of not being able to thoroughly wash my hair regularly. Going natural is also an option but I don't think I am quite ready for that transition. Plus I have a friend that did it recently and she still struggles with her hair.

I am considering switching to the Kerasoft relaxer system which is supposed to better for your hair. I just need to find someone in D.C. who is knowledgeable about it.

For those you in Chicago you should check out Kuttin Ege' Salon. The stylist Paul, is extremely knowledgeable about caring for black womens hair and for women who exercise. I only wish I could find someone like him in D.C.

332 S Michigan Av. Ste 121
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 922-3560
Get directions

If this is your first time reading you may think that pic on the right is me, it's not. So here is my cut:


Have you experienced similar issues with you hair?

Do you have make your workout schedule around your hair appointments?


Anonymous said...


I love your blog. I'm a grad student at Howard University, spending my summer in NYC. I used to live in the South Loopn. and would go to the Y'Lonn Salon on S. Michigan. Anyway, I wanted to pass along my stylist info to you. The shop, Basic Necessity, is off Georgia Ave (close to the Silver Spring border) and Underwood, and I go to Traci. She is great, and my roommie from Chicago runs and her hair would always look good as well. Let her know your workout schedule, and she will take care of you for much less than Chicago!!! Also, she's efficient...who has time to sit in the salon all day??? Good luck!

202-882-9213 Wed-Sat

My only other recommendation, is Cole Stevens in Greenbelt. They are good but expensive. I couldn't make the drive every week from DC to Greenbelt. As a grad student my time is too valuable!

S said...

Oooh yes. I have a short cut and as soon as I get it done in the salon the next day curls are out and I have to resort to slicking it down. Its tough because you want to have that LOOK but then you don't want to sacrifice your workouts. Short hair can be a challenge to maintain just as long hair. I just try to keep it neat and slick it down and when I go out just bump it even though it never looks as good as the salon. In lieu of all of this I just can't not work out. I am on a roll now and I have to keep it up. I have been thinking of really really short and just throw some mousse in it to make it curly but just like you I am not ready for that natural short short look.

Our hair as black women is so beautiful we just don't realize it. I just think we try to conform to our society image of beautiful and that is what makes us pay so much money for our hair maintenance. We have that natural curly hair and we are all DIVA's which we have to project in the way we talk, dress and act.

Regardless, I have to find a way to keep my confidence following with my hair without sacrificing my workouts. This summer is going to be a challenge. I have been thinking of rod curls but after my workout I am afraid of the curls dripping from sweat.

I need help too.

Great question!

Anonymous said...

I recently started working out on a regular basis. My hair is past shoulder length and I have bangs. I was trying to maintain my roller set by wrapping my hair and letting it dry before combing it out like you suggested. Regardless it would always be flat with no life after I combed it down.

I decided to wear half-wigs. I braid my hair underneath and leave out my bangs. When I workout I wear a stain stretch cap under my ball caps. I wash and re-braid my hair weekly. This is working out great for me, but I miss my real hair. This weekend I am getting Senegalese Twist. I am gonna keep my hair in protective styles until I reach my goal weight and see what happens from there.

Brown Runner said...

I wash/set my hair every week. As soon as it looks crazy (curls falling) I start to use a donut bun. I can wear my hair like this (no heat) until the next wash. It's plain...but very neat and corporate friendly. Running hair post is in draft lol...I'll finish this weekend.

Fitness Goddess said...

Thanks for posting ladies!

Looking forward to your article!

gsutiger2 said...

Went Natural. Best decision made. Plus natural hair (twisted) seems to welcome sweat.

Antravia said...

OMG...This is such an issue for me. I work out about 5/6 times a week and I've gone through several phases with my hair. I wore a bun until for a few months...BORING! Then I wore wigs...FAKE! Then I decided to go natural. I was not about to do a BC (Big Chop) So I did a mini-chop and continued to wear my wigs. That lasted about 7 months. My husband was so opposed to the natural look (he hates it on all women apparently) that I eventually went back to a relaxer. Then I got an asymmetrical bob. There is still alot of maintenance required and I wonder how long I will last with this style. However, I do like it I think going natural is the bed thing because you can do a wash and go, a braid out, or twist out and your workouts won't ruin it.

I was considering a dry shampoo so I won't have to wash it so much, but I'm not sure if that will work. I just know that this style requires alot of heat which will eventually damange my hair.

I feel your pain!