Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Natural Hair and Exercise: So much to learn

So I told y'all I am transitioning to my Natural Hair. I have not had a relaxer for four months (pic above is how my hair looks now) and so far I have been wearing my hair straight. Now that I have made the commitment, I want to start wearing more textured styles. But I am so worried about how this will effect my exercise routine. So I have just been doing a ton of research. It's amazing how much info there is on Natural Hair. There are so many styles, products, there is even a Natural hair vocabulary (e.g., TWA = Teenie Weenie Afro). I am just so amazed (and overwhelmed) at how much info there is. I am in the process of figuring out what will work for me. Unfortunately, there is not that much out there about natural hair and exercise. So as I go through this journey, I will share with you all my successes, challenges, good hair days, and bad hair days (:-/).

Right now I am in the preparation stage. I have ordered a hooded blow dryer, bought some Jane carter hair products, and some Cantu Shea Butter (see pics below). I have seen so many recommendations for the Cantu Shea butter leave in conditioner (everyone says it must be used alone--do not put anything in your after you put on the leave in). Jane Carter had a trial pack at Target for 19.99 so I scooped one up. I plan to do my first flexi rod set this weekend. My Sister is supposed to come help me out. She is a Hair Stylist in Chicago and does natural hair all the time. So I will let you know how it goes (pics comings soon and maybe even a video).

One more thing......
I got super lucky today and ran into a Natural Hair expert at Target. I met Mama Naturalista, an expert from several natural hair blogs (e.g., curly nikki). She gave me tips on transitioning and some good sites to get cheap products. She also gave me a thumbs ups on the Jane Carter products and Cantu Shea butter. I think the best advice she gave me is to recognize that everyone's hair, workout routine, and various other lifestyle factors are different so there is no perfect style. Also, she said don't become a product junkie (it's so hard though).

She recommended and 

I can't wait to get some curls into this head!

What are your favorite products?
Favorite styles?
Any tips for a newbie???


Anonymous said...

Hey you are right there is a ton of information out there on natural hair that it can be overwhelming actually. I have been natural for about 3 years now and I still suffer from information overload. A good book to read on natural hair is The Science of Black Hair (forgot the author name) but the book is AMAZING. I really like Giovanni products and Aubrey Orgaincs as well. I brought the same Jane Carter sample kit from target and I enjoyed those products as well. The junkie in me is also eying that Hair Rules sample kit as well. For working out I just put my hair in a bun, if you know how to braid you can do french twist or hedi braids. I must admit that I am really weak when it comes to styling, but I'm working on it. Hope this helps happy hair journey.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on going natural. I have been natural for 3.5 years. I wear my hair in Sisterlocks and use no products except for Carol's Daughter Vanilla Mint Clarifying shampoo. The clarifying shampoo helps to pull any build up of products from the hair. Since with Sisterlocks no products are used, my hair is left feeling sqeeky clean. I work out 4 days a week and wash my hair weekly.

HairPolitik said...


First of all, congrats on beginning your natural hair journey. It is a rewarding and fulfilling process. You're right that there isn't a lot of info on how to maintain black hair and exercise. I explore a few strategies on my blog, and have posted some resources on the subject here: I would encourage you to explore the use of wigs as a protective style. It really helps beginners that are still transitioning into the natural lifestyle. Secondly, and more importantly, you really want to maintain the PH balance of your scalp. It's important to at least rinse after every sweaty workout. Of course, you'll have to assess your scalp and hair's health as you go along. But, it is certainly easier to do so as a natural than a relaxed chic. I hope this helps. Please let me know what your journey reveals on the topic!

Fitness Goddess said...

@ Anonymous (1) - I keep hearing about Giovanni's deep conditioner. I will definitely check it out.

@Anonymous (2) Wow! I'm so jealous. I luv sisterlocks. I love that you don't have to worry about your hair when you work out.

@ HairPolitik - I will definitely checkout your posts on hair and exercise. Thanks for the tips!

Stephanie said...

I wear a lot of twist outs, braid outs & bantu knots. I exercise with my hair the way I would go to sleep with it. Good luck with your transition!

Isaiah Spears said...

How are the products working for you. I am trying the natural thing to for my waves and keeping them healthy. I play college football so I wash my hair more than others. However, if you rinse your hair after sweating you can remove alot of the salt and electrolytes that can be harsh to your hair without washing