How To Care For Your Hair Post-Workout, Beyond Dry Shampoo
For me, working out isn't business, it's pleasure. Figuring out what to do with the damp, messy top knot weighing down my scalp after the fact - now that is work. I go hard at the gym; whether it's cardio day and I'm sprinting on a treadmill, or squating heavy, I'm dripping by my last rep. Great for my body, not so great for my hair.
Contrary to what you might think, "hitting the showers" isn't solely for the sake of rinsing off and cooling down. Instead of considering a post-workout wash as something you've earned, recognize that it's also something you need because, here's the thing, not only will lingering sweat make you feel gross, it has the potential to severely damage your hair.
"Sweat," senior vice president of research and development at Living Proof told Shape, "is a combination of water and salts, plus some protein. When hair gets wet, it's easily stretched and damaged. And the salts in it can cause hair to lose color faster." What's more, if you prefer getting your sweat on outdoors, sun exposure and other environmental stressors can dehydrate your hair, resulting in brittle ends and an itchy scalp.
But here's the catch: You don't want to shampoo your hair every single day because formulas often contain detergents and other chemicals that strip away natural oils. The question, then, is, how do you take care of your hair post-workout sans-shampoo? Master stylists Sarah Lund of KEVIN.MURPHY and Mincho Pacheco of James Joseph Salon gave us the scoop.
Blowout First, Dry Shampoo Second
KEVIN.MURPHY Fresh Hair Dry Cleaning Spray Shampoo, $29.50 Walgreens.com
"Using the “Cool Shot” on your Blow Dryer and your finger, remove any wetness. Make sure to blow dry hair by holding up and away to add some volume.
[After], concentrating on your hairline, partline and above ears liberally apply dry shampoo. I like FRESH.HAIR as it can remove 30% of excess product, dirt, oil and odor. Once applied, let the product rest for 30 – 60 seconds, you then want to remove the excess product with a clean, dry towel." - Sarah Lund of KEVIN.MURPHY
Take Advantage of Essential Oils
Tea Tree Oil, $7 TheBodyShop.com
"Give your hair a nice application of tea tree oil to keep bacteria away. But do not apply tea tree oil by itself as it is very strong; mix it with coconut or jojoba oil and apply it instead.
[You can also] use peppermint oil on your scalp for post workout hair care. It's refreshing, and is also known for the properties to induce hair growth. Mix a few drops of the oil with aloe vera juice and water before applying." - Mincho Pacheco of James Joseph Salon
Use Mask Treatments During or After A Workout
AlfaParf Semi Di Lino Moisture Nutritive Mask, $8.54 Amazon.com
"It is a good idea to use good mask like Alfaparf Nutritive Mask that offers deep nourishment as well as smoothness. A good way to protect your hair from your workout is to use a hair mask before you hit the gym. Use cold water to rinse it out post the workout." - Mincho Pacheco of James Joseph Salon