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Essential Curly Hair Care Tips for An Active Lifestyle

by Siva Raj |

There’s no denying that a good workout can turn your day around. Yes, that euphoric feeling of endorphins coursing through your veins and that sun-kissed post-workout glow is definitely #ForTheGram. But what about your curls? Do you feel like leading an active lifestyle adds to your woes of planning and executing wash days, especially around important tasks and events? If yes, let’s start by saying that you’re not alone! We’ve definitely skipped a workout or two to simply escape dealing with the sweaty, tangled mess afterwards. But does the boon of curly hair mean you can’t enjoy an active lifestyle – be it playing sports, working out regularly or even hitting the pool for a good swim? Definitely not. Keep reading to discover a few tried and tested tips to keep your curls healthy, happy, and most importantly looking their best as a part of a regular active lifestyle.

Let’s start with the benefits of exercise for curly hair – yes, you heard that right, leading an active life with regular workouts is not just great for the body and mind, but for your curls too. Working out increases circulation, body temperature and helps release toxins from the body. An increase of blood flow to the skin and hair promotes hair growth by providing much needed nutrition to the scalp and hair follicles. Pretty neat, huh?

But what exactly happens to your hair during and after a workout? 

The main culprit here is heat and sweat. Dirt and grime tend to build up on sweaty hair and leads to that familiar icky feeling. Sweat contains salt that dehydrates your curls and leaves them tangled and knotted. Sweat can also clog pores, trapping impurities thus leading to inflammation and itchiness. Another workout woe is your curls falling on your face or back, attracting frizz and undoing your styling from your recent wash day. 

Again, don’t sweat it. Here are some ways to reap the benefits of staying fit and keeping those curls super fly:

  • Hello Hairstyles: If you are someone who loves setting their curls free, try a few new hairstyles while working out. Whether you’re taking a walk around the block or gearing up for a rigorous sweat sesh, keep your curls and their definition by styling them into curl-friendly hairdos. Curls can be braided in one, two or multiple ways, swung into a high bun or pineapple or twisted into French knots that have the added bonus of looking super cute and chic. For a low-maintenance do – simply scoop up your curls and hold it back with a satin or silk scarf or headband. Remember to use only satin or silk scrunchies rather than tight elastic or rubber bands that can cause knots, tangles and breakage on your precious curls. 
  • Care for your scalp:We tend to forget that the scalp is actually the base from which curls grow and thrive so ensure that yours is healthy and happy. Keep your scalp clean and moisturized and massage your shampoo or cleanser well into the scalp on wash days to effectively remove dirt and grime. The act of massaging is more crucial than the amount of shampoo used.
  • Co-wash It Off: While it may be tempting to stand under the shower and wash your curls after every single workout, excessive shampoo use will cause an imbalance of natural oils on your scalp and most definitely dry out your curls, causing more frizz, dryness, and damage in the long run. If you simply must, opt for a co-wash instead as this cleanses your scalp and curls gently, washing away dirt and grime while enthusing moisture into the hair. Don’t forget to clarify regularly as well, especially if you’re co-washing, to avoid product buildup and also ensure that your scalp stays fresh and balanced. 
  • Refresh Your Way:A refresh routine is a great way to bring back bounce and life to sweaty curls, especially after a workout. Undo your workout hairstyle (gently), spray your curls with a mist of water and apply a small amount of leave-in or mousse. Detangle and style by scrunching and allow to air-dry or diffuse. This will add life to your curls and transform limp hair into gorgeous curls. A bonus is that your curls will smell fresh and better too! 
  • Thou Shall Not Tug:You might be tempted to tug on or keep fixing your hair while working out but resist this pressing need. Tugging on curly hair can unwind the curls and lose definition, create frizz and dryness, and even lead to breakage. Instead secure your curls in the best way possible before your workout and even if you must adjust, do so gently. 
  • Keep your curls away: The best way to keep your curls away from sweat and other workout hazards is to simply keep them away. Yes, the simple act of scooping up your hair in a trusty pineapple or bun will do it much good. Loose curls are more susceptible to humidity, sweat and even getting caught in workout equipment. 
  • Swim with Care:Swimming with curls can be tricky but is most certainly doable. Nourish your curls with a light oil or wet it well, secure into a bun or braids and protect with a swim cap to keep harsh chlorine and other pool water additives away from the hair. Once done, remove gently, refresh as needed and allow to air-dry.
  • Regularize your Routine: Just as a regular workout routine is more effective for physical health, a regular curl care routine can be greatly beneficial for the health of your curls. Don’t overcomplicate your routine or keep trying new products and techniques each time you wash your hair. Sticking to a tried and tested routine will help your curls adapt to your workout routine as well. An example of a curl routine is:
  1. Two -three wash days per week.
  2. Refreshing after every workout.
  3. Deep Conditioning at a frequency that suits your hair needs best.
  4. Clarifying at a frequency that suits your hair needs best.

Patience and effort go a long way in ensuring a healthy scalp and even healthier curls that you can flaunt even with the most active lifestyle.

No more excuses, Curlies! Here’s to our bodies, minds, and curls staying healthy and happy! Get active with us at, +91 9945373597 or @letscurlupdotcom on Instagram to answer your questions or even just be a part of our #letscurlup community!

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