Managing Curly Hair for Workouts

Posted by Elizabeth Alex on

Don't you feel uncomfortable when it’s humid and sweaty? Just imagine how the curly girls feel when they workout throughout the week!

Did you stop exercising because you don't want to ruin your curls by over washing?

You don't have to do that now. We know exercising is good for you so here are helpful tips for managing curly hair before and after workouts.

I don’t work out. I work around the house and with my sex drive and high-metabolism rate, I am good...BUT many of you asked how to maintain curly hair while working out so I want to help regardless of my own lifestyle.

So I asked the members of a Facebook group The Curly Crew (Curly Girls! & Gents, Too!)  and got several helpful tips. Read on! 


  • I go to the gym 4x a week and cowash almost daily but curls are fine. ~Athena
  • Sweat is water-soluble. I only cowash about once a week as my hair is quite fine and doesn't like it when I do it too often, and just rinse thoroughly every day. I typically do sweaty exercise 3/4 times a week. Don't use a pool too often but chlorine is co washable anyway. ~ Neasa
  • I workout 5x a week and, while I'm sure sweat is water-soluble, I am gross when I leave so I co-wash M-F. My hair doesn't seem to mind. ~ Jennifer

New to cowashing? Everything you need to learn about cowashing is here.   

Cowash Recommendations:  My Soigne Hair Cleanser, code: HONESTLIZ for 10% off - worldwide! 

Curly Hair maintenance for those who swim  

A couple of my recommendations for my clients with pools- completely wet your hair before getting in the pool, your hair will soak in less chemicals if it's already wet. Completely rinse when done as well and co-wash with conditioner. You can also apply a leave-in conditioner before getting in the pool. ~Laurie

So I took Laurie Cain's advice and loaded my hair with conditioner before entering the pool. Thanks, Laurie it helped. I put a shower cap under the swimming cap so the latter didn't slip away. ~ Ruchira

I'm in the pool 5x a week (swimming teacher) Wet hair before going in - I sometimes leave some conditioner in too -rinse well afterward - I cowash 3x out of 5 and deep condition on Saturday(or saturated/) when I get out of the pool - leaving a conditioner/olive oil with few drops of argan oil mix in my hair after getting out of the water. ~ Hope

Saturating curly hair with warm water before swimming

BounceCurl sent a mailer about summer swimming and this is what it said: If you plan on swimming, then you definitely want to DRENCH your hair with warm water in the shower before getting in the pool.  Think of your hair like a sponge. If you place a wet sponge in a pool of water, it cannot absorb more water - the same theory with hair.  Drenching your hair with water means the hair shaft is swollen and can't absorb either the chlorinated water or saltwater. After your hair is saturated with tap water, apply a quality conditioner designed for dry hair and leave it in! Make sure to coat the ends, roots and scalp.  After swimming, rinse out your hair thoroughly (at least 3-5 minutes) and use a cleansing conditioner. ~ Bounce Curl

Curly Hairstyles for Working Out

I love my Puff cuff! I know I said I don't work out in the gym but I do workout when I do my house chores! I Scalp Massage with hair growth oil first and then tie my hair up a lot and using this accessory saves my curl pattern SO MUCH BETTER than using a scrunchie! Watch my videos here and visit these posts to read captions and comments to learn more.

Here's why I ditched the band 😣 ✨Using @thepuffcuff Size Original Code: HONESTLIZ for $$ off PuffCuff is an easy-to-use hair clip. It creates stylish looks for thick, curly or textured hair without causing hair breakage or headaches!! I'm using these cuffs of all sizes since 2017! It was created to keep hair securely in place without causing any unnecessary tugging or pulling like with elastic bands. This unisex hair clamp works with all types of thick hair. Yay! Be sure to take their quiz before purchasing one for you or your loved ones! #affiliate #puffcuffambassador #puffcuff #ditchtheband

1,738 Likes, 80 Comments - Elizabeth Alex (@honestlizhere) on Instagram: "Here's why I ditched the band 😣 ✨Using @thepuffcuff Size Original Code: HONESTLIZ for $$ off..."

  • Discount code: HONESTLIZ for 15% off (USA Shipping) 
  • Find in India only on (brand-authorized website) 

    I also prefer using silk scarves to protect my hair while I am out and of course walking is a workout too! Here's a quick tutorial on how I wear mine.  

    Because we are not over this song yet and it's day 2 hair, we're going out for brunch because we're celebrating the new red passion pimples with a red hot scarf and lipstick to match 💋 Embracing all flaws here; they only make us, can't break us 💪🏼 . Products used @thepuffcuff size Original, Discount code: HONESTLIZ @annahmol Upcycled Silk Scarf, Available in India #embraceyourself #celebrate #acne #wrapqueen #redlipstick #silk #upcycle

    4,261 Likes, 184 Comments - Elizabeth Alex (@honestlizhere) on Instagram: "Because we are not over this song yet and it's day 2 hair, we're going out for brunch because we're..."

  • Discount code: HONESTLIZ for 10% off (USA Shipping)
  • Find in India only on (brand-authorized website) 

    Since you workout, it's a given that you may be washing your hair more frequently. You can also just go naked, I mean you don't have to style every time you wash your hair. This is how I wear my naked curls sometimes.

    🔆N A K E D C U R L S 🔆 Decided to take a break from styling. My hair and scalp feel ever so light and clean and helping me get it together today is this hair clamp. My size junior is so beat up; had it since 2017. These clamps don't give me headaches or break my hair under tension. These are patented designed specifically created for thick curly hair textures. Make sure to take their quiz before purchase. @thepuffcuff size Original & Junior ✅ code: HONESTLIZ for $$ . #affiliate #puffcuff #ditchtheband #puffcuffambassador

    1,924 Likes, 77 Comments - Elizabeth Alex (@honestlizhere) on Instagram: "🔆N A K E D C U R L S 🔆 Decided to take a break from styling. My hair and scalp feel ever so light..."


    Best Conditioners (Links for India):

    Curly Ellie Conditioner (protein: moisture balanced) - I recommend this for wavy hair, high-porosity hair, color-treated OR color-damaged hair. The protein in this conditioner penetrates the hair shaft for powerful protection and repair leaving hair looking smoother and silkier.

    SMOOTH AS SILK™ DEEPER MOISTURE CONDITIONER This conditioner will not dull, strip, or damage your hair. It’s 100% color-safe, paraben-free, and cruelty-free. You can leave some or all of it in on nake hair days too! 

    Please avoid unsafe hair products! 

    Curly Hair Tips for After the Workout

    Washing is one thing, what you do after the wash is important too.

    • Refresh curly hair to keep your curls looking bouncy and fresh. A quick ACV Rinse say on day 2/3 hair counts as refresh too! Make sure to style after to compensate for any moisture loss due to this treatment. 
    • You don't have to style every time you wash. Refreshing with DIY Hibiscus Gel works just as well! 
    • Restore moisture with a deep conditioning every week, without fail!
    • Don’t use excess oil, your scalp produces natural oils anyway.
    • Detox hair with DIY bentonite clay (so affordable!) once every 4th or 5th wash.
    Add Protein to curly hair

            Curlies who gym or swim: what's your routine? Comment here.

            Thank you for watching & reading!

            Need Help? Ask Liz here


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