Hair Styling After a Workout - Without Shampooing

We have all been here before – facing the struggle of deciding whether to hit the gym or skip it because there is no time for a wash + style before evening plans. One of the trickiest parts of having hair is deciding what exactly to do with it during a workout, and how to avoid washing it daily after a sweat session.

It can seem kind of like a lose-lose situation. No one wants to wash their hair after every workout (hello dry hair!), but it seems just as daunting to find an easy way to style hair for the gym and wear easily out in public afterwards.  

This blog is going to go over some easy, non-damaging gym styles for each hair type, and provide some quick tips on how to extend your style after a workout without having to re-wash and style your hair again.  

Not sure what exactly your hair type is? Easy fix – head on over to our hair type blog to figure out what category your strands fall under. When you are heading to the gym, it is important to put your hair into a style that will not be too tight (pulling at the scalp) or restrictive.

Below are some simple styles broken down by hair type that are quick and will not pull at or damage your strands.  

Straight & Wavy Hair (Types 1 & 2)

For our straight haired folks, there are lots of style options simply due to straighter strands being easier to style in a variety of updos that are suitable for a workout. We recommend going with a low ponytail, or any of the styles listed throughout this blog!  

While they may keep your hair out of your face during a gym session, avoid ponytails that sit high on the scalp and are tight, as the high tension can cause damage and breakage on your hair over time. Instead, use a headband or sweatband to keep any sweat away from your roots.

If your hair is on the wavy side, opt for a French braid or a classic braid that starts about mid-way down the length of your hair. Not only will this style keep your hair out of your face during a workout, but the braid pattern will also work well with your natural waves for an easy style after the gym.

If you do choose to start your braid from the roots, be careful not to pull too tight to avoid breakage that creates fly-away hairs and frizz near your hairline.

Another option for our straight and wavy haired friends is a messy low bun. You can also go for a slicked back ponytail (using water or gel) with a hat on day 2-3 hair when it is a bit oilier and closer to wash day.

Regardless of the style that you choose, steer clear of tight plastic, or thin cloth headbands or hair ties (any sort of constrictive material) that pull your hair too tightly, as these can cause damage even when you are choosing a safer hairstyle. Opt for a scrunchie or softer material of headband to keep the sweat and hair out of your face!

Curly & Coily Hair (Types 3 & 4)

If your hair has more curl and style to it, it can be a bit trickier to find a workout style that doesn’t tug at your curls or protect your strands properly. There are options that can help!

We recommend going for a classic pineapple updo – which you can create by loosely collecting your hair into a high ponytail, and then bringing your curls towards the top/front of your head and fluffing until they are styled to suit your needs.

Pineapple updo not your thing? That’s okay! You can also try out a top knot, two-strand twists, or protective braid style to keep your curls away from sweat and dirt during your workout.

Protective styles are also a great option for day to day wear outside of the gym – you can read all about the benefits in our Protective Hairstyles blog! Regarding hair accessories, the same goes for our curly haired readers – be sure to use a scrunchie or soft cloth material headband/hair tie to avoid pulling excessively on your curls! Instead of a tight, constrictive style, use a headband or sweatband to keep sweat out of your curls and from adding dirt and odor to your hair.

Tips to Extend Your Style Without Washing

Once your daily gym session is over, it is time to revitalize your hair and keep going with your busy day! There is not always time to wash, condition and style your hair, and to be honest – it really is not healthy for your hair to be washed daily.

Depending on your hair type, it is recommended to go at least 1-3 days between a wash, in order for natural oils to properly nourish your hair and scalp. This helps to prevent any excessive dryness on your scalp, and also keeps your strands looking healthier and shinier overall.

One of the best ways to keep rocking your style after the gym is to use dry shampoo. Most people just use this as a quick pick-me-up on day 2 or 3 to get rid of excessive oils, but it can actually do even more for you if you use it the right way!

If you have straight or wavy hair, before your workout even begins, spray dry shampoo evenly throughout your hair by sectioning a few inches at a time, and focusing the spray towards the roots of your hair.

Once sprayed, use your fingers to manually rub in the product to your roots. Pay extra attention to the areas of your roots where you typically sweat more during a workout, like the top of your head near your hairline, and the nape of your neck.

By applying the product before your workout, it will work to absorb moisture right away and continue to absorb moisture as it accumulates during your workout. If your roots are exceptionally damp or sweaty, a quick blast of heat to absorb excess moisture can be a fast way to get on with your day.

If you have time for a quick rinse but not a full on shampoo and style before your plans (and you like your natural hair texture), rinse your hair with water after a workout to avoid any sweat buildup that might have occurred during your workout and simply comb, apply your favorite leave-in product and go!

If you have curly or coily hair, avoid using any hair products that have alcohol in them that can dry out your hair before your next scheduled wash day. Since your hair is typically on the drier side and benefits from natural oils, only use a dry shampoo if it’s necessary or if your hair is excessively oily.

To find out what products worst best for your hair, you can read our blog that breaks it down for you. Before your workout, apply a leave-in, shine mist, or even a few spritzes of water to give your curls extra moisture and shine for the rest of the day. Any type of moisture can help to give your hair a quick “reset” and add some body and shine back into your hair.

After your workout, a bit of water scrunched throughout your curls is all you really need to keep them rocking for another day!

A great option for a detangling, shine and smoothing spray for all hair types is the RevAir Bright Spot Shine Spray.

It was designed with Tribology Complex for all four of the hair types, and provides shine and moisture for your strands before or after the gym, without weighing it down or creating an oily look on your roots. Looking to get the most wear out of your style?

Try using the RevAir Reverse Air Dryer on day one to dry and smooth your hair. The Reverse Air uses low heat and tension to smooth the hair in the direction of the natural cuticle – which not only results in smoother strands, but helps to evenly distribute your natural oils throughout the entire hair shaft to keep your hair looking clean and healthy for even longer.

We’re dedicated to providing information and great products that contribute to healthy hair. If you have any questions about extending your style, protective styling, the RevAir Reverse Air Dryer, or Tribology Complex Haircare – don’t ever hesitate to start a quick chat with one of our educated Advisors.