There’s nothing like a good sweat session to leave you feeling invigorated and healthy. Unfortunately, your hair might not agree with that. Gym hair, whether caused be a hot yoga class or a run in the park, is a common problem. We’re talking hair that looks (and smells) a little worse for the wear when you’re done getting your exercise on. It’s the age old question of what do you do with your hair after a workout?
We don’t all have time to shower and style post-workout, but we also don’t want to show up to work or a dinner date or really anywhere with stinky, tangled hair. And, since skipping a workout isn’t really an option, it’s key to find a way to keep your usual exercise routine without looking like a hot mess.
Pantene to the rescue! We asked women what their biggest post-workout hair problems were, then had Pantene professional stylist Justin German offer easy solutions to solve them. Keep reading for his styling solutions to get rid of everything from stinky strands to ponytail creases.
Problem: Sweaty, Dirty Strands
“Dry shampoo is a great way to refresh hair or soak up oils and sweat at the roots,” says Justin. The secret to their success is in the formula — dry shampoos like Pantene Never Tell Dry Shampoo
contain natural tapioca, a super-absorber that gets rid of the excess oil and sweat that will build up on the hair shaft. “Spray it at the roots in small sections,” advises Justin. “Use your fingertips or a brush to work in the dry shampoo for best results.”
If dry shampoos tend to leave your hair feeling too dry, opt for a more hydrating form like Pantene’s Cheat Day Dry Shampoo Foam
. It’s a foam, which also contains the oil-removing tapioca starch along with orchid flower water and pro-vitamin B5, that separates clumps and hydrates strands. Cheat Day Dry Shampoo Foam is the perfect pick for those with dryer hair types, like curly or colored hair.
Tangles happen when your hair isn’t pulled up and/or back when you exercise, as the constant movement and sweat accumulation will cause hair to clump together and snarl. For those with long hair, Justin advises throwing it into a braid or a loose ponytail and, when you are done working out, spraying dry shampoo at the roots and giving hair a quick blast of cool air with your blowdryer. For short hair, clip any bangs or face-framing pieces into barrettes, or use a thin headband to push it all back. Justin says post-workout he would follow the same steps as for long hair, spraying dry shampoo at the roots and blasting with your dryer on a cool setting.
Problem: Style Meltdown
If you’re working out hard enough, chances are good that whatever style your hair was in — be it waves, curls, or a shiny blowout — is going to fall flat. In order to revive it without totally re-doing it, you are going to need to get creative. For those with straight or wavy hair, Justin says to put your hair up in a loose bun after you have finished your workout, then quickly blow dry on a cool setting to get rid of the sweaty roots. For those with curly hair, says Justin, the best way to refresh your curls is to mist with water. “Use a spray bottle, flip your hair upside down, and scrunch it —the scrunching will help refresh your curls.” For even more softness and definition without re-washing, touch up your curls with Pantene’s Curl Affair Curl Reshaping Cream
Frizz is a very common issue, especially for any outdoor activities or those in done in hot temperatures. In order to keep it at bay, Justin says to start by using the Pantene Hydrating Glow Milk to Water Serum
right after you wash your hair. “This is a great base and an all-in-one miracle serum that smooths, moisturizes, and helps control frizz for lightweight manageability and flyaway taming.” Lastly, Pantene’s Flexible Hold Alcohol Free Hairspray
is a great way to finish your style off, he notes, since it is alcohol-free and resists humidity.
Problem: Ponytail Crease
While a ponytail is a great way to keep your hair back while you sweat it out, pulling it too tight can result in a visible crease in the hair. To combat it, Justin says to make sure you don’t pull your ponytail too tight. If you do wind up with a crease, Justin says to use a detangling spray or the Cheat Day Dry Shampoo Foam
and do a quick blowdry to smooth out the texture. “The way you put your hair up before your workout makes a difference,” he says. “If you go with a tight updo, you will have more creases to work out of your hair, especially if sweat dries in your hair while it’s still up.”
Problem: A Funky Smell
No one wants to be the smelly kid in class, but sadly your hair can get quite ripe after a truly intense workout. Skip the stink by using Pantene’s Cheat Day Dry Shampoo Foam
. It has a touch-activated fragrance that makes sure your mane smells fresh both immediately after the gym and throughout the rest of your day. Every time you run your fingers through your hair it releases a new burst of a delightful floral-fruity scent.
Problem: A Basic Ponytail Is Your Go-To Post-Workout Style
If your usual solution to gym hair is just to throw it into a haphazard ponytail and call it a day, Justin says you’re missing out on a wealth of styling options. “Luckily, undone hair is still in,” says Justin. Try an undone topknot, a high ponytail, or a half-up half-down look. For all three looks, all you need is a brush, an elastic band, and a couple of bobby pins.
Just as you take care of your body and follow a routine, so should you do the same for your post-workout hair. Says Justin, “Pack your gym bag with your essential tools and products — dry shampoo, elastic bands, a brush, your anti-frizz products, and your detangling spray. Better to have what you need to refresh your hair than to go light on your workout.”