Hair Care For Fitness Lovers: How To Keep Your Locks Healthy

how to care for your hair during a workout
Between the constant battle with sweat during your gym sessions and the harsh effects of chlorine from the pool, keeping your hair healthy can feel like an uphill battle.

You’ve just finished another invigorating workout or a refreshing swim, feeling energized and alive. But then, there’s a familiar concern nagging at the back of your mind – the toll all this activity is taking on your hair. It’s a struggle many fitness enthusiasts know all too well.

In this article, we’re diving into the world of hair care specifically tailored for fitness lovers. We’ll share with you some practical, easy-to-follow tips that are designed to protect and rejuvenate your hair, no matter how intense your workout or swim session. 

Understanding the Impact of Sweat and Chlorine on Hair

how to protect your hair from chlorine

When you’re giving it your all in a workout or doing laps in the pool, your hair is getting a workout of its own – and not the pampering kind. Let’s break down what’s really happening to your hair during these activities.


Now, let’s talk about chlorine. It’s great for keeping pool water safe, but it’s not so great for your hair. Chlorine strips away the natural oils that protect your hair, leading to dryness, brittleness, and even changes in hair color. If you’ve ever noticed your hair feeling straw-like after a swim or seen blonde hair take on a greenish tint, you can thank chlorine for that.

While sweat and chlorine are part of the active lifestyle package, they don’t have to be a death sentence for your hair. With the right care, you can mitigate their effects and keep your hair looking as fit and fabulous as you feel. Stay tuned as we dive into the specific steps you can take to protect and rejuvenate your hair post-workout and post-swim.

Sweat It Out

First up, sweat. It’s not just a sign of a good workout; it’s also your body’s way of cooling down. But for your hair, it can be a bit of a challenge. Sweat is primarily water, but it’s the salts and oils in it that can build up on your scalp and hair. This buildup can lead to irritation and even hinder healthy hair growth. Think of it as a residue that, if not properly washed away, can leave your hair looking dull and lifeless.

Pre-Workout Hair Care Tips

how to style your hair for the gym

Before you hit the gym or dive into the pool, you need to set your hair up for success. A little prep can go a long way in keeping your locks safe from the rigors of a workout or swim. Here are some savvy tips to get your hair workout-ready.

#1 – Protective Hairstyles to the Rescue

The right hairstyle can make a huge difference according to a hairdresser from All About Salon. If your hair is long, try a braid or a bun. These styles keep your hair contained and minimise the risk of tangling and breakage. Braids are particularly great because they stay put even during the most intense workouts. For shorter hair, a headband or a sweatband can help keep hair off your face and reduce sweat absorption.

#2 – Prep with the Right Products

Before you start your workout, consider applying a protective serum or spray. Look for products that are designed to shield hair from sweat and humidity. These can create a barrier between your hair and the elements, helping to reduce the amount of salt and oil that gets absorbed into your hair. If you’re a swimmer, a leave-in conditioner or a special pre-swim hair product can work wonders. They help to create a protective layer against chlorine, keeping your hair hydrated and less prone to damage.

Remember, a little bit of preparation can make a big difference in maintaining the health of your hair. By choosing the right hairstyle and using protective products, you’re setting yourself up for post-workout hair that’s as fabulous as your fitness regime. Next, we’ll dive into the best ways to cleanse and care for your hair after your workout. 

Post-Workout Hair Cleansing

After you’ve wrapped up your workout or stepped out of the pool, it’s time to give your hair some much-needed TLC. The way you cleanse your hair post-exercise plays a pivotal role in maintaining its health and vitality. Let’s dive into the essentials of post-workout hair cleansing.

Gentle Cleansing is Key

The first step is to wash away all that sweat, oil, and chlorine. But here’s the catch – you want to do this gently. Harsh shampoos can strip your hair of its natural oils, leaving it even drier and more brittle. This is where sulfate-free shampoos come to the rescue. They’re gentler on your hair and scalp, effectively cleaning without the harshness. They help remove all the unwanted stuff without taking away the moisture your hair desperately needs after a workout. Plus, they’re a blessing for colour-treated hair, helping to keep your colour vibrant for longer.

Don’t Skip the Conditioner

After shampooing, a good conditioner is your hair’s best friend. It’s all about rehydration. Conditioners help to replenish moisture and nutrients lost during your workout and swimming. They also smooth out your hair, making it easier to detangle and manage. Look for conditioners with natural oils and butters – they’re great for deep hydration and nourishment. And remember, a little goes a long way. Apply it mainly to the mid-lengths and ends of your hair, where the need for moisture is greatest.

Up next, we’ll explore some specific strategies for dealing with chlorine exposure, so your swim sessions leave you feeling great without compromising your hair’s health.

Dealing with Chlorine Exposure

If you’re a swimmer, you know that chlorine is a necessary part of keeping pool water clean, but it’s not exactly your hair’s best friend. Chlorine can leave your hair feeling dry and brittle, and it can even alter your hair colour. But don’t worry, there are effective ways to tackle chlorine’s effects and keep your hair looking and feeling great.

Chlorine-Removal Products

The market is full of specialized shampoos and treatments designed to combat chlorine’s harsh effects. These products are specifically formulated to neutralise and remove chlorine from your hair. Look for shampoos labeled as “clarifying” or “swimmer’s shampoo.” These products often contain ingredients like ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) or EDTA, which are excellent at neutralizing chlorine. Using these right after your swim session can help in minimising the damage.

DIY Remedies for the Rescue

If you’re into home remedies, there’s a simple yet effective solution you can try – a vinegar rinse. Vinegar, particularly apple cider vinegar, is known for its ability to remove buildup and restore pH balance to your hair. Just mix one part vinegar with four parts water and use it as a rinse after shampooing. Leave it on for a couple of minutes, and then rinse it out thoroughly. This can help in removing chlorine buildup and bringing back some shine to your hair. Remember, while chlorine is great for keeping pool water safe, it doesn’t have to ruin your hair. 

Nourishing Your Hair

After putting your hair through the paces of a rigorous workout or a swim, it’s time to focus on nourishment. Just like your body needs to refuel after exercise, your hair needs to replenish its moisture and nutrients. Let’s talk about how to give your hair the deep nourishment it craves.

Deep Conditioning

Regular deep conditioning treatments can be a game-changer for your hair, especially if you’re frequently active. These treatments go beyond what your regular conditioner can do. They penetrate deeper into the hair shaft, providing intense moisture and repairing damage from sweat, chlorine, and environmental stressors. You don’t need to do it daily – once a week is usually enough to see a significant improvement in your hair’s health and appearance.

Look for deep conditioners rich in hydrating ingredients like shea butter, keratin, or natural oils. Apply it after shampooing, leave it on for the recommended time, and then rinse it out. You’ll likely notice your hair feeling softer, looking shinier, and being easier to manage.

The Magic of Natural Oils

Natural oils are like a superfood for your hair. They’re packed with nutrients and antioxidants that nourish and protect your hair. Oils like coconut, argan, and jojoba are fantastic for hair care.

They can be used in several ways – as a pre-shampoo treatment, a leave-in conditioner, or even as a scalp massage oil. These oils help in locking in moisture, smoothing frizz, and adding a healthy shine. Plus, they can form a protective barrier around your hair, shielding it from damage during your workouts and swims.

These steps help in keeping your hair nourished, strong, and ready to face whatever challenges come next, be it a tough workout or a day in the pool. 


And there we have it – a comprehensive guide to keeping your hair healthy and happy, no matter how intense your fitness regime or how many laps you swim. From prepping your hair before a workout to nourishing it deeply afterwards, we’ve covered the essentials to ensure your hair stays as fit and fabulous as you are.

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