Workout or nah? If you’re a Black woman, then chances are you’ve run into this dilemma when it comes to working out and hair. On the one hand, you invest A LOT of money into getting your hair laid. And on the other hand, you want to lose weight and maintain a workout routine, but doing so will result in sweated-out hair and a waste of money at the salon. Which do you choose?

Now, we won’t tell you what to do, but know this. African Americans, as a whole, are not in good shape. Diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, hypertension, and more all attribute to poor health that disproportionately affect Black people. So if you truly believe that health is your wealth, then it’s time to choose your health. Luckily, there are ways to have a healthy body AND great, healthy hair at the same time.

BlkandFit talked with Atlanta-based stylist Debra Dye who gave us some tips on how to maintain healthy hair while sticking with a workout routine.

Here’s what Debra recommends:

  • Wear more natural hair styles. Going this route will allow you to keep the hair and scalp clean in between washes.
  • Use leave-in conditioners. Prior to working out, add a leave-in conditioner to protect the hair follicles from the harsh salt in your sweat. Debra recommends Paul Mitchell, Shea Moisture or Nairobi leave-in products to add moisture to the hair.
  • Consider wearing a protective style. Wear braids, weaves or wigs to protect the hair.
  • Use natural oils to protect the hair and scalp. In a spray bottle, combine water with a few drops of tea tree oil and apply to the roots of the hair to keep the scalp clean and protected from sweat. Rosewater is also a good natural protectant to freshen the hair and scalp.
  • Wash the hair once a week. Give the hair, locks and scalp a good, deep cleanse once a week to rejuvenate. Don’t wash more often to avoid stripping the hair and scalp of natural oils.

Debra encourages her clients to be realistic when choosing between hair and working out. She also recommends getting a full check up from your doctor to ensure any hair loss that can come from working out is not attributed to an underlying health condition.

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