Exercise! - Exercise, Hygiene, & Long Hair

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03-01-2007, 09:51 PM
I have a question for exercisers with long hair. The exercise I'm most comfortable with and that I need the most right now is cardio. I have DVDs in my home and an exercise bike, that I could be using on a regular basis.

I realized, though, that I put off exercising because of how it coincides (or doesn't coincide) with my shower. I have quite long hair and I shower daily, but only wet/wash my hair about 2-3 times a week. The problem when I exercise is that my head and hair get sweaty, requiring washing more frequently (which is a little more damaging).

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Also - I'd consider riding my bike to work in warmer weather, but my workplace doesn't have a shower and I'd arrive sweaty (and no gym nearby). Does a quick "spongebath" in the work restroom do the trick?

03-01-2007, 10:46 PM
Oh man...I have no answers for you. I can only commiserate. On weekdays, I run in the morning with my dog and then either run with him in the evening or go to the gym...and I live in south Florida. Bleh. After washing my hair every morning for the past year I'm sooo over it. My only solution has been to not wash my hair on mornings when I haven't gone to the gym the night before. I really do love the long weekends when I don't have to wash my hair no matter what I do! (Luckily my bf doesn't seem to notice when I do that.)

03-01-2007, 10:51 PM
When I was running regularly I actually had pretty short hair that I had to wash regularly (short hair looks really disgusting when its dirty) a friend of mine said that a dermatologist reccomended rinsing hair with water every other day instead of shampooing becuase it is shampoo that breaks open the hair cuticle not water. She also said that the dr reccomended using conditioner first and then shampooing for a protective effect. My friend is a wash and wear type like me however so I don't know how heat styling comes into play, but I used this method and it was very helpful.

As for the spongebath thing I think that if you can change clothes at work. I had a condition that prevented me from using antiperperant or deodorant or shaving under my arms for awhile (I hope thats not TMI) and MY Dr. reccomended using anti bacterial soap at home and anti bacterial wipes during the day and it worked pretty well...even through gym class as long as my work out clothes were clean. Sweat itself doesn't smell, the bacteria it helps breed does. As long as you can get dry and use some sort of actibacterial I think you will be okay. Just don't use purell all over your body or you will smell like you've been drinking (its more or less ethyl alcohol in gel form).

Hope this helps!

03-02-2007, 12:13 AM
I seem to recall that there are powders out there that you kind of fluff in around the hairline and into the roots, soaks up the sweat so you don't feel narsty but doesn't require a shower, either. I'll see if I can find them again.

03-02-2007, 03:16 AM
I just rinse and use conditioner on the days I don't wash my hair.


03-02-2007, 08:40 AM
This is definitely something that I can relate to but I guess it depends on what type of hair you have. Mine is quite long but straight and fine. What's best for me is to wash it every other day so I try to time my cardio days to my hair washing days.

There are though many times when I get a good sweat and don't wash my hair. If I'm at the gym, I just shower and then use the hair dryer to dry off the roots that got a bit sweaty. It seems to work just fine for me. If my hair was just washed the night before, it looks good and just having a quick two minute shower to wash the sweat off makes me feel clean.

Not sure if that's much help!


03-02-2007, 06:49 PM
Spongebaths and hair rinsing should suffice. :) That's what I do.

03-02-2007, 07:39 PM
I had a shower at my job, but previous to that, before I began exercising, co-workers in other offices I was at without showers would wash up in the sink. And yes, you can get a dry shampoo. Hospitals and nursing homes use it.

03-05-2007, 07:25 PM
Hi there,
Do you have bangs? My hair hits the top of my shoulders, and I have bangs. I usually wash every other day, sometimes less in winter (also weekends if I'm not going anywhere). On days when I don't wash my hair, I still wash the 'front' of my hair around the hairline. I put my hair in a pretty tight bun, my bangs are still out, and I will pull a few loose strands from around my face. I use a pea sized bit of shampoo and wash/rinse my bangs. When my bangs and the hair line right around my face are clean and fluffy, the rest of my hair seems clean too.

03-05-2007, 07:55 PM
When I ran at work at lunch they did have showers, but I didnt wet my hair - no time to dry it, just my face and body. Then I towel dried/blew dry the sweat line really well and it was no problem. You may find that you do want to wash your hair more often, but it doesnt have to be immediately following the workout. The extra sweat and oil will protect your hair. Also what I did with very long hair is instead of piling my hair on the head the way they show in shampoo ads I worked the shampoo into a lather on my hands and then just scrub the scalp and roots, then rinse through the rest of the hair. Dont wash the ends. A little conditioner can combat the damage from overwashing too.

As for riding to work, if you have a complete change of clothes, a sponge bath should be adequate. Bring a towel to dry your body off well before you wash, wipe down everything with a damp towel. Wash pits with soap or I've heard good things about antibacterial wipes too.

03-06-2007, 09:59 AM
I worked the shampoo into a lather on my hands and then just scrub the scalp and roots, then rinse through the rest of the hair. Dont wash the ends. A little conditioner can combat the damage from overwashing too.

This is a good method.

Another one that you could try is what's called a Conditioner Only wash. You get a "low quality" conditioner (Suave, V05, White Rain), slather it on, and let it sit for a few minutes. Rinse. When I did this method I generally used nice cool water for best results. The reason this works is because these conditioners contain some mild surfacants which lift the dirt and oils...just a little slower than straight up shampoo.

If you really don't have time to wet the hair, dip your fingers into cornstarch and rub on your scalp. Brush it through your hair. Baking soda will also suffice. Just make sure not to use a whole lot (1/8 tsp worked well for me when I had hair halfway down my back) and brush really well.

I did a system called "shampoo free" for a year or so - basically you wash your hair with baking soda and condition with vinegar. My hair had never EVER been so healthy/soft/not frizzy (I have "mixed" hair, but it's not typically mixed hair. It's curly and has a tendency to be dry but it's not coarse at all) in my entire life. Basically instead of stripping the oils and artificially replenishing the hair you just strip the dirt and the natural oils stick around. It's really nice.

But recently I cut all my hair off (about 14 inches or so?) and I've found that CO with a shampooing a couple times a month works really well with my gym schedule (and my hair feels/looks great). You just have to expiriment.

03-06-2007, 10:44 AM
I typically do a condition-wash-condition, where I get my hair wet, add conditioners to the end, shampoo the roots/scalp, rinse, and condition the whole head.

Thanks for all the suggestions! There are so many interesting things to try. And now I have no excuses to not exercise. :)