Working out can be daunting enough without having to worry about its potential hair-ruining side effects. And, while we’d all like to maintain flawless, pillow-soft curls 24/7, we know that some frizz is a certainty. 

Why does workout hair frizz?

As you start grinding out those gym minutes/hours, of course, you’re going to sweat. This salt-packed sweat trickles through your perfected tresses, and when it dries, it dries your hair out as well. Moreover, all those sharp movements tend to get your curls a little bit confused, which is completely fine!

Still, we think our curl routine could always be a little better, and that includes easier styling. So, we’ve devised a quick list of hairstyles that’ll keep your curls in order no matter the workout. Let’s dive in:

Short-length hair 

curly-workout-cornrows

Cornrows

@nathanieldezan 

Among the best protective styles for Type 3c and Type 4 curls and coils are cornrows. The tight pull of the hair acts as a barrier against sweat while the hair is held firmly in place. If working out is a regular part of your daily or weekly routine, this may be the perfect style for your short hair. 

Multi- Pineapple

If your hair is too short to pull up into a pineapple on top of your head, you can create multiple mini pineapples. This is a method that short haired curlies use for protecting hair while sleeping, and it also works working out. If you have a looser texture or slightly longer hair, these can be mini knots/buns. 

Grace Eleyae

Wear a sweatband or headband

If your hair is too short to pull up at all, then your best bet may be a sweatband or headband. The sweatband is a hair catch-all – literally. They help sweep back all of those little fly-away and escapee hairs while wicking away any potentially harmful moisture. Grace Eleyae has silk-lined headbands, baseball caps and slaps (silk lined caps) that will protect your curls from friction.

Read more: How to Stop Sweat from Damaging Your Hair

Mid-length hair 

AMINA MARIE

Pineapple

Don’t like the idea of locking away your beautiful curls for your workout? Why not show them off with this fun top-of-the-head up-do. It’s as simple as sweeping all your curls up into a high ponytail that sits atop your head. Your curls will stay out of your eyes and equipment while still looking gorgeous.

Styling tip: You don’t want to dent your hair or throw off your curls. The soft and malleable fabric used in scrunchies is gentler on your curls than an elastic band. For minimal breakage opt for a silk scrunchie.

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Top Knot

With the help of a simple low top knot, curly-haired girls can let their enviable texture shine while also being prepared for running, spinning, and so much more. Use some leave-in conditioner to keep sweat-induced frizz at a minimum while maintaining that polished look.

allthingshair.com

High bun

The high bun is the go-to for most curly-haired gym-goers. It’s quick, easy, stylish, and doesn’t budge if done right!

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Twists 

Twists are a low-maintenance but highly protective hairstyle. Tie them back to ensure your hair stays out of your face as you exercise.

Long-length hair 

Hair Romance

French braids 

There’s a reason you see many curly-headed athletes with French braids – they work! From the top to the bottom of your hair, every single curl is tucked away nicely into a simple braid. The best part? It’s currently on-trend! Depending on your texture and how strenuous your workout is, you can create a loose French braid to make it easier to refresh your curls later or create a tight braid for a high impact workout.

Styling tip: Even if you slick back your hair with your favorite ultra-hold wax and spritz on some hairspray or leave-in conditioner – mistakes happen. Be sure to have some bobby pins or clips at the ready to save the day when an annoying curl or tendril won't stay out of your face.

Slicked back bun with twists

@themestizamuse 

Using a high-quality gel or pomade, you can slick your hair down to the scalp and throw some twists in for a bit of style, ensuring that sweat just falls away. Frizz and damage to the hair are minimized as the hair is sufficiently nourished and rigid.

Styling tip: Wax, pomade, clay, gel, or paste; no matter what it is you use to keep your hair in place – layer it onto your gym hair-do of choice!

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Bantu Knots 

These cute, fun knots are the perfect tight hairstyle for keeping your long tresses out of harm’s way.

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Braided ponytail

Sometimes you just don’t have time to dedicate to a French braid. When those lazy days come around, a braided ponytail is your best friend (and the next best option!)

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Half-Up/Half-Down

This style will keep the hairs away from your face while enjoying the hair blowing in the wind. To make sure all of your curls stay neatly in place, make a side part in your hair, then grab a hair tie or scrunchie and wrangle half of your curls into a fashionable half-up/half-down style?

Styling tip: No matter how gentle you are with your hair during a workout, it’ll still get somewhat dried out, kinked, or tangled. So, treat your hair to some TLC and be sure to either spray or massage a light layer of a reviving leave-in conditioner.

Post-Workout Routine

No matter how many precautions you take to avoid your hair getting damp - it will happen. Resist the urge to touch or move your damp curls as you risk disturbing your curl pattern.

Instead, focus on the basics first. Hop in the shower, cool off, and maybe even change out of your workout gear before paying attention to your curls.

This will give them a chance to dry and reduce the possibility of frizz. Once you’re ready to take your hair down, grab your product and a spray bottle of water and dive into your refresh routine to revive your curls.

Read next: 10 Fitness Experts on How to Workout With Natural Hair