October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and filled with many wonderful events that let you run, walk, swim or bike to raise awareness and money for breast cancer organizations. But just because you’re getting sweaty for a cause doesn’t mean your curls can’t look their best post-workout. No matter how you exercise to help give breast cancer the boot, these tips will make it a good hair day.
Running or walking for the cause?
Keep curls neat while you sweat.
Before you break a sweat, pull your hair away from your face with a fabric-covered ponytail holder, ribbon or scarf. “These are more gentle so they won’t tear hair and won’t disrupt your curl’s natural shape,” explains Lorraine Massey, author of "Curly Girl: The Handbook." For hair framing your face, especially shorter bangs and curls use, a thin headband or twist curls toward the back of your head and secure them to the rest of your hair with a bobby pin. Another option is what Massey calls the Unicorn ponytail where you simply bend forward at the waist, tilt your head forward and gather all your hair at the crown of your head, then secure it with a fabric-covered ponytail holder. For longer hair, as you loop the holder around the second or third time, don’t pull the entire ponytail through so you it resembles a bun on the top of your head.
Bike riding for the cause?
Avoid a serious case of helmet head.
Helmet hair isn’t pretty. But you can fight back and still stay safe. Keep your helmet from flattening the top of your hair by dipping a hair clip in some silicone-free gel. Then, clip small sections of hair at the top of your head by placing the clip at the roots close to the scalp. This helps strands stay lifted despite the weight of your helmet pressing down on them. For shorter curls that frame your face, gently twist them back toward the crown of your head and secure with a bobby pin. Also, note that taking care of your hair daily using sulfate-free cleansers and lots of conditioning keeps hair healthy. As a result, it will rebound better and faster once you take off your helmet than dry, brittle hair will.
Swimming for the cause?
Prevent chlorine from leaving hair dry and brittle.
Chlorine is a chemical that can leave your hair super dry and stripped of much needed moisture so you’ve got to do a little prep work to avoid the damage. Before diving in, wet hair with tap water, then cover it with a rich conditioner. “The water and conditioner fill the porous holes in the hair so it’s much harder for chlorine to get in,” says Massey. “You can also apply olive oil to your hair instead of conditioner because it’s hydrating and helps repel the chlorinated water.” You can also slip on a bathing cap for added protection. After your swim, make sure to rinse and condition your hair as soon as you can to remove any cholorine that may have seeped in.
Do you have plans to support breast cancer awareness this month?