How to nix sweaty strands and more
If there’s one time of the year when motivation to workout and get into shape is at its highest, it’s right now. Your New Year’s resolutions have been set, bikini season is in full swing, and the great outdoors is begging you to work up a sweat in the fresh air.
But along with a commitment to toning up comes a handful of hair woes. We asked two celebrity hairstylists how to slay the trickiest post-workout hair issues. Here are their solutions and go-to products.
Hair issue #1 / Sweat build-up
Why it happens: If you’re running every day in prep for a half marathon, sweat can build up on the scalp and cause issues such as itching and dandruff. Not hot!
The solution: Super-cleaning hair scrubs.
What the experts say: “Think of a hair scrub like a face scrub,” says celebrity hairstylist Anthony Nader. “You need to rid the hair scales of any impurities caused by dirt and product build-up that may be sitting on the hair shaft.”
Why you’ll love it: Hair scrubs are designed to give scalps a super-effective clean so you don’t have to wash as often. “We wash our hair far too much,” says Nader, who advises that we should be lathering up just once or twice a week. “The hair will sit a lot better too if it’s not so squeaky clean. It’s a good thing for the natural oils to come through to condition the hair.”
Hair issue #2 / Frizzed-out dryness
Why it happens: If you have unruly curls or dry, fly-away-prone locks then you probably don’t enjoy washing it too often for fear of frizziness – which can present a problem after sweaty workouts!
The solution: Reverse your hair-washing routine by conditioning before you wash. Or, alternatively, skip shampoo altogether.
What the experts say: “It’s known as co-washing or conditioner washing, where you wash with conditioner,” explains celebrity hairstylist Kevin Murphy. “Conditioning first stops dry or thick hair from going through such a big pH shift and getting too frizzy or fluffy.” If you do want to add a shampoo step in there, Murphy suggests “following with conditioner after washing to smooth that cuticle down”.
Why you’ll love it: Your hair won’t be as stressed out and will be a lot more manageable. Great for the summer months when humidity (and frizz) is high.
Hair issue #3 / Pollution pile-up
Why it happens: Exercising in urban areas can leave hair feeling pretty toxic, especially if you’re working out at lunchtime and using dry shampoo instead of washing.
The solution: Get hair back to sleek with a revitalising hair detox treatment.
What the experts say: “Pollution can make the hair look grubby and not able to hold onto products very well,” says Murphy. “Hair can’t clean itself like skin can, so smog, smoke and dust will just sit on top of the hair. To remove the pollution build-up, use a clarifying shampoo to get hair looking fresh.”
Why you’ll love it: This once-a-week treatment will transform dried-out strands into soft and manageable tresses.
Hair issue #4 / Dry ends and an oily scalp
Why it happens: This is classic workout hair. Sweat and oil cause the scalp to get greasy, while the ends are left feeling parched and dry from gym air-conditioning or the sun.
The solution: Conditioner mapping.
What the experts say: “Similar to mask mapping on the face, if you have dry hair at the ends, you want to put a lot more product there than you will at the roots,” says Murphy. “Most of the hair is going to be driest around the face and around the ends, so concentrate your conditioner in those areas. When you get out of the shower, add a leave-in conditioner just at the ends. That will also thicken and define those drier areas and give you a fuller look.”
Why you’ll love it: You’ll say goodbye to limpness and have easy-to-manage hair all over.
Hair issue #5 / Pool-related brassiness
Why it happens: If you’ve been getting in a lot of pool time, the chemicals in the chlorinated water can cause blonde and highlighted hair to get noticeably out of whack.
The solution: Banish brassiness with a targeted blonde shampoo or treatment.
What the experts say: “If you’re on the lighter spectrum of blonde, you won’t need to use a blonde shampoo or treatment as much,” says Nader. “But if you have naturally medium- brunette to dark-brunette, you’ll need a blonde shampoo or treatment product once a week.”
Why you’ll love it: Your blonde hair or highlights will stay a lovely clean shade. But go easy until you know your blonde product; some can be very rich in purple pigment. “My trick is to water down the blonde shampoo, conditioner or treatment so that the colour doesn’t grab onto the blonde hair,” Nader says. “I always recommend starting with less, rather than putting the whole product on your hair at once.”
Is the hot weather getting the better of your tresses? Here are our top tips for fixing your biggest summer hair dilemmas.
For more health and beauty advice from Women's Health, stop by womenshealth.com.au
How do you deal with post-workout hair? Any favourite products you reach for?
Main image credit: Getty
marie claire Beauty Director, Sally Hunwick joined the marie claire team in 2017. Previously Sally has worked on Cosmopolitan as Beauty and Lifestyle Director, Women’s Health as Contributing Beauty Editor, and Harper's BAZAAR and Dolly as Beauty Writer and Beauty Editor respectively. An award-winning journalist with a long-running career both in Australia and in the UK, Sally is passionate about all things beauty and health.