I know all my fellow fitness ladies have probably wondered on more than one occasion: should you wash your hair after sweating at the gym?
Sweaty hair is a given with regular workouts. But luckily, you don’t need to spend hours re-washing your hair every time you workout.
Read on to learn our best tips and tricks for avoiding yucky, sweaty, post-gym hair.
Post-Gym Sweat Sesh Essentials
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Should you wash your hair after sweating?
The good news is, no! You absolutely do not need to wash your hair after sweating at the gym! Even better, if you’re strength training regularly, rather than simply focusing on cardio, you likely will sweat much less during your workouts.
Sweat is simply salt and water, and once it dries in your hair, that’s all that’s left — salt.
Experts are now saying that too much hair washing is actually damaging to your hair follicle, which is great news for us gym-goers.
So, even if you don’t need to wash your hair after every squat sesh at the gym, how can you maintain and control it post-gym if it’s looking less than its best? Read on for our tips.
Will rinsing your hair clean it at all?
Absolutely. The simple act of exfoliation by rubbing your fingers through your hair and on your scalp can help remove build-up, salt, and dirt without the need for shampoo.
Water itself can rinse out a good amount of dirt and salt as well. In one study, researchers found that simply washing hands with running water did, in fact, remove a considerable amount of germs. So, running water alone does account for some removal of dirt in your hair!
How can you prevent hair from sweating while working out?
You can do a few things to prevent hair sweat during a workout:
Should I rinse my hair after working out?
Rinsing your hair after a workout is not required, but it can be helpful in between washes.
Because you are exfoliating the hair shaft, scalp, and roots, you are removing some of the dirt and build-up in your hair by rinsing your hair.
This would be a good alternative to shampooing if you have time to shower, but are short on time overall.
Alternately, if you don’t have time to wash or rinse, don’t fret. We’ve got you covered.
After Gym Sweaty Hair Tips and Hacks
If you have sweaty hair after the gym, try these post-gym tips and hacks to freshen up your locks.
Dry Shampoo After Your Workout
Of course, we all know how helpful dry shampoo can be for bringing life back to dull, damp locks. But which dry shampoo is best for your hair post-workout? Try these favorites:
This Bumble and Bumble Pret A Powder is different from most dry shampoos in that it comes in powder form rather than spray-on form.
This allows it to soak up sweat much better than aerosol spray dry shampoo. However, you’ll need a bit more care when applying it. Still, reviewers rave that this is the best of the best in post-workout dry shampoos.
Living Proof Perfect Hair Day is a staple dry shampoo for many people for good reason. It works really well at absorbing excess oil and it makes your hair feel clean and soft.
In addition, this dry shampoo adds volume and includes a fragrance that can mask post-gym hair smells. This dry shampoo is the classic aerosol spray, so if you’re new to dry shampoo, you might opt for this option over a powder since it’s more user-friendly.
Haircare After Your Workout
If you’re wondering about managing post-workout hair without showering or gym to work hair tips, try these tricks:
- Start by using an extra absorbent towel like this one to dry your hair after your workout.
- Add your favorite dry shampoo from the list above and massage into your hairline, roots, and scalp.
- Use a hair perfume mist like this one to cover any unwanted odors.
- Using a round brush and a travel blow dryer to tame your hair and flyaways with a 2-minute blowout.
- Alternately, tie your hair back into a low, messy bun or a slick ponytail.
More Post-Workout Hair Products
On top of dry shampoo, wondering what products can you use until you have time to wash your hair?
These products can keep your hair tamed before, during and after your sweat sesh on the treadmill so you can fit in your fitness time!
Gym to Work Hair Tips
Try these tips and hairstyles to tame your hair before heading to the office:
- Low Bun
- Slicked Back Ponytail
- Quick 2-Minute Blowout to bring hair back into place
- Messy Waves with a headband
How to Remove Sweaty Hair Smell
There are several options and products you can try that will help remove the sweaty smell from your hair.
First, start with dry shampoo. Any of the options from our list above should cover odor.
If dry shampoo doesn’t cut it for covering up that post-gym sweaty hair smell, try applying hair perfume mist, like this one.
Another alternative is to smooth a dryer sheet over your hair and this can absorb odors.
Finally, cold air is said to remove odors from hair, so use your travel hair dryer on the cold air setting to blast your locks with cold air and get rid of that sweaty smell.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sweaty Post-Workout Hair Care
Still wondering if you should wash your hair after sweating? Check out these frequently asked questions about post-gym haircare to learn more tips.
What can I do before my workout to help manage my hair post-workout?
You can do a few things before your workout
- Wear something like this to wick sweat and keep hair dry
- Schedule less intense workouts like heavy strength training when you know your time to get ready is limited
- Work out with a fan facing you or in a very cool area
- Apply dry shampoo or baby powder before your workout as a proactive approach
Can I color my hair after working out?
We asked Advanced Master Stylist, Kimberly Kirby, at Beauty Brands if you could color your hair after working out.
She told us, “you can highlight and apply permanent color to dirty hair. However, for some treatments like bayalage, it’s best to have clean hair.”
What happens if you don’t wash your hair after working out?
If you don’t wash your hair after working out, the moisture and salt will simply dry eventually.
Over time, or if you had a really intense workout and your hair is extremely wet, salt can build up and make your hair feel dirty or dull. However, simply skipping a few hair washes between workouts is not bad for your hair. In fact, avoiding too much shampooing — which can strip your hair of natural oils — is actually healthy and recommended for your hair.
However, build-up of sweat and bacteria on your skin can cause breakouts, so you’ll want to keep cleaning your body after your workouts.
Can skipping a wash can be good for your hair?
Yes, skipping a wash every now and then can be helpful for the health of your hair. Shampoo strips your hair of natural, healthy oils, so too much shampooing can dry your hair out. Skipping a wash one or two times per week is actually a good thing!
Should you wash your hair after swimming?
There is one exercise where you should probably wash your hair after every workout. If you’re swimming in a chlorinated pool, you will want to wash your hair with soap and water afterward. Left unwashed, blonde hair can turn green from too much chlorine and all hair colors can suffer from dryness from chlorine.
If you have access to a saltwater pool, you may not need to wash your hair afterward, but a good cool water rinse will prevent that crunchy saltwater build-up.
Should you wash your hair every day if you sweat a lot?
Even if you sweat a great deal, that doesn’t mean there is a hard and fast rule you should wash your hair every time you sweat.
As mentioned earlier, sweat simply dries as salt in your hair. Try using a towel like this to absorb as much sweat as possible after your workout.
You might not be able to go 3 or 4 days without shampooing like someone that sweats less, but you try washing your hair after every other workout and work up from there depending on how your hair looks.
If you start noticing that your hair looks dull, lifeless, and dirty, or you just feel like you need a wash, add a shampoo back in!
Final Thoughts: Should You Wash Your Hair After Sweating?
The bottom line is that you don’t need to wash your hair after every sweaty workout! The tips, tricks, and products listed above will help keep your locks fresh until your next shampoo.