I love a good gym selfie as much as the next workout addict, but it’s not a cute look when your friends post pictures of you on Facebook, post Bootcamp, with full-on crotch sweat, a red face and dripping strands of hair. I’ve learned to stick with black tights when sweating, to drink before taking any post-workout photos and, thanks to many conversations with hairstylists, to pick hairstyles that will withstand the heat without taking much prep time.
“When heading to the gym, wear your hair in a nice tight braid – whether in pigtails, a ponytail or a bun – to keep it in place. This will keep you looking on-trend even during the most strenuous workout,” says Savannah Fincher, Corporate Style Director at Blo Blow Dry Bar. “Just look at female boxers and gymnasts for proof! As a plus, your style will only get better with sweat: the salt produced when sweating will mimic a sea-salt spray effect creating a textured wave when you take out the braids.”
Fincher is a pro at helping women look photo-ready in a matter of minutes so I asked her to go into a little bit more detail. Here’s a look at how she suggests elevating your gym look – bonus, these styles not only look better than your average pigtail/bun, but actually help keep your hair in place! (crucial if you’re working out with a trainer, like mine, who tells you to “stop touching your hair… get the body!”).
Ponytails are most girls’ go-to “I-need-my-hair-out-of-my-face” style. Throwing a braid into your ponytail will help secure the style and elevate a boring workout go-to into a look you won’t be ashamed to wear outside of the gym.
Elevated Messy Top Knot
To elevate a top knot, pull hair into a tight ponytail, loosely braid the tail, and wrap the braids around the base of the pony tail. This look creates a messy textured bun, as opposed to the more typical pulled back, sleek look. To take it up another notch, use a product like a texturizing spray or powder. Apply throughout the roots and ends. Gather hair into a loose ponytail and twist. Next, wrap the tail around the base of your pony, securing with bobby pins or an elastic. For curly textures or pre-curled hair, after applying texturizing product form a loose ponytail then tug forward on a couple of curls on top of the head to create more texture and definition. Take large sections of curls in your pony tail, wrap them around the pony tail’s base and secure them with pins.
Elevated French Twist
This is one of my personal favorites because this look can be achieved quickly AND because it doesn’t require you to even brush your hair. It’s a more fun version of a classic style. Got a rat’s nest and don’t feel like brushing it out today? No problem. Gather your rambunctious locks in your hands at the occipital bone (the bone above nape of the neck) as if you are about to put your hair in a pony tail and fold the tail in half with the ends pointing to the side, as if you are about to put your hair into a bun. Roll the bun towards the roots, mimicking the shape of a French twist, and secure with as many bobbies as needed. The more haphazardly it’s pinned, the more texture you’ll create, so don’t worry if some strands hang free!
Post Workout Waves
Any variation of a wavy style is going to be your best bet post-work out, pre-shampoo. After your workout, unravel your braid(s), and achieve a textured waves with a little help from some dry shampoo. As mentioned before, the salt produced while sweating will create a bit of grit and texture to the hair, mimicking a sea-salt spray and look like you spent the day at the ocean instead of on the elliptical.
Post Workout Pigtails
There are several fun ways to wear pigtail braids to fit your style. Leave them in their gorgeous braided state to take you from the gym to happy hour, or undo them to achieve a beautiful textured wave.