Should You Wash Your Hair After Every Workout

May 24, 2022
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Sunday sportswoman or seasoned FitGirl, we have all already questioned this query: Should we necessarily bathe our hair after a sports session? End of the uncertainty, the explanation is in this writing.

During physical activity, the body sweats more or less profusely. The scalp is not spared: sweat also emerges from its pores. Not to be mistaken with sebum, which is secreted by the sebaceous glands.

During the intense effort, the two substances mix, which can leave a greasy film on the surface of the skull and a more or less unpleasant sensation depending on the type of hair. 

Should we then jump in the shower to wash our hair as soon as the sports session is over? Australian hairstylist David Mallett* enlightens us.

Wash your hair after sport… if you feel the need

Should you wash your hair systematically after your workout? 

“There is no obligation”, replies David Mallett straight away. 

“It’s above all a question of comfort. 

The only question to ask is: ‘Do I feel the need to wash my hair after sport?’.” 

Relying on the bodily workout rehearsed, its strength, and also your hair variety, you may prefer to revive your hair.

On fine hair, sweating can lead to loss of volume, due to stuck roots. When the hair tends to get greasy quickly, an intense sports session can also accentuate this problem. 

“But if you have thick hair and have had a rather gentle yoga or Pilates session, you will necessarily feel less of the urge to automatically go into the shower afterward”, underlines David Mallett. It’s up to everyone to act according to their feelings!

Should You Wash Your Hair After Every Workout
© Pexels

Shampoo after sport: the special case of the swimming pool

“If there is no pre-established rule, going swimming in a swimming pool without washing your hair afterward seems rather complicated to me”, recognizes the hairdresser.

Why? Quite simply the chlorine present in the pools damages and dries out the hair over time, making it brittle and rough to the touch. 

Malibu C Swimmers Wellness Collection

After a pool session, rinse your hair properly with clear water, apply a moisturizing shampoo, and then a nourishing conditioner to counter the harmful effects of chemicals on your mane. This is all the more important if your hair is bleached, colored, or sensitized.

In public swimming pools, a swimming cap is generally mandatory. To properly protect your hair and prevent it from coming into contact with water, opt for silicone caps, which hold better than fabric ones. 

A little advice, however: always put it on and take it off with maximum gentleness to avoid tearing your hair out in the process.

Read Also: Natural Hair Oils and Their Advantages

Sports every day? No need to wash your hair every time

If you exercise daily, there is no need to properly shampoo after each session. “You can just run your hair under water to rinse it, with a little conditioner on the ends, if the hair is very dry,” recommends David Mallett. Remember in passing that there is nothing dramatic about washing your hair every day.

Again, it’s a matter of feelings: if you feel more comfortable with perfectly clean hair, wash it. It is simply advisable to use gentle formulas composed of natural ingredients, sulfates, and other parabens that can be irritating and aggressive for the scalp when used too often. 

Another recommendation if you opt for daily washing: avoid systematically using styling tools afterward (straighteners or curlers, hair dryers for brushing). At high doses, these tools considerably weaken the hair fiber.

3 Tips to preserve your hair after sport

Take your own shampoo in your gym bag

Most gyms have shower cubicles, which are sometimes equipped with a shampoo dispenser. But this does not always fit. 

“If you decide to clean your hair systematically after your sports session and if you prepare regularly, it is more reasonable to hold a shampoo that is entirely fitted to your hair sort so as not to waste it and even more proper for colored hair, the color of which could end up dulling without a suitable shampoo”, advises David Mallett. 

And to add: “All brands now offer travel sizes, so you can have a good shampoo with you everywhere.”

Take the time to dry your hair gently

Have you decided to wash your hair quickly and well? No problem, but don’t neglect to dry. Forget the towel you used to mop your forehead during your gym class and slip a microfiber towel into your bag. 

Practical, it does not take up space and absorbs water more quickly than a conventional towel. To use it well: no vigorous rubbing but light tapping to gently remove the water. Finish with a hairdryer – some rooms also have one available – but do not turn up the heat and the power to the maximum to save time.

You may grab one or two minutes but not sure that the game is worth the candle… Because this excess heat will strongly attack your hair.

Do not abuse dry shampoo

Very practical to save appearances between two washes, the dry shampoo helps out after a sports lesson and gives a fresh boost to the hair when it is not possible to make a real shampoo. 

Yes, but be careful, dry shampoo is an extra product that must remain so. Used excessively, i.e. more than once a week, it tends to suffocate the scalp and dry it out. 

Indeed, unlike a real shampoo, this one does not clean the hair. It offers a clean appearance, and hides impurities but does not drive them away… Use sparingly to avoid itching and irritation.

Photo: Pexels: Armin Rimoldi

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Margaud Raynaud is a beauty expert with over 10 years of experience in the industry. She has a passion for sharing her knowledge and tips with others and has a particular interest in skincare and makeup. When she's not writing about health and beauty, Margaud enjoys trying out new products and experimenting with different looks. Follow her blog for expert advice and inspiration for living your best life.

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