Most Black Women Don’t Preserve Their Hair When Working Out, Says Study

March 12, 2016 ‐ By Ashley Monaé

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A Black woman’s struggle with keeping her mane maintained and edges laid while putting in serious work at the gym has been on going since what seems like forever. Some ladies have even felt forced to choose between working out and having great hair, which shouldn’t be the case, but it definitely happens. Whether you opt for a quick updo or a fashionable, gym-appropriate scarf to protect your situation, sometimes preserving your ‘do just doesn’t always happen like you’d like. And a new study proves this notion right.

According to JAMA Dermatology, when majority of Black women work out, we don’t actually protect our hair. The study pulled this conclusion after administering a 70-item questionnaire to a group of women at the completion of a 12-week community physical activity program featuring biweekly seminars and group exercise sessions. In addition, the questionnaire included 61 questions regarding demographic information, hair-and scalp-related symptoms, hairstyles worn, and hair care in relation to physical activity.

Approximately one-third of the women that participated in the study said they modified their hair to accommodate their workout with natural hairstyles or protective styles like braids. 38% protected their tresses during exercise by wearing a ponytail or bun, while 31% opted for a scarf or hair wrap. In addition, after completing their work out, 46% of women chose these same hairstyles to easily style their hair or didn’t style their hair at all.

In that same group, 18% of women copped to the fact that they willingly exercised less than they would like because they would sweat out their hairstyle, and 13% said the time they needed to restyle their hair was an inconvenience. Nevertheless, nearly half of the women stated that they didn’t do anything in particular to protect or preserve their hair during exercise. Interesting. 

What are your thoughts about this study? Is protecting and preserving your tresses a major deal when working out?

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