Written by Morgan Fargo
Care for your hair while you care for your body.
Whether you’re a Strava enthusiast or just committed to moving your body a few times a week, more props to you for sticking with your running routine. It’s not easy, but it is one of the best things we can do for our hearts, bones and mental health.
However, there’s something to be said for setting up correctly. Do you have reflective protective gear if you’re running in dark or difficult conditions? Have you eaten before you set out? Did you remember to apply SPF regardless of sunshine or cloud? And, importantly, is your hair tied back comfortably?
Chances are, if you’re a regular on the running hype, a ponytail might be your go-to hairstyle. But did you know this might be exacerbating your hair woes?
Leading hairstylist, presenter and Evo international creative director Tom Smith explains more in his now-viral TikTok video.
“If you exercise and you also care about your hair, you’re going to want to listen to this. I’ve just been in the park this morning and I saw someone jogging,” he says.
“As she was running, her hair was swishing from side to side… and I thought, god, that’s like whiplash for your hair. If you go for a run and you have your hair loose whipping back and forth, it’s an absolute recipe for split ends and really dry friction burn on the ends of your hair.
“So, make sure that you wrap it, maybe braid it into a neat little bun – keep it all tightly tucked away so that it’s not moving as you run.”
As you’ve probably guessed, there are myriad easy ways to minimise damage: opt for a braided ponytail, a loose bun, a couple of French braids (or just one), a bubble ponytail or anything else you like that keeps your hair from whipping back at forth.
Plus, when you’re not pounding the pavements, using an old T-shirt or cotton towel to dry your hair, squeezing water out before you apply conditioner or a mask and sleeping with your hair off of your back will help mitigate any non-exercise-induced damage. It goes without saying that cutting back on using heat, applying a heat protector every single time and getting regular trims will help tenfold, too.
Here’s the 411 on the most damaging hairstyles for each hair type, as well as 33 easy options to tie long hair back.
Main image: Getty
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