13 October 2012

Tips: Locs and Sports

I'm still balancing my loc journey with my fitness routine but it's definately getting easier. The main issues have been with unravelling and dryness. This is how my hair looks after the gym:

I'd like to share a few suggestions you can try if you're anything like me and want beautiful healthy hair without cutting back on physical activities:

  • Swab your scalp with witch hazel every two or three days to minimise the sweat buildup. Once you're done check for fibres, that may have been left behind from the swab, to prevent lint buildup.
  • Be patient. There will come a time when your locs adjust to your activity level.
  • Wash no more than once every two weeks useless your scalp is sore, flaking or excessively itchy.
  • When you do wash, make it thorough. Pat and squeeze low pressure water through your hair, even working in sections if possible. Use a product that will cut through sweat, product and dandruff. If you can't avoid a shampoo that dries out your hair, like many clarifiers, it's best to follow up with a hearty application of coconut or extra virgin olive oil while your hair is damp, then proceed to maintain or simply air dry.
  • Consider a sweatband. NewbieLocs has a great post here. Others also recommend a cotton head wrap so sweat is absorbed quickly. Cotton is drying so make sure to moisturise your locs on your days off.
  • Keep internal hydration high at all times. Water will help fight the drying effects of sweat as it evaporates from the scalp by supporting the hair follicles.
  • Don't go overboard on the products. Things like dry shampoo can make things worse if used in excess.
  • Of course if you have the length, tie it up! Several ponytails if need be, just as long as your hair is away from your face and neck.
  • If you're doing home workouts try using a blow dryer on low/cool heat as soon as you're done so that you don't have damp hair all day.

For those of you about to start your journey as a regularly active person:

  • I highly recommend starting your dreads with a good 3 inches of hair at least. Longer hair strands hold better after exercise and washing. 
  • Consider such starting methods as braids, two strand twists, freeforming or interlocking. Click here for more information on these methods.
  • Try using rubber bands on the ends of your baby locs to keep them together during rigorous workouts, though I suggest letting your hair breathe once a week and changing the bands often. 
  • Be prepared to be re-twisting regularly, seek advice from a loctitian.
  • Whatever your maintenance product is, avoid using it every time you re-twist (e.g. several times a week) because it'll suffocate your hair and scalp. Try just twisting with water and letting them dry in place.

I gathered a few videos on the subject of new locs and physical activity. Please share your own experience(s) in a comment below:


**photography ownership is held with the blog account holder. DONOT use without permission. All video footage is publically available of YouTube.**


  1. Well Missy,

    Thanks for this one it has been really helpful. After an excersise hiatus I'm about to jump back on the wagon. I will have a little more confidence after reading this. Great Blog.xx

    1. I know that feeling. I love a good exercising streak but then there's that one week where it's like 'meh, not today or tomorow or...'. As long as you get back in there it's all good.

      I'm pleased you found this info useful. Stay up :)))


  2. Thanks for the mentions. Double vote for the drying your hair after the workout. Winter is coming at least here in the US and no need to get sick. Also it will prevent your hair from stinking.

  3. A very informative read. You have given me a few things to be able to talk about, next time I come up against the topic locs and exercise.
    The video's are really good too.