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Your Best Gym Hair Regimen, Part II

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workout hair LEAD

This month we're celebrating the ESSENCE Body Issue!  In order to encourage you to break a sweat and hit the gym, we're addressing reader's hair concerns.  Be sure to check out part I from last week if you missed it!

It's summertime and while the living might be easy, warmer weather can be challenging for natural hair.  On one hand, you dream of having free-flowing curls that blow through the wind while riding down the highway with the windows down and the music blasting.  On the other hand, you know that in reality having all that hair out is a breeding ground for single strand knots and tangles galore!  And let's not even get started on what to do with your hair while maintaining a summer fitness regimen.  Oh vey!

If you're like me and love to get outdoors to break a sweat under the warm summer sun, here are a few ideas on creating a hair regimen no matter what sport or activity you choose.

Running
Running and jogging is an activity you can do with a little or a lot of experience which makes it a great exercise for all fitness levels.  Summer jogs almost always call for a visor or hat to protect your face and eyes from the sun.  If you're wearing a sport cap, you'll want to go with flat twists or a low bun so there's room for your hat.   Visors are my favorite option because they can wrap securely around virtually any style, from updos to twist-outs.  I also advise wearing a lightweight silk scarf under your cap.  After a run, if you have a sweaty scalp, allow your hair to air dry completely before removing the scarf.  This will create fewer frizzes once your hair is ready for your next style.  You can also sport a Save Your Do wrap under your visor if you'd like an extra layer of sweart protection for your edges.

Swimming and Water Sports
Swimming, surfing and other water sports are an awesome total body workout, but honey child, chlorine and salt water can truly wreck havoc on your curls!  Your best bet for dealing with time in the pool is to find a swimming cap that keeps water away from your hair.  In my years of swimming, I've found that the more expensive swimming caps do a better job of keeping my hair dry after a few laps. It's true what they say— you get what you pay for. I wear TYR swimming caps, which fit securely around my big, curly hair and minimize cholrine exposure. If my edges do get damp during a swim, I dab a tiny bit of clarifying shampoo just around my hairline, lather it up gently, and rinse just the hair around the perimeter of my hair. I adore Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo. 

Biking
Indoor cycling is fine and great year round, but when the weather warms us, most of us love to bike outdoors.  If you're a naturalista with medium to long hair, beware of the styles you choose while cycling because it's imperative that your helmet fits snugly onto your head for maximum protection.  Updos, puffs, havana twists, chunky box braids and anything with height or a lot of bulk is definitely a no-go.  You'll want to stick to flatter styles such as cornrows, flat-twists, or low buns.  Remember, you never want to sacrifice your safety for a hairstyle!

Ladies, what other advice has worked for you when it comes to maintaining a workout regimen and styling your hair? Leave your secrets below!

PHOTO GALLERY: Easy Workout-Friendly Hairstyles

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