When Motions celebrity stylist Ursula Stephen decided to train for the NY marathon she didn’t know she would learn so much about herself and her hair. In fact, she started the training with every intention on wearing a short sassy haircut, but that all changed when the combination of sweat and a crazed schedule took over. Now, a month after running the race, Stephen shares her biggest hair lessons learned and everything you need to know before you decide to work out this season.
ESSENCE.com: Six months ago, what was the ideal hairstyle you had in mind to wear for the race?
Ursula Stephen: Well, for the actual race I knew would definitely be wearing a hat. And for my training months, I thought wearing my short sassy haircut would be ideal. But I was wrong…
ESSENCE.com: Did that hairstyle change? Why or why not?
Stephen: That hairstyle changed very quickly. Between the sweat from running, my schedule, etc., it just wasn’t realistic. I decided to rock a full wig instead. I needed it for protection.
ESSENCE.com: What’s a great go-to hairstyle when preparing for a marathon, or any workout routine?
Stephen: A protective hairstyle or a style that requires as little heat as possible is best for a girl who might be preparing for a marathon or has a heavy workout routine. Wigs can be great for girls who work out—just get one that mimics your own natural hairstyle and wear it on days you exercise. They help to keep your hair moisturized and conditioned too!
ESSENCE.com: What are three tips women can use when looking to maintain their hair while getting fit?
Stephen: First, thing to know is to keep your hair off your neck and forehead. Also, always apply a moisturizing product pre and post work out! After applying product, before you work out, try wrapping your hair in a cotton scarf. The cotton will help to soak up the sweat…but don’t remove it immediately after you work out, give it some time to dry first. Finally, if you have longer hair, you could also try pin-curling medium size sections of hair before wrapping it in a scarf and working out.
I like to prep the hair using a moisturizing product such as Motions Hair & Scalp Daily Moisturizing Hairdressing. Then, use your fingers to create large pin curls and secure with clips. Carefully wrap a scarf over the head and knot it at the nape of the neck. After working out, leave the scarf while you shower and get ready. Then remove it and the pin curls, spray with Motions Oil Sheen & Conditioning Spray and use fingers to loosen the curls and get the shape you want.
ESSENCE.com: What would you change about your hair for the marathon?
Stephen: I wouldn't change a thing! That was the most I have protected and conditioned my hair in my life. My hair is so healthy now!