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A new study from the American Medical Association reveals that when the majority of Black women exercise, we don’t protect our hair.

Deena Campbell
Mar, 11, 2016

It’s no secret that for many of us, exercising when our hair is straight is out of the question. Working out with straight strands often means an immediate wash afterwards that can turn into another hour of conditioning and straightening. But surprisingly a new study from JAMA Dermatology reveals that when the majority of Black women exercise, we don’t protect our hair.

A 70-item questionnaire was administered to women at the completion of a 12-week community physical activity program consisting of biweekly seminars and group exercise sessions. The questionnaire iasked 61 questions on demographic information, hair-and scalp-related symptoms, hairstyles worn, and hair care in relation to physical activity.

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Nearly one-third of women modified their hair to accommodate exercise with natural hairstyles or braids. To preserve their hair during exercise, women wore a ponytail or bun (38%) or a scarf or hair wrap (31%). After exercise, women used these same hairstyles to style the hair with the most ease or did not style their hair (46%).

Of that group, 18% of women stated that they exercised less than they would like because of their hair, because of sweating out hairstyles (18%) and the time needed to restyle hair (13%). However, almost half of the women did nothing specifically to preserve their hair during exercise.

As as we enter swimsuit season, and the thought of getting our bodies tight is at the forefront of our minds, it begs the question, are you protecting your hair? Let us know below!