Home · News

Sound-Off: Getting Fit with Waist-Length Locs!

How one naturalista maintains her locs while staying fit.
The Black Woman Hair vs. Workout Issue is one that plagues us all, whether we’re relaxed or natural. While relaxed women worry about their blowouts “turning,” chemical-free ladies have a different set of issues altogether (sweaty product buildup is just not the look).

Here, New York City-based entertainment journalist Margeaux Rawson gets real about exercising with her waist-length dreadlocs:

“I have thick, waist-length locs, which is a lot to manage even in a ponytail, so I prefer to rock an updo when I work out. It looks like an elaborate, towering chignon because I have so much hair, but all I do is twist it up with an elastic headband — the same way that women with less hair use ponytail holders to make a quick bun on-the-run. Then I tuck in the stray locs and off I go!

“If only exercising with my locs were as easy. My hair is like a furnace! Regardless of the intensity of my workout, the slightest rise in body temperature sets my scalp ablaze, unleashing a torrent of droplets that wash over my face, neck, and chest. And by the time I’m done, my roots are muddied with a soggy mixture of sweat and product residue.

“Unfortunately, sweating buckets at the gym three or four times a week causes my roots to unravel! When my edges start looking extra-fuzzy and loose, I tighten them up by applying Jane Carter Solution Twist & Lock Moisturizer ($22, janecartersolution.com) or Carol’s Daughter Loc Butter ($15, carolsdaughter.com) at bedtime. That gets me through the week, but by the weekend it’s time to shampoo and start all over again.

“Before I started working out regularly, I got my locs groomed at Brooklyn’s Khamit Kinks Salon, but now I do them myself because my hair gets dirtier faster. My advice? Invest in a few packs of Goody StayPut Headbands ($6, amazon.com). They’re inexpensive, and they’re the only ones I’ve found that are sturdy enough to keep all my locs in place. More importantly, you must shampoo regularly to avoid odor, itching, and getting dirt under your fingernails. After all, you want to look like you put in work at the gym, not smell like it.”