We often see natural hair as the epitome of hair-styling ease. Curls equal no muss, no fuss. Truth is, even after giving up chemical straightening, women struggle to find styling options that work for an active lifestyle. Sure, Celie’s “The Color Purple” braids work while you’re in the gym. But what will your hair loo

Today, I’ll share some tips for keeping your hair looking fabulous while you’re getting your workout on. I reached out to celeb hairstylist and founder of Hair Rules, Anthony Dickey to get the scoop on style options, products, and tools that are essentials for keeping your mane laid. Here’s what he suggests:
For the natural who wears her hair in textured styles…
Dickey suggests women take advantage of wash-and-go styles, which only require H2O and curl enhancer. Wet your hair in the shower, part it in four sections then and add curl-enhancing product to each section by raking it through gently with your fingers. Give your head a good shake and let your natural curl pattern develop naturally as your hair dries. Wash-and-wear styles generally take 15 minutes: Hop in the shower after a good workout and hop out with a hairstyle. “Hair Rules Curly Whip is a great styling cream that tames curls and keeps them soft,”says Dickey.

My hair texture is a mix of a 4a/4b curls, so wash and wear styles don’t work for me. My hair looks great when wet, but when it dries, I’m left with a tight, shrunken mess. If you’re like me and wash and wear styles don’t work for you, Dickey suggests we turn to protective styles as an option. Styles like two-strand twists, buns, and tucks-and-rolls allow you to work up a sweat and look cute while doing it.

For the natural who wears her hair straight…

Dickey suggests pulling your hair into a high bun that keeps your edges taut. Wear a Save Your Do Wrap around the perimeter of the head. The wrap absorbs perspiration and helps prevent your edges from curling or waving up. It is very important that you allow your hair to fully dry before you remove the wrap. Taking the scarf off prematurely will cause the hair to frizz excessively.  Once your hair is completely dry, you can simply remove the head wrap and wear your hair in the bun for the day.  Or, if you’d prefer to wear your straightened natural hair down, remove your ponytail holder and use a wide-tooth comb to wrap your natural hair the same way you would if you were preparing for bed. Allow the hair to remain wrapped for 15-20 minutes and then comb it down and style as usual. This will remove the indentation left from the ponytail holder and leave your hair with a slight bump or curl and make it look it has been styled and not just combed down from a bun.

So what say you? How do you style your hair when you’ve got an active week ahead? What are your go to products? Let me know in the comment section below.

For more natural hairstyle suggestions and tutorials, click here.