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 that oftentimes prevent Black women from working out. Be sure to check back next week for part II!

Q: I need to start working out but have no clue about what to do with my hair. What do you recommend? —Alesha

A: Kudos to you for hitting the gym! When it comes to choosing between your health and your hair, I always say that your health should be your first priority, but it’s totally understandable that you’re concerned about ways to work up a sweat and maintain your ‘do. As an exercise-addict myself, these are the tried-and-true methods that work for me and my fellow fitness pals.

If your hair is natural but flat-ironed, your best bet is to smooth your hair into a high ponytail. This will keep hair off your neck and away from any moisture that accumulates as you start to sweat. Always tie your hair back with a satin scarf or better yet, invest in a Save Your ‘Do Gymwrap which will absorb moisture and keep your hair pressed down during workouts. It’s also important that you leave your hair in the ponytail and tied down until it is completely dry to minimize swelling and frizz post-workout.

If your hair is naturally curly, simple styles such as two-strand twists and puffs are very workout-friendly. To avoid dry, crunchy hair after your workout, mix a little bit of water and leave-in conditioner into a travel-sized spray bottle and keep it in your gym bag to refresh curls post-workout. We love Beautiful Textures Tangle Taming Leave-In Conditioner.

Do you know of any more good workout hairstyles? Be sure to leave them in the comments section! —Nicole, Beauty Editor

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