Go Ahead, Sweat the Small Stuff!

We are very excited to have Rachael sharing her style tips and advice for athletes. Rachael knows what she is talking about. Besides being a runner and making us look beautiful, she has done personal styling for celebrities (including Jewel, Brooke Shields, Chase Crawford) and photo shoots (InStyle, New York Post). Today she is writing about sweat and why we don’t need to wash our hair after every workout.

We’ve gotten used to washing our hair after every workout. But why? Because sweat makes us feel gross? Because sweat makes our hair greasy? Au contraire! Sweat really isn’t the enemy we’ve made it out to be. In fact, your shampoo (or over use thereof) is more likely the culprit. Here is why holding off on the wash can save you time, money and damage to your hair.

What is sweat made of? Sweat is comprised mostly of water, sodium and chloride, and a low concentration of potassium. Basically, it’s a lot of water and a little bit of salt and sugar. There’s nothing greasy about it! Most of the perspiration will evaporate if given the chance.

What’s the harm in a daily shampoo? Washing your hair everyday strips your hair of natural oils which signals the sebaceous glands (oil makers!) to produce more oil. This will leave your hair feeling, you guessed it, oily. Give your hair a chance to absorb the natural oils to keep your hair healthy and help regulate oil production. Also, check to make sure your shampoo does not contain any ammonium sulfates or sodium lauryl sulfates. These aggressive cleansing ingredients have a pH much higher than your hair and will leave it dry and brittle.

Won’t my hair smell? Sweat by itself doesn't smell at all. It's the bacteria that live on your skin that mix with the sweat that give it an odor.  A lightly scented hair product or misting of perfume will keep odors at bay until your next shampoo.

How in the world will I survive between shampoos!? It’s simple! Use a cool blow dryer at the hairline and roots to dry sweat (this also feels fabulous post-workout!). Apply Dry shampoo to the roots. Wait 5 minutes and brush through. Done!

A few more tips:

Don’t forget this age-old beauty trick: Brush through your hair each day with a soft bristle flat brush (like Denman or Mason Pearson). This will evenly distribute your natural oils throughout your hair, which will help protect and nourish the entire length of the strand.

Tie your hair up during your workout. Use a covered hairband to secure a ponytail or a high bun. Use bobby pins if necessary to keep your hair away from your face and off your neck. This will help keep you cool during workouts.

Only shampoo your hair the days you have a major sweat sesh (long run, indoor spin class, Cross-Fit). The days you are going to be in a body conditioning workout (yoga, barre, pilates, weight training) and tend to sweat less, avoid washing your hair.

One exception: If hormones or your workout program have you sweating a lot throughout the week then it is important to wash your hair more frequently. An excessive build-up of salt can dry the hair and clog the pores on your scalp. If you find yourself shampooing daily, make sure you use a deep conditioning treatment or intensive mask once a week to maintain moisture in the hair. Following each shampoo, comb a leave-in moisturizer or Argan oil through the hair to seal the cuticle and lock in shine.

You work hard to stay healthy! Make sure it shows from head to toe. For more hair care and beauty tips visit www.rachaelnyc.com