Home Beauty ‘Cause Your Good Hair Is More Important Than Your Health?

‘Cause Your Good Hair Is More Important Than Your Health?

by Erika Nicole Kendall

42-18407415To my knowledge Chris Rock’s movie, Good Hair, doesn’t have a fitness element to it, no. Although I did catch a clip of Raven-Symone (I think?) saying that our hair prevents us from “doing certain things,” I’m not sure if the topic will be in there. I’ve asked a couple of people who have seen private screenings thus far, and no one has unequivocally told me “Yes.”

To me, that’s… funny.

For a number of reasons.

Make no mistake about it, I’ve said on here that I wear relaxed tresses. My own hair is a third of the way down my back, extremely thick, and I usually toss it up in a ponytail. I used to wear sew-ins, because they allowed me to do some insane things to my hair, still look good, and not manage to burn all of my hair off. For me, as well as a number of women, relaxing our hair is a manageability issue.

And, really.. I’ve got to admit: it’s absolutely a manageability issue for me because although I relax regularly, I still have the luxury of being able to rock my ‘fro. Quite frankly, I’m not interested in flat ironing my hair every day. Not in the least.

However, the conversation that this movie is forcing us to have involves the Black standard of female beauty. IS there a premium placed on women with straight hair? Is this a healthy concept for us? By healthy, I don’t mean health-wise, but more so in terms of what it says to us about ourselves? Don’t worry, this isn’t about to turn into a rant of natural vs relaxed.

I can’t help but wonder, though. What is out there that is so powerful, it can convince our girlfriends to spend a whole DAY in the salon to get their hair styled, but it’s too rough to spend a half hour a day walking? Where is the message that tells us we must spend THOUSANDS of dollars each year caring for our hair, sacrificing entire days in beauty salons, and why isn’t the message of being more physically fit getting through? Can someone measure the strength of THAT message for me?

What is it? I mean, if I look at the TV, the same images of women with straight, shiny, silky hair also contain images of women with stick thin figures and single-digit dress sizes. If I look at a magazine ad of a woman with gorgeous straight hair with long curls, she’s more often than not going to be rail thin. I’m not saying that “rail thin” is the way to be by ANY means, but I’m hoping to illustrate a point here. If the small figures are found in the same places we find the images of women with straight hair… why isn’t the message convincing Black women to put forth a gang of effort into losing weight getting through?

Now, I can’t identify or verify these numbers, but check this out:

Unfortunately, 46% of African American men and 57% of African American women are sedentary, with no time scheduled for exercise. – Lottie’s Health N Wellness

No time scheduled for exercise, but all the time in the world for the almighty touch-up?

Listen, I’m not railing against women who DO hit the salon at 6AM waiting to make sure they’re out by 2PM. I’m railing against women who can get up at 6AM for a hair appointment, while loudly complaining about having no time for the gym. A half hour a day walking helped me lose 18lbs in one month. Maybe we overestimate what it takes to actually invest in our personal health. Maybe because we get so few tidbits of advice on how to care for our physical selves, we’ve let commercials and infomercials and trainers with something to sell educate us improperly. Maybe we’ve been led to believe that it requires more than we can afford in time as well as money. Maybe, baby.

I think it’s funny that the movie could very well NOT address fitness in the slightest. Is it because the topic is wholly uncomfortable for at least 79% of us to talk about? Is it too much to think about why we find such comfort in seeing heavier set women in our community? Before someone tries to take offense, don’t take my words as saying there is something offensive to society’s sensibilities by having overweight women around. I’m saying that there’s something that makes it acceptable for us to live an unhealthy lifestyle, but would make us sacrifice a whole day (in some cases, a whole weekend) for different hair.

What is it going to take for us to re-educate and enlighten ourselves? Will it take our men to start openly and loudly shunning overweight women, as opposed to still giving us attention? Is that what it will boil down to, to get us to focus equal-if-not-more attention on our physical health? What are your thoughts?

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46 comments

Gina October 8, 2009 - 11:46 AM

I’ve always said that it is easier route to self esteem. In my city fat broads keep their hair done. Toes and nails as an illusion of them taking care of themselves. Sometimes just to say, “I know I look good.” but they don’t. Who wants to trade up gossip time and the deception for the harder route?

This is our society. We cover shit with sugar. Masking the truth to feel better about ourselves.

Erika October 8, 2009 - 5:32 PM

Gina, wow! Thanks for your thoughts, provocative though they may be.

I never thought about using these things as a means of drawing attention away from something about which we’re self-conscious. Now that I think about it, I was certainly ALWAYS on top notch with my hair when I was heavier… nowadays, I’m hard pressed to run a flat iron through it!

Why is it that we’d rather put ourselves at risk and silence our egos with compliments about our hair, nails, clothes instead of tackle the issue head on? I mean, avoidance of this issue results in heart disease, diabetes, strokes, all kinds of obesity-related illness.. why would we do this to ourselves? Covering shit with sugar, as you put it, can only explain away so much, you know?

Interesting thoughts!

Tracy October 8, 2009 - 9:43 PM

I’m heavy now and I don’t want to run a flat iron through my hair! LOL! However, I do agree with Gina, as “harsh” as her words may be. Back in the day when I got relaxers, I was certain to keep my hair right, nails done, toes done, etc. It’s one thing to be “fat,” but you DAMN SURE didn’t want to be labeled fat and SLOPPY. Hence, that’s why bigger chicks tend to be dressed to the nines at times, with their hair fried, dyed and laid to the side. Bump that. Call me what you want. I’m not worried about my hair (too much). I need to get this weight off.

Erika October 9, 2009 - 9:16 AM

Hey, Tracy! Gina certainly did go in, didn’t she? LOL!

I used to say that all the time! In fact, I STILL say “As long as I’m not sloppy, no one will notice.” As if that changed the health issues that I was facing, or make them go away.

Are our people still afraid to go to the doctor’s office? Is this why? Being afraid to be told what we don’t want to hear? I guess it’s easier to skirt the issue when you’re not paying someone to tell you the very thing you’re trying to avoid.

I LOVE your last sentence, though – “Call me what you want. I’m not worried about my hair… I need to get this weight off.” Beautiful!

MochaTrina@Me So Hongry October 23, 2009 - 3:17 PM

In regards to getting my hair done and not working out for several days after, my Mother put it to me this way:

“Either you’re going to be fat and cute, or you’re going to workout and be not so cute some of the time.”

I chose choice #2, working out and being not to cute some of the time. Life is about choices, and my choices have led to a 39 pound weight loss. I am hoping tomorrow’s weigh in yields my 40 pound goal. I really enjoyed this post and found you thanks to Ro @ Ro is getting fit on blogger.

Erika October 23, 2009 - 3:23 PM

MochaTrina, thanks for stopping by! I’ll have to thank Ro for sending you over. 🙂

Good luck on your weigh in! I LOVE squeaking in that extra pound, LOL.

I wish I could show you what my hair looks like right now. I have two giant pixie braids along the side of my head. Funny, yes. Cute, in a childlike kinda way. What kinda grown woman is trying to make you say, “Awww!?” Not me! LOL

However, when I look in the mirror, I’m reminded that no one is focusing on my hair. There’s too much other appealing stuff to look at, if they’re lookin’ at all. 😉

Karen November 2, 2009 - 11:46 PM

OMG this is so true. I am totally guilty of this. I’ve been waiting a month to get hair braided so the I can start back working out. I sweat really, really bad in my head and hair is soaking wet after working out. I recently cut my hair short and Its impossible to dry and flat iron my hair everyday. So i either go to work looking like a wet dog, or i skip the workout so I can look presentable at work. I think our hair affects our fitness more than we like to admit. One of my guys friends even pointed out that I was about to waste my $60 and I shouldnt gotten my hair done if I was going to workout.

luvincola January 2, 2010 - 5:14 PM

I think that we as a culture place a high value on our hair, because it is one of the only things we believe we have control over. When it comes to our weight, or healthy living, we tend to believe, this is just the way I am, or is runs in my family. Getting a hairstyle takes less effort and discipline, than engaging in a healthy lifestyle. The salon, does something to me and for me, I just have to get there, and sit in the chair.(Not actively engaged. Healthy living means I have to be engaged in the process. Many of us just don’t want to be responsible for our own health, especially if it can happen, without doing anything.

SJ Cooper January 7, 2010 - 12:15 AM

I have had so many excuses for not losing weight. I always try to keep my hair wrapped when I did excercise. Now I am attempting to transition. I dont want this to be an excuse not to excersise, but I know that I sweat ALOT in my hair. What suggestions do you have for a woman who wants to excersise but needs to maintain a respectable look for work? What you said was so true, and in your face…Thanks for the honesty! Help me out…Braids and weaves are so expensive these days!

Lisette April 30, 2012 - 1:25 PM

What do you mean by respectable look for work? Is there a formal or informal code regarding hairstyles at your place of employment? I’m not trying to be funny, but “respectable look” is such a loaded phrase.

I wear my hair in a buzz cut (think military ), hardly what you’d expect of a 41-year old high school English teacher and an adjunct instructor at a Southern Baptist university (some of the most conservative people ever). I still look very feminine when I choose to look that way. My hair is always well-groomed, so to me it always looks appropriate for work.

Lexis B. March 14, 2010 - 12:12 AM

About hair ideas, you might want to try slicking down your hair with a gentle gel, and wearing your hair in a chignon some days. I also think if you find the right products and use a LOW setting, you can flat iron your hair after a work out to carfully straighten the roots and just bend the ends. The right protective products will cost more, and this will take more time, but you should be able to do this a couple of times a week without damaging your hair. I have a sew-in weave, and while it is expensive, it is basically indestructible. I actually use dog cleansing cloths to clean between the rows as my hair is totally cornrowed underneath, and I don’t have a weave cap or anything. The initial cost of the hair isn’t cheap, but if you invest in good hair, you can use it several times. If you really take care of it (which I don’t), it can look quite fly, and you can style it daily after exercising.

cynthia June 23, 2010 - 12:43 PM

Lexi has a very good point the inital investment is up in the dollars but quality is worth it . I can take this out and reuse the hair, its human and it holds up better (Remi) ,corn rows and I have corn rowed and placed a cap and sewed it to the cap . either way can work and Im in the change ( hot and sweat) when ever I want to. but I can do zumba and my new work out routine and I wont complain and I work with doctors and drug reps so I have to be professional also. good luck

cynthia June 23, 2010 - 12:46 PM

Try also a sew in with deep wavy so you can add water , wrap lotion to make it curl up. get a Indian wavey hair will last about a month if you get a good person to sew it in . cheap reaps a hott hair mess.

missfitbliss August 19, 2010 - 9:11 PM

Thank you thank you thank you for addressing this issue! My twin sister is a successful hairstylist in Atlanta and it’s crazy to hear what women will miss out on in order to make it to the salon every week. She’s now encouraging her clients to grow out their perms so they’ll be more inclined to work out regularly with natural hair that doesn’t look unkept when washed.

Yolanda November 18, 2010 - 7:08 PM

Erika:

First, let me say I love your site. A link was posted in the Health and Fitness section of LHCF and I immediately bookmarked it.

Second, most people on the hair boards argue that working out regularly and eating healthier actually HELPS to maintain a healthier head of hair. The thoughts among the fitness gurus on the hair boards is I will not have fabulous hair and a jacked up body! There are even challenges on the board that link a quest for an inch of growth for every ten pounds lost. In my own siggy on the hair boards I have a ticker for my hair (I am transitioning to natural) and a ticker for my weight loss (I am overweight but working on it). I want to see both of those tickers moving!

Erika November 18, 2010 - 8:07 PM

Wow, well HEY LHCF! *waves*

I have to agree – I refuse to have great hair and look a hot mess in my clothing. I ALSO refuse to allow my hair to be an excuse for me to avoid addressing any pressing issues with my health. It’s just not goin’ down, LOL.

Maybe I should do a post on how my daily diet has impacted my hair’s health and growth? I mean, I’ve got a forest growin’ up here, LOL.

Michellle November 18, 2010 - 8:51 PM

When you mentioned walking everyday for half an hour and losing weight was that with or without the help of clean eating?

Erika November 18, 2010 - 8:56 PM

WITH. No question.

Ebonie B January 20, 2011 - 10:09 PM

Wow, those were so harsh words, but necessary ones. I have grappled with this issue for quite a while and I have come to the conclusion that I have to do what I have to do. In a perfect world, black women would be able to work out, like our non-black sisters and not have to worry about our hair looking a hot mess afterwards, or have it take us half a day to get our hair to look half-way decent. This however is not a perfect world and this is a real issue that we face. Even though I do not let this stop me on my continued quest to lose weight, it is still an added burden to our mission. I’ve done almost everything. Braids, kinky twists, a regular ponytail, a whip-action(draw string) pony tail. I am one who rarely spends money to get her hair done at the hair dressers, because a girl doesn’t have it like that, so it’s all on me to come out looking halfway decent. Somethings worked well and something didn’t, but I tell you this, it has ravaged my hair, so now, I just let it go where it may and try to tame this thick birds nest as best I can. We as women of color are going to have to look a hot mess for a while in order to reach our health goal, and I sure have sacrificed a whole lot of beauty to get where I need to go, but I am halfway there. I swear if you guys would have seen me three weeks ago when I decided to transition to natural, you would have told me to never leave the house, but hey, what can you do? Let’s just give up the fight with our hair win this battle for our health…..who’s with me?

Lisette April 30, 2012 - 1:34 PM

So sorry, but I can’t co-sign on this one. You don’t have to look a hot mess while you’re working on the transition to natural and working out. I know you said you’ve tried several options, but just keep experimenting to find what’s going to work for you both for working out and keeping up appearances.

For me, it was realizing that my natural hair was waaay too long and thick for me to manage on my own without taking up inordinate amounts of time (in addition to the amount of money I spent on products). My answer? I cut it all off as in military buzz-cut. I’m not saying that’s what you should do because an almost bald head ain’t for everybody. Just do you!

Andrea January 28, 2011 - 3:44 AM

This story is soooo true! I am a second year college student and in my first semester of my second year I told myself that I would work out more often. WRONG! LOL One of struggles that black girls have already with being in a rural big college town is the lack of resources to do our hair. I couldn’t just go to the salon every other week like I did at home. So when I did my hair on Sunday to look good for the rest of the week I avoided working out because I’m not only here to earn a degree in my major but get an M.R.S degree LOL! It was not until this semester that I realized that I was so determined to get rid of this excess weight that I don’t care how messy my hair looks! So if it means that I have to wear a hat everywhere after that hour workout, that’s what it’s gone be! 🙂

Carla March 20, 2011 - 4:21 PM

I don’t understand why this was posed as an either/or proposition. My relaxed hair and manicured hands/feet to don’t prevent me from hauling my butt out to the track. I want to look good… there are some hot guys out there! The same women who use their hairdo as an excuse not to exercise wouldn’t dream of letting that keep them off the dance floor!

Terri May 13, 2011 - 11:29 PM

I must admit this used to be me up until about a month ago. Once I got my hair done I didn’t want to sweat it out. Now, I’ve been walking 30-60 minutes a day at least 5 days a week. I had to realize in order to get the shape I want I’m gonna have to sweat. I was looking at your post Erika of how you lost 18lbs in one month walking 30 min. a day. Did you cut out processed foods during this time also? I think the biggest thing for me is controlling what I eat. Thanks for all of your articles…esp. the one on high fructose corn syrup! I’m starting to pay more attention to the ingredients in the foods I eat.

Eni June 3, 2011 - 8:03 PM

This has been a huge issue for me for quite a while. I’m in college, not overweight but I want to lose some, and I exercise sporadically (i.e. during school I go to the gym for 1.5-2 hours once every 2 weeks on the mornings before I go to the salon; this summer I’m definitely exercising more than that though). I asked a personal trainer at my old church for some advice once, and she just told me that I would probably have to choose between keeping my hair the way it is (fairly long, natural, press & curl) and getting in shape. But I guess I’m stubborn and I’m not ready to make that choice. I’m currently trying to strike a balance and make beneficial changes on both sides of the equation. If that means looking like a hot mess until my next hair appointment to get a few more workouts in, I think I’m ready to do that, as long as all my hair doesn’t break off in the process.

Also, I love this blog so much. My friend told me about it on Facebook not too long ago. 🙂

Kim October 4, 2011 - 11:43 PM

Did you say 18lbs in one month through walking? How? I’m trying to get in to a walking routine but my eating still leaves much to be desired. Did you do both (eating differently and walking) or just walking in that month?

Erika Nicole Kendall October 5, 2011 - 6:27 AM

Walking and changing my eating habits at the same time. Mind you, I was still 300lbs at this time, and ANY activity would’ve made it easy to lose that weight if you’re eating correctly when you weigh that much.

Kim October 6, 2011 - 2:46 AM

Ok. I struggle with staying “on it” I’ll walk for a few days and then lose motivation. But at 218lbs, I NEED to do something!

Tiera October 5, 2011 - 8:42 PM

If we are so hung up on how we look physically, then why wouldn’t we want to be physically fit? Now I have long pushed the “physical attractiveness” as a reason to exercise to the back of the bus, however, many of us primarily exercise to look good. The majority of us want to look good for a man. A man is likely going to look at a woman’s overall appearance to determine how attractive she is rather than just looking at her hair. A man is not gonna say (to himself) “I don’t date big women but her hair is laid! Lemme go talk to her!” He is gonna look at her overall frame. If her hair looks good but her body doesn’t, he’s gonna pass. Not saying that we should not care for our hair, but we could stop using “men” as an excuse to get our hair done. Like I said, hair is a part of the physical. So is a fit and sleek body. To get a fit and sleek body, you need proper diet and exercise. So if your reason for getting your hair done is to “look good,” then don’t forget the other factors that contribute to that. Now some men do like “voluptuous” women and that would be another story.

One Head At A Time January 21, 2012 - 12:03 AM

How true with the time spent on getting relaxed hair to “look right”. But “naturals” are suffering from the same fate. Now I’m sorry, call me lazy if you want to but unless I’m sick and can’t go outside or doing housework for hours on end, I don’t want to be stuck indoors with some deep conditioner on my head for 3-4hrs. No other race of women do that on the regular. They have all found ways to modify their daily beauty routines so they aren’t spending 2-4hrs twisitng their hair at night to make some style by morning. I hate spending time on my hair. I see white, latino and asian friends/women and little girls wash their hair almost every morning, condition it and blow dry it a little and fly out the door and wait for it to air dry into the style their monthly visit to the salon has cut it in. And that my friends is how I’m trying to live. And it’s not that our hair can’t do that because it will matt or tangle or whatever, it’s that we met the world hating all things about us and so we are not comfortable loving ourselves in the way God made us. But if I think when you show love/respect for something natural, the world will follow along and love it too. Sure, get a color, get a hair cut but that’s once a month or touching up greys at home every two weeks not every night with those hours upon hours all on my natural hair, not for me. And I don’t want to create natural styles that simply mimic what society deems acceptable like me fashioning my natural to look like naturally straight hairstyles or to mimic the loose curls of say a latina – also deemed more acceptable than our natural kinky hair.

We all need to accept African hair the way it comes out of African heads, just the way every one else’s comes out of theirs. It’s not controversy. It’s normal.

Lisette April 30, 2012 - 1:37 PM

Hallelujah and Amen!

Rahab January 22, 2012 - 7:24 PM

@ one head at a time, grl you ain’t lying. I am natural with a twa and can’t stand all the stuff they tell us to use or buy for our hair. Ugh, deep conditioning for hours, good riddance. I am not about to do that. But I must say when I first big chopped exercising was fun. I didn’t have to worry about messing up my hair. Now I have fallen off the wagon and will be starting again, I am making my grocery list now. But with all the things I have to think about I am not stressing about my hair for once.

Renaye February 23, 2012 - 1:24 PM

Wow! Reading this blog and the comments have been great. I wear my hair relaxed and have always cared alot about how my hair looks. Im @ the hair solon regularly and if i dont make it, I have to still wash my hair that week. I spend so much time and money on my hair that im just tired of it. Im in my mid 30s and enough is enough. I actually think I had a little meltdown over my hair this past summer..lol. I love working out and need to loose a few pounds, but I have slacked off because of the hair issue. Its RIDICULOUS! I was actually discussing this with my hairstylist this morning and came home to do research on what other black women are saying. I am going to start the walking more and not being so consumed with my hair. Besides the benefit of losing weight, I actually love the emotional benefits I get from working out. I starting TODAY!!! We can do it…..

Eni February 24, 2012 - 11:27 AM

I finally…FINALLY…stopped getting press and curls about 3 weeks ago. Now I’m learning how to live with and love my natural curls. The only thing keeping me from working out these days is my schedule, and even that hasn’t deterred me completely. I feel great, and as an added bonus I LOVE my hair this way. 😀

tash March 24, 2012 - 8:48 PM

I think ity is kind of sad that black women think the only way that they can be fly is with straight hair. I have been natural for 6 years and I know that my do is super duper fly. I get compliments everyday about my hair so I know that natural hair does not have to look unkept. Now if you want to walk around looking loke Buckwheat or Celie from The Color Purple (no judgement) then that is your choice but it is a bit of an insult to fly naturals everywhere to assume that unless your hair is straightened (with chemical worse than anything found at McDonald-no judgement -just saying)then you must walk around with a busted head.

D March 25, 2012 - 7:50 PM

Yeah, I don’t think that anyone is saying that all black women only think that they can “look fly” with chemically straight hair. I see a lot of nice natural styles all the time. But everyone’s hair texture is not the same , so natural hair may not be for everyone, just as chemically straightend hair is not for everyone. The point has to be that we stop judging each other either way and not let our hair keep us from being physically active and healthy.

Lisette April 30, 2012 - 1:44 PM

“I see a lot of nice natural styles all the time. But everyone’s hair texture is not the same , so natural hair may not be for everyone, just as chemically straightend hair is not for everyone.”

So which hair textures are appropriate for natural hairstyles? I wear my hair in a buzz cut now, but when it was long and natural, I had several textures. Some of it was curly, some wavy, some cottony/dense/tight (or what other people referred to as “African hair”). Which of these textures is/is not appropriate for natural hairstyles?

Dee March 25, 2012 - 9:14 PM

I am a Black Girl who has been very heavy my whole childhood and into my adult life. When I first decided to start working out, I had to come up with a mantra “I will not let my hair dictate my health.” I think it’s a motto that more of us should adopt. (BTW, love this blog!)

Chayla July 22, 2012 - 6:30 PM

I used to be that person to until I change my ways and
hairstyle so I can workout everyday from walking my dog or going to the gym from 30 mins to 1 hour a day Im still able to go the salon every two weeks!!!!

Sam September 27, 2012 - 2:17 PM

I think for a lot of people it is an issue of instant gratification. If your hair looks a mess in the morning and you go to the salon by the time you get out your hair looks fabulous. The same can be said for nails and nice clothes. If you are uncomfortable with the way your body looks and you go to the gym for an hour it looks exactly the same when you get home as it did before you left. Getting your body together takes a really long time and lot of work physically, mentally, and emotionally. It’s a lot easier to blow $40 dollars at a nail salon then to commit yourself to healthy living.

Robin November 1, 2012 - 3:23 PM

I had decided to let my hair grow and stopped relaxing it, but found that it took me to long to do after my morning workout before work. So I cut and relaxed it so I can take the extra time to get in a decent work out at the gym. It’s a concentrated effort for me to get up early and go to the gym most mornings. Trying to make the healthier decisions in life can be very difficult. I now schedule time for my nails and the gym.

Belinda November 1, 2012 - 3:30 PM

I cut all of mine off!! It can’t keep me from working out anymore! I want to live and be able to chase my grandbaby around! Best thing I’ve done for myself!! 🙂

Young One January 3, 2013 - 4:33 PM

I think it is about self acceptance. Everybody has their standard of what they find acceptable as far as beauty goes. We need to find our own and not let ourselves get in the way of being healthy.

I relax my hair periodically, because I find it easier to manage. But I think natural is beautiful too, so does my caucasian husband.

Funny case in point – We were shopping in the cosmetic section of a department store and one of the the cosmetic ladies had a Fly fro that was tall, curly, and healthy. She looked like she was in pretty good shape as well.

My husband almost twisted his neck taking a second look (men, that’s a whole nother story…) He asked me if my hair could do that, he said it looked really good on her…and mentioned her hair again later…

Even before that incident, if I wore my hair curly/wavy, he would always say that it looks good on me….
(Of course he compliments me no matter how I wear it)

So I think we as women have to be part of the solution, wearing more natural styles, or a style that’s conducive to exercising and allowing us to take better care of ourselves.

thelady February 3, 2014 - 3:57 PM

Hair is just another excuse. People who want to exercise will exorcise. People who don’t want to exercise will find an excuse not to exercise. I belong to a women only gym. I see women with relaxers, weaves, braids, wigs, shiny bald heads, high tops, short, long, straight, afro, twist out (that’s me), teased with hair spray, locs, whatever hair styles. They are regulars and they do not use their hair as an excuse to not work out. I’ve seen women work out in a full face of makeup. No excuses.

Talibah February 3, 2014 - 7:44 PM

I wear my hair in locks! I love to swim laps,walk, spin and jog (maybe). I refuse to EVER sit in a hair salon listening to gossip, and sitting forever! It doesn’t matter what the weather is like I am ready every morning. I take off my satin hair cap, shake my lovely locks and I’m ready to roll! FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST, THANK GOD ALMIGHTY I’M FREE!

Dot February 15, 2014 - 2:23 PM

It’s a frame of mind, like when Michael Jordan was in a zone, he was unstoppable. When I worked out regularly, I found a way to handle my relaxed hair. I worked out every morning before worked and left time to dry my wrapped hair. If I was running late, I smoothed it out and pinned it up. But the main issue was I was committed and determined, so I just found a way to deal with my hair-never even gave a 2nd thought about not working out because of it. When my mind is not in the right place, nothing else seems to be in the right place either.

Right now I’m in an emotional whirlwind after the loss of my mother and don’t want to do much of anything. I’m trying to get there because I know what’s best and what my Mom would want me to do. I’ll get there.

Erin Tapp August 26, 2016 - 8:05 PM

I struggled with the same thing, too. I would think to myself “I wish I had ‘wash and go’ hair, like non-black people.” Then it dawned on me: I CAN and DO have “wash and go” hair! Everyone does, if only they would realize it, and be willing to forgo certain things. I hated spending an hour with the hair dryer, and another forty-five minutes to an hour with the flat iron! And if I worked out, I would sweat out all of that effort. Well, no more. I take my five mile walks in the morning, my three to four mile walks in the evening, and I do mat Pilates too. My hair gets sweaty when I walk that much. So, I wash it every day or every other day, as the case may be, depending on the weather. I don’t even use my dryer or flat iron anymore, unless it’s a special occasion. It’s just too much bother, and I don’t enjoy it.
My hair is relaxed, and has been since I was six years old. A few years ago, I just decided to accept that it can’t be perfectly straight at all times. I started working out 3 months ago, and have lost nearly 30 pounds. I don’t let my hair stop me from doing what I want to do. I keep it clean, neat and well conditioned, but beyond that, I don’t obsess over it. Most people probably don’t notice anything amiss with it anyway. Other people don’t study us the way we study ourselves. My hair is what it is, and if anyone has a problem with the way it looks, they can just turn the other way and look elsewhere.

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