Sweat and Your Hair

Do you wash your hair after every workout? I have long hair so I don’t wash it every time as I don’t want to dry it out any more than it actually is. I also have colour-treated hair so wondered if leaving perspiration on my hair was going to do damage. I asked my hairdresser over the weekend.

Turns it, sweat isn’t great for your hair. Our bodies produce a combination of water and salts, along with some protein – none of which is good to leave on our heads and in our hair. The salt in sweat can cause hair to lose colour quicker, he said. It can also dry out your scalp as well as prevent new hair growth.

Okay, none of these things are good. But neither is washing my hair every time I work out (which is currently three to four days a week – yup, on a roll).

My hairdresser suggested rinsing with cold water after a workout. It doesn’t have to be thorough, he said – adding that it would be immensely helpful even if I just massage water into my roots. He also suggested putting a leave-in conditioner on my hair before I head to the gym. This not only creates a protective barrier – important for those of us who have colour treated hair – but also is a great way to work a deep conditioning treatment into our busy schedules.

He also suggested using a dry shampoo, particularly the ones that have fast-absorbing powders that soak up sweat and oil. Don’t use a dry shampoo on sopping hair, though, as it will turn into a yucky paste. My hairdresser suggested quickly blow drying the roots before adding dry shampoo. Also – a dry shampoo in powder form works better than an aerosol spray on sweaty heads. (It was suggested that I use Bumble and Bumble Pret A Powder.)

So, there you have it, my fellow sweat heads!