I share my best tips for exercising with natural hair and promoting healthier hair growth in this article.
There have been studies mentioning as much as 45% of black women avoid exercise because of their hair.
However, exercise is essential not only for long-term health but also for optimizing your hair growth rate.
When a lot of people think of exercise, the most common things that come to mind include exertion, sweating, and general body pains.
Let’s face it, who wants that much hassle for more hair? However, it doesn’t have to be a tedious prospect and can turn out to be a lot of fun along the way.
Whichever way you look at it, what goes on with our body also affects hair growth on some level.
One of the books in the free resource library, 95 Foods for Healthy Hair Care and Growth covers much of what you should be eating to optimize hair growth.
This article will cover how exercise affects hair growth, the best exercises for optimal hair growth, how long you should exercise, and tips for exercising with natural hair.
How Does Exercise Affect Natural Hair Growth?
There is a sound explanation behind exercise helping to improve your hair growth rate. When we exercise, our heart rate increases and blood flow is improved.
This blood flow also takes place around your scalp area, which helps draw essential nutrients to your scalp. This leads to longer and stronger hair.
Additionally, exercise increases serotonin levels in the body. Serotonin is aka the happiness hormone. When the levels are increased, it helps lower stress in your body.
A stressed-out body affects overall body function including the hair follicles, which can lead to stalled growth and hair fall.
What Kind of Exercises Can Improve Hair Growth Rate?
It doesn’t have to be all about the treadmill. There are many other exercises you can do.
Weight training, power walking, martial arts, sailing, dancing, cycling, and dance are some of the more popular ones.
Yoga is also great for improved hair growth. There’s an entire chapter in The Ultimate Hair Growth Guide dedicated to inverted exercises for hair growth.
Related Resources for Exercise & Natural Hair Growth
However, you can go with anything you enjoy as long as it’s something that gets your heart rate up and blood pumping through your body.
Beachbody has many workout programs for beginners all the way to advanced levels and you can stream all of them right in your living room.
They are quick, fun, and engaging. See more on Beachbody programs and the range of workouts HERE.
How Much Exercise is Effective for Natural Hair Growth Rate?
You don’t have to exercise for hours to get the benefits. In fact, too much exercise can prove counterproductive in the long run and cause injury.
Excessive exercise can cause hair shedding and build-up on your scalp from sweating.
Daily exercise for 30 – 45 minutes is more than enough. If you can’t exercise every day, try to make at least 3 – 4 times a week your target.
Is Sweating Good for Natural Hair Growth?
Sweating isn’t good for your hair and too much of it will lead to hair shedding and build-up on your scalp, which can cause clogged pores.
Does this mean you shouldn’t do high-intensity workouts? Nope. Work out as you normally would but you will have to shampoo and conditioner your hair at least once a week.
If you’re in a protective style like braids or twists, rinsing once or twice a week is a good idea.
Tips for Exercising with Natural Hair
1. Wear a Bun
Put your hair or protective style up in a bun. If you’re wearing a wash and go, put up in a pineapple bun. This will reduce contact with sweat.
2. Stay Out of the Heat
Work out in a cool area. If you prefer working out outdoors, then the cooler months would be best. Exercising outdoors in a humid environment will lead to a lot of frizz.
3. Don’t Neglect Natural Hair Care
If you sweat a lot, you will need to co-wash your hair at least once a week. If you’re in a protective style, spray diluted conditioner in your hair then rinse.
It is important to note that exercise alone cannot improve the hair growth rate. You still need to eat the right food and engage in healthy hair care practices to maximize the benefits of exercise.
If you’re doing everything else right, expect to see a change in your hair within 6 – 8 weeks.
If you have an underlying condition causing stalled hair growth, this needs to be addressed and resolved before anything else.
Should this not be resolved, whatever you do, exercise or otherwise, won’t make a difference and might even make your hair loss worse.
Keep in mind if you’re not used to heavy exercise or haven’t exercised for a long time, go in for an overall health check.
This is necessary to ensure everything is functioning fine before you engage in physically challenging activities.
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments section.
Abi is a curly hair expert, researcher, product tester, and author of the highly-rated Healthy Hair Care Series. She is also the founder of Ade Ori Hair Care, Healthy Natural Hair Products, and Natural Oils for Hair & Beauty. HNHP has strict editorial standards and ensures all the information on Healthy Natural Hair Products is the best for natural hair care. Learn more about our Editorial Policies
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