Maintaining natural or textured hair while working out is a bit of a feat, to say the least. While some hairstyles for Black athletes work well despite the frizz and sweat exercising brings on, others…not so much.
However, the good news is that with a bit of extra care and time spent with your hair, you can properly protect your hair and focus on keeping your head in the game at the same time.
Choosing the Best Hairstyles for Black Athletes
Let us make one thing clear first: there is no right or wrong hairstyle to rock as an athlete if you ask us. Your unique hair expression is yours alone, and you can take inspiration from all the diverse hairstyles worn by popular Black athletes like Ja Morant or Jimmy Butler.
There are NBA players with afros, frohawks, cornrows—you name it. So instead of focusing on finding the “right” look, let’s shift your attention towards protecting the hair beneath the style! Check out these five essential hair care tips for athletes down below to help you step your hair game up:
1. Don’t skip wash days, but don’t over shampoo either.
According to Google, a question on many people’s minds is, “How often should Black athletes wash their hair?” And we’ve got an answer.
In general, you should shampoo your natural hair once every 10-14 days, depending on how you wear your hair. But for athletes, you can bump the frequency up to once a week—if that’s okay with your hair. Cleansing your scalp of sweat and buildup is essential, but over-cleansing can strip your hair of its moisture.
If your hair doesn’t feel dry or brittle from washing once a week, that’s how you know you’re good to go!
2. Always allow your hair to dry fully after a game or workout.
Do you reach for your durag immediately after an intense game or workout?
Not so fast. Allow your hair to dry post-workout before styling it to avoid damage and keep your hair smelling fresh for longer.
3. When in doubt, wear a protective style.
Okay, we know we said there are no right or wrong hairstyles for Black athletes, but you can seriously never go wrong with a protective style like twists or cornrows.
If you’re a low-maintenance guy who doesn’t want to be bothered with their hair after every game, stick to the protective styles!
4. Remoisturize your hair (because sweat isn’t enough).
Your hair may be damp after a game, but it’ll still need some moisturization afterward to remain healthy and nourished. Give your hair what it needs by using a leave-in conditioner and then sealing in all that good moisture with Nile Hair oil.
5. Let your hair be.
Black athletes are scrutinized down to every detail, including how they choose to wear their hair, but here’s a reminder that you’re allowed just to let your hair be!
We at Nile Hair are passionate about reminding and showing our brothers and other men alike that they are empowered in their hair journeys, so if you found this article helpful, leave a comment and let us know below.