I looked around my Zumba class and noticed that most of the African-American women were wearing their hair natural. Afros, cornrows, twist-outs, and locks all were the hairstyles of choice for these women are committed to working it out. My observation made me wonder if black women with straightened hair opt out of the exercise scene after they get their hair done.
Sometimes I will go days without a visit to the gym if I am sporting a newly serviced coif. The sweat generated around our roots and edges does alter the style and may limit our ability to maintain the look.
Many women aren’t willing to sit in the salon for hours only to lose the style, shape, and texture of their hair in a matter of minutes at the gym,
So how have I resolved this dilemma?
- On the days when I get my hair done, I alter the type of exercise I do. For instance, I opt for more stretching and yoga.
- I also do a light walk on the treadmill for a shorter time than normal and make sure it’s not too strenuous.
- I do double duty right before my salon visit. What is usually a one-hour workout turns into a two-hour boot camp session before my salon visit.
This summer I plan on going completely au naturale, which for me means fewer blowouts and flat irons. My health is far more important to me than my coif. I also purchased a couple of wigs to fill in. I found that a little gel and water can give me an acceptable look for business and dress-up by simply brushing my hair back in a ponytail, and adding an Afro puff.
We as African-Americans have been demeaned, berated, and belittled because of our hair texture. This has led to an obsession for some women wanting to be valued based on the quality of their hair texture and hairstyle. We must remember that hair can come and go, but our health is meant to sustain us for a lifetime.
If you would like to take a look at some of the afro puffs, I compiled some links for you to purchase a few. I have them in 3 different sizes.