View Full Version : Long hair and exercise... Sweaty scalp syndrome :)

February 11th, 2015, 09:52 AM
My hair is tailbone length now, and I am planning to let it keep growing indefinitely. I'm also trying to lose about 75 pounds (a little less than halfway there!), so I'm trying to exercise regularly. Is it okay not to wash or even rinse your hair after exercising, especially if your scalp gets extremely sweaty? My hair gets so tangled when I wash it and takes FOREVER to dry, and sometimes I don't exercise because I just don't want to take the time to deal with my hair afterward. (I realize I may just have to get over that.) Any suggestions? Thanks!

February 11th, 2015, 10:54 AM
I'd say its ok to not wash your hair after. Your hair might either like it or hate it.
I've heard about brushing your hair after the sweat had dried to clean it again. A BBB seems good for this.

If this leaves your hair feeling or smelling yucky, scalp washes or scalp rinses might be the thing to try for you. The length will stay dry, but that shouldn't get dirty either.

Just try not washing kind see how you like it. I think you should be fine.

And besides that I'm cheering you on! Go exercise, you're doing great!

February 11th, 2015, 10:59 AM
I also think it's fine not to wash when your scalp gets sweaty. I don't think it's necessarily bad for your hair. It may be annoying to you, but whether or not to wash will just depend on how willing you are to put up with that.

Congratulations on your exercise program. Hope you're getting a good mix of cardio and strength training -- and that you're doing something fun for your exercise so you won't get tired of it! :disco:

February 11th, 2015, 11:03 AM
Your hair will be fine. I wash my hair once a week and do pretty heavy sweat-producing exercises six days a week with no problem. The sweat just dries away, and the hair remains clean and lovely.

Keep exercising. It's great for your body and mind! :cheer:

February 11th, 2015, 11:11 AM
Have you tried using a dry shampoo? I workout and get very sweaty everyday and I normally wash my hair everyday because of this. My hair is nearing WL and I'm thinking of trying out a routine of WC every other day and on the days I don't WC, using the dry shampoo.

February 11th, 2015, 01:47 PM
If your scalp is in good shape, it should be ok. One word of caution though. Watch for itchy scalp after sweating and not washing/rinsing. You don't want to develop SD.

February 11th, 2015, 01:51 PM
I've never heard anyone report it being damaging to leave sweat to dry, though I think some people find it makes their roots oilier as the sweat carries the oils out away from the scalp. Certainly, the SO people don't have problems with it. Alternatively, I'm all for leaving hair in its updo after exercising and just rinsing the scalp area (not the bun or braid or whatever you have) to get the worst of it off. This'll dry relatively quickly and doesn't create tangles for me.

February 11th, 2015, 02:10 PM
I am a professional athlete, and when I'm in season I practice at least 6 days a week, sometimes twice a day. In the winter season I wash only 2 times a week, and in the summer it's once every other day. My hair is not as long as yours, though. My hair dries after I sweat, and I usually apply a tiny but of dry shampoo or a spirtz of perfume on a brush, and brush my hair. If the sweat really bothers you, maybe you can blowdry your scalp on cool or warm until dry? Keeping my hair in a bun or braid really helped me as far as tangles. Good luck to you!

February 11th, 2015, 02:22 PM
I agree with others: it will dry fine and won't cause damage. If it really bothers you, rinse scalp only to avoid tangling/drying times. The way I do it is by covering my low bun with a plastic cap or two and washing just the scalp.

February 11th, 2015, 04:54 PM
I go without washing my hair after working out most of the time. You do want to watch out for things like dandruff, because your scalp may not like being 'dirtied' without washing, but you should give it a go!

My go-to when I get really sweaty but don't want to wash is to wet my roots with a spray bottle of water that has just a few drops of lavender EO. I get my whole scalp very wet and then blot with a towel until it isn't sopping anymore. The EO is great because there's a bit of an antibacterial benefit, and the smell covers/clears any lingering sweat smell.

February 14th, 2015, 12:57 PM
Unless I sweat profusely, I do not always wash my hair after a workout. It takes too long, especially since I do some type of workout every day. My hair does not like being washed that often.

February 14th, 2015, 05:19 PM
Same here. I don't find it necessary to wash my hair after each workout, and I live in a tropical climate! I just let it dry without touching it, and it should be fine to comb out afterwards. BBB really helps, but I only do that in the mornings. Normally I wash my hair twice a week and that seems to be sufficient. :)

February 14th, 2015, 09:31 PM
Congratulations on your weight loss!!! I dont always rinse my hair after i workout. I let the sweat dry and my hair feels slightly crunchy then i take a fine toothed comb and detangle and it gets any gunky out. Then my hair feels fine.

February 14th, 2015, 09:54 PM
Honestly, I'm in the same boat as you when it comes to not wanting to wash your hair after every time you exercise because it is such a pain! If you're comfortable with it, then that's all that really matters. I know what helps me is to normally comb or brush through my hair after a particularly grueling workout because that seems to help my scalp cool down much faster, then I tend to wear it down for a bit to air out (that sounds disgusting, but you know what I mean!) and I'm fine for the rest of the day. I tend to wash my hair only when it really needs it, which is normally 4-5 days since I'm prone to oily roots. If anything, I think the extra oils secreted during a workout actually help to keep my hair conditioned, which I feel is a huge benefit!