How to Care for Hair After a Workout

When you work out, sweat seeps into your hair, and can make it look greasy and dirty. That's no big deal when you're headed home for the evening. If your day isn't over yet, find ways to make your locks look fresh. A shower and shampoo is the best post-workout cleanup, but you can wipe away the sweat without lathering up. Dry shampoo, astringent hair tonics and a blow dryer help to degrease your tresses without the suds.

Your hair can look fantastic even after a workout. (Image: ViewApart/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Rinse your hair under warm water if you have time to shampoo in the shower. Lather a nickel-sized amount of shampoo between your hands, then massage it into your hair from the roots to the ends. Pay particular attention to areas where sweat collects, such as around your hairline and at the nape of your neck. Rinse thoroughly.

Step 2

Spritz your hair with an astringent hair tonic if you have time to shower but don't want to get your locks wet. Allow the steam and heat in the shower to help the tonic penetrate your hair, without the need for rinsing. The tonic works by breaking down excess sebum and sweat without water. Opt for a tonic that contains peppermint or tea tree oil -- they're potent astringents that also have a nice scent. Once you're done in the shower, blow-dry your hair until it's completely dry, then curl, iron or style as usual.

Step 3

Spray your hair with a dry shampoo if you can't get in the shower. Shake a can of dry shampoo a few times, then hold it about 10 inches away from your head. Slowly move the can back and forth as you spray the shampoo on the roots. Don't use too much product in one spot; if you see a buildup of white powder, you've used too much. Wait a few minutes, then brush the powder through your hair to help it soak up oil and dirt from your scalp. Check for remaining white residue and brush it out. If any spots still feel oily, add a bit more shampoo and brush it in.

Step 4

Use a blow dryer to refresh your hair if you can't shampoo. After working out, direct the warm air at the nape of your neck, then move it around your hairline for three to five minutes to dry up sweat. Rub a few drops of silicone styling serum or cream into the hair that frames your face, then aim the warm air at those strands to ease frizz and give hair luster.

Things You'll Need

  • Astringent hair tonic

  • Shampoo

  • Dry shampoo

  • Brush

  • Blow dryer

  • Silicone styling serum or cream


If your gym provides shampoo in the shower, you may want to skip it. The shampoo may be too harsh, especially for dry or fine hair. Instead, bring your own shampoo from home.

To keep hair from hanging in your face during your workout, wear a headband made of terry cloth or another absorbent material. The headband will soak up sweat, keeping it out of your hair.

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