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15 Functional but Cute Gym Hairstyles for Thick Hair

Slay your workout in style with our fave gym hairstyles for thick hair!

In light of #NewYearNewMe, hitting the gym is probably high on your 2020 resolutions list, right? Like many other women, your first appearance in your local fitness centre may be a little daunting, not to mention overwhelming (just attempting to set up your locker key is a struggle in itself!). But one aspect you can control is your hair game.

Whether it’s been a while since you stepped into the gym or you’re simply looking to make 2020 an excuse to update your gym look, we’ve shortlisted the top 12 gym hairstyles for thick hair to make sure you look amazing while you crunch, squat and lunge your way to your beach body dream.

Cute Bun

Woman with dark hair styled into a top knot
Credit: Rupert Laycock

It’s a gym staple for thick hair because it works, helping you keeping hair up and off your face and neck. No matter the type of exercise, this cute messy bun has got you covered.

Double Dutch Braids

Smiling woman at the gym
Credit: Rupert Laycock

When it comes to gym hairstyles for thick hair, this double Dutch braid is the fanciest gym hairstyle of all. Before you get scared off, it’s far easier to create than it may first seem. Just be warned: it’s best to avoid attempting this look after arm day, trust us, you’ll need the arm power!

Editor’s tip: Try spritzing a little dry shampoo (we like the Love Beauty And Planet Volume & Bounty Dry Shampoo) into your roots before braiding. It’ll add more grip and make sure it lasts longer!


Gym hairstyles for thick hair: Close-up of a woman with long dark curly hair in a ponytail, wearing a sporty green vest top
A ponytail is the simplest way of sweeping your hair back. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

No time to spend in the locker room creating an elaborate hairstyle? We still haven’t found a better hairstyle for keeping long, thick hair out of the way than the classic pony. If it ain’t broke…!

Braided Ponytail

Woman with thick hair styled into a braided ponytail
Credit: Rupert Laycock

When you have thick hair, you can afford to experiment with it! If you get bored of wearing ponytails on repeat, you can easily mix things up by working in a pretty plait. Don’t forget to pancake it, will you?

Figure-8 Bun

Gym hairstyles for thick hair:
Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Have thick, long locks? If you find it’s too long to go into a regular bun, try this twisted figure of 8 bun instead by twisting it around on itself. It’ll keep your lengths wrapped up nicely, plus it looks nice enough to wear out after, too.

Centre Braid

Side view of woman with centre braid
Credit: Rupert Laycock

Want to hit the gym in peace, yet still don’t want to compromise on your style? Then we think you should give this stunning centre braid a go!

This style is the perfect opportunity to make the most of your hair’s thickness, since you can braid in the middle section of your mane, before pulling the rest up into a messy half-bun. It’s practical, packs a style punch, and will stay put during your workout! 

Gym hairstyles for thick hair: Brunette model with long hair tied in a looped bun, wearing a lilac gym top
What do you mean you haven’t heard of the looped bun?! Credit: Verity Jane Smith

No basic buns here ladies, spruce up your regular style with this effortless looped bun. Instead of pulling your hair right the way through, stop halfway and create this off-duty looped effect – who says gym hair can’t be chic?!

Stacked Buns

Gym hairstyles for thick hair: Back view of a woman with brown blonde ombre hair in two double stacked buns
When one bun isn’t enough, double up. Credit:

If no hair tie in the world can keep your thick mane in place, divide and conquer with this stacked bun hairstyle.

If low space buns are a little too primary school for you, this stacked bun is the newest way to style your tresses both in and out of the gym – meaning you can still hit the smoothie bar after your grueling gym session and look totally on trend. Credit: @kristin_ess

TRESemme Ultimate Hold Hairspray

Editor’s tip: If pesky flyaways are the bane of your gym life, give your tresses a spritz of the TRESemmé Ultimate Hold Hairspray to help smooth down any stray hairs and to keep your style in place.

Ballerina Bun

Gym hairstyles for thick hair: Back shot of a brunette model with a twisted high bun, wearing a sporty strappy top and sports bra
Russian twists call for twisted buns. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Living out those ballerina dreams in barre class? Make sure you look the part with an elegant and durable ballerina bun hairstyle. And don’t be frugal with the bobby pins – the more the better to keep it in place!

Chunky Dutch Braid

Brunette woman braiding her hair in a Dutch braid
Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Braids for the gym are always a good idea. Take this chunky Dutch braid as a prime example – not only will it keep your thick mane secure but by wrapping some loose strands around your hairband, you’ll have a look that’s neat, gym-ready, and worthy of more formal occasions, too!

Braided Bun

Gym hairstyles for thick hair: Woman with brunette naturally curly hair in a high fishtail braided bun, wearing a pink sports top
A braided bun is sure to keep your strands in check. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

After a hairstyle that won’t get in your face while you’re a mid-downward dog? Here’s a hairstyle that’s made for thick hair – a braided bun. It’s as simple as braiding your hair and wrapping it around on itself to create a bun, but it looks so much more impressive!

Natural Bun

Woman with natural thick hair styled into a braided
Credit: Rupert Laycock

This cute natural puff is fit to take you from the gym to brunch seamlessly. To add a little interest, try working in some braids near the hairline to give your look more staying power.

Grip It

Gym hairstyles for thick hair: Close-up back view of Khloe Kardashian with blonde hair in a low sleek ponytail with bobby pin details
We love this hairstyle for anyone with short layers. Credit:

As any avid gym-goer will know, the problem with short layers is that they don’t hold very well in an updo, especially when your workout ramps up in intensity.

To counter this, don’t be shy about utilising a bobby pin (or 12!). Guaranteed to hold even the most stubborn and thickest of hairs in place, this nifty styling tool can also double up as a super on-trend accessory, too! Credit: @khloekardashian

Style tip: Are you finding your bobby pins are constantly sliding out of your hair? Then the best inside tip we can ever give is spraying hairspray on your bobby pins before using – it makes them more grippy so they’re more budgeproof.


Rio-worthy black hair ideas: ballerina bun relaxed hair
Credit: Verity Jane Smith

No longer confined to the realms of the ‘80s, the headband is officially back – and we’re low-key loving it.

No matter what length your hair is, a headband (or, dare we say it, a sweatband) is guaranteed to hold thick hair in place while you reach your workout goals.


Gym hairstyles for thick hair: Selfie of a woman with short bleach blonde hair in a quiff style
Quiffs are great for thick, short hair. Credit:

If you’re a thick-haired girl with a short pixie style crop, you might think your gym hair options are limited. One great solution is to work a sleek and chic quiff, which works to sweep hair away from the face and hold firm as you burn those calories! 

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