5 Fab Natural Hair Ideas for Your Next Workout

Going through a fitness frenzy? Then it's time to up your hair game. 

Looking for pretty, gym-friendly natural hair ideas? We don’t blame you. With sports season now in full swing, it’s making everyone turn fitness and sports-crazy (us included)! That’s why the All Things Hair team put together a carefully curated list of black hairstyles for the gym that are perfect for aspiring athletes. So, whether you’re trying to beat your PB on the track or just want to look beautiful while on the balance beam, we’ve got something to suit your activity of choice.

Editor’s tip: Before starting your gym hairstyle, begin by prepping your hair with the LOC method (liquid, oil and cream). For the liquid section, try a leave-in conditioner, such as SheaMoisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Leave-In. This formula works to strengthen and moisturize your hair.

As for the hair oil and cream parts of your hair care routine, try out The Good Stuff Frizz Control Oil that works to penetrate into the hair as it delivers nourishment and Emerge My Everything Hair Butter Styling Cream, a lightweight cream that works to give your curls natural definition.

1. Tennis-Ready Tiered Ponytail

Rio-worthy black hair ideas: tiered ponytail relaxed hair
Rio-worthy black hair ideas: Tiered ponytail for tennis? Photo cedit: Verity Jane Smith

Looking for black hair ideas that will stand the test of a tennis match or the high speeds of cycling? Then this tiered and twisted ponytail could be the answer to your curly hair prayers. The best part? Although it looks rather intricate, in reality, it’s super easy to do!

Step 1: Take the top section of your hair (roughly two inches in width all the way around) and create a half-up ponytail. Then, secure it with an elastic band, making sure that your ponytail isn’t too tight.

Step 2: Carefully create an opening above the middle of your ponytail, using your fingers to divide your hair.

Step 3: Flip the end of the ponytail up and through the gap to create your first twisted ponytail.

Step 4: Take another 2 inch-wide section of hair, just below your half-up ponytail. Create another topsy-turvy ponytail, again pulling the end of your first ponytail through the gap. Repeat this process until you have created 4 topsy-turvy ponytails!

2. Gymnast’s Bun

Rio-worthy black hair ideas: ballerina bun relaxed hair
Beautiful ballerina bun for working out. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone that doesn’t love the classic ballerina bun. This black hairstyle for the gym is inspired by gymnasts, and we love it even more because it’s also a protective hairstyle.

Step 1: Gather all of your hair into a high ponytail and secure it with a hairband.

Step 2: Gently twist and wrap the tail of your pony around its base, securing it with bobby pins or another hairband – and you’re finished!

Editor’s tip: Flyaways and baby hairs ruining your uber stylish gym ‘dos? Just apply a little bit of Emerge Style Goals Gel to your hairline and brush it back using a natural bristle brush or an unused toothbrush. You can also team your bun with a headband to keep these pesky small hairs at bay – it’ll instantly take your bun from basic to beautiful!

3. Boxer Braids

 black hair ideas: cornrows boxer braids black natural hair
Boxer braids for working out. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

Cornrows didn’t get its new name – boxer braids – for no reason. This flat plait is practical because it stays put during high intensity workouts like boxing. Check out our step-by-step guide below to master boxer braids:

Step 1: Using the tip of your comb, divide your hair into three sections (from your forehead to the nape of your neck). Aim to make the middle section the largest and two outer sections slightly smaller. Use section clips to secure each of your outer sections.

Step 2: Now it’s time to begin your center boxer braid. Take about an inch of hair from your hairline and split it into three equal parts, and start to weave them: the left goes under the middle section, then the right under the middle section.

Step 3: As you continue your plait, pick up hair from underneath and add them to the outer sections as you weave. Continue this process until you reach the nape of your neck, then finish by plaiting a standard three-strand plait until you reach the end.

Step 4: Plait the two outer sections by repeating the braiding process above and finish the look by twisting the ends of all three braids into a bun or ponytail, before securing with a hairband.

3. Sporty Space Buns

Rio-worthy black hair ideas: space buns
Black hair ideas: Sporty space buns. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

You heard it here first: ‘90s hair is back! And with that in mind, no ‘natural hairstyles for the gym’ list would be complete without a rave-inspired ‘do. We think these cute, protective space buns would be great on the balance beam or vault.

Step 1: Create a deep parting using the tip of a comb, dividing your hair into two equal sections.

Step 2: Secure both sections with hairbands to create two high pigtails.

Step 3: Finish by twisting and wrapping the ends of your pigtails into a bun, securing it again with a hairband or some bobby pins.

4. Player’s Pineapple

Rio-worthy black hair ideas: culry black hair pineapple
Black hair ideas: The versatile pineapple. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

Let’s be honest: we think you’d be hard-pressed to find an occasion when the pineapple updo isn’t suitable! This is one of the best black hairstyles for the gym to keep your out of the way. It also shows off your curl definition. Just pull your hair into a high ponytail and secure with a snag-free hairband, and you’re good to go!

Editor’s tip: Why not take your hair game to the next level and try layering up some elastic headbands – we think it instantly makes the hairstyle look super athletic.

Prev Article
Next Article

Stay inspired

Sign up to the newsletter and get exclusive hair care tips and tricks.
Hair Quiz
All Things Hair
All Things Hair US
Need some style inspo? Let's chat! I'm Athena, your personal Hair Assistant.
Chat with All Things Hair in Messenger