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A Fitness Instructor’s Guide to Dealing With Your Hair Before, During and After the Gym

How to keep your hair fresh before, during, and after your workout. 

If you engage with any kind of fitness on a regular basis, you know that caring for your hair can sometimes feel more challenging than lifting the heaviest weights at the gym. Caring for your hair before, during, and after the gym can be daunting and it’s hard to know where to begin.

We spoke to Meg Hopkins, fitness instructor and intuitive eating coach, about how she deals with her hair before, during, and after the gym. Hopkins is a personal trainer, group class instructor, and the founder and owner of the body positive fitness company Thrive Tribe Movement. She is also an intuitive eating coach and kickboxing trainer and spends her time between New York’s boroughs teaching, strengthening, and empowering women and men. We sat down with Hopkins to hear more about her hair care routine inside and outside the gym.

 Caring for Your Hair Before and After the Gym

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Meg Hopkins, founder and owner of the body positive fitness company Thrive Tribe Movement.

What’s your go-to style for working out?

My go-to style for working out is just a really high ponytail. My hair is layered and it’s also very smooth and silky and I have to make the ponytail super high in order to get it out of my face. I usually use a plastic hair band because it holds the hair a little more firmly.

What are some of the most common hair-related challenges women have at the gym?

One of my main challenges is keeping hair out of my face. Especially for women who have fine hair like me, even if I put it up in a ponytail with a headband, it rarely stays. That seems to be a real issue for me.

And when I teach women with more textured hair or curly hair, a large issue is less about keeping the hair up and out of their face and more about not wanting it to get sweaty. Washing curly or textured hair daily just isn’t an option.

What are your must-have hair products pre and post workout?

I don’t really put too much product in my hair before I work out because I just end up sweating it out so it feels like a waste of product. But I do love using leave-in conditioner and putting it in a few minutes before a workout class – whether I’m working out or teaching – and then as I sweat it helps condition my hair, as well. It makes my sweaty hair feel less gross to me and it conditions my hair at the same time.

Editor’s note: If you want to give this trick a try, we suggest using Love Beauty and Planet Smooth and Serene Argan Oil Lavender Leave-In Smoothie Cream for a boost of smooth hydration.

Post-workout, I always take out my ponytail, brush through my hair, and then use dry shampoo. Dry shampoo has saved my life as a fitness instructor. I don’t really have a lot of time between doing my own workout, running a session, or a teaching a class. After I apply the dry shampoo, I brush my hair again and then I’m good to go.

Editor’s note: TRESemmé Fresh & Clean Dry Shampoo is ideal for those sweat strands post-gym.

Do you find that you end up over-washing your hair?

I do end up over-washing my hair a lot of the time. It’s just the nature of the job. As a fitness instructor, half of my life is teaching and half of my life is showering. What helps me not over wash it to the point where my hair is dry and brittle is dry shampoo (which replaces the hair washing portion of my shower), and any sort of conditioner that’s super moisturizing and hydrating. That way, even if I wash my hair more than I should, it’s still getting enough moisture that it doesn’t get dry and brittle.

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