Is it possible to look good during a workout? Yes! We could be biased, but we believe that even if you get hot and sweaty (always a sign of a good workout!) you can still look amazing with the right workout hairstyle. After all, it’s what brings together and elevates a look. And while it might seem like very surface-level, looking good while working out can have a positive effect on your performance, by affecting how you feel inside.
So, whether you’re a sportsperson, a gym-buff, or just appreciate mindful movement, we’ve put together a list of workout hairstyles for you. These looks are practical, pretty and best of all: there’s not a single “normal” ponytail in sight!
A perfect workout hairstyle for our naturalistas, the high puff is a stylish option for any type of movement you’re into. It will fit right in, in a dance session, gym session or anything else you’ve got going on. Your hair will be out of your face, while still showing off your natural texture. And, best of all, it will still look amazing after your session.
Cropped and curly
If you have short hair but you want to spruce it up, we recommend playing up your natural texture. If you’ve got natural curls or waves, add a bit of product to keep it in place and run with it — literally. Or go for a bike ride, hike, yoga session… this workout hairstyle fits most forms of movement.
Depending on your hair type and texture, you may want to use a product with a medium or strong hold. We’d say a safe bet is to go for a strong hold mousse that won’t flatten out your curls. The VO5 Mega Hold Styling Mousse also protects against humidity, so you won’t have to worry about your hair getting sweaty.
The versatility of medium-sized braids cannot be overstated. During your workout you can tie them up, put them in a bun, pin a few back, or even just leave them hanging free. And, after your workout you can change the look again to suit the occasion. Medium braids as a workout hairstyle is a win-win.
Adding a wide headband to your chosen workout hairstyle will give your look a retro vibe, while also helping to catch and absorb any sweat on your forehead. Pair this accessory to any hairstyle you choose, from ponytails to puffs to pixie cuts.
Editor’s tip: Depending on the activity you’re doing, headbands can slip off. Avoid this from happening by securing it in place with bobby pins. Simply spray some hairspray directly onto the pins before pinning the headband in place, and it will stay there for the whole session. A good hairspray to use is the TRESemmé Firm Hold Styling Hairspray.
Straight back locs
If you have locs it might be tempting to tie them up in a bun. But we suggest showing them off by tying them back or simply pinning back the locs at the front.
We know we said there are no ponytails in this list, but the key feature for this workout hairstyle is the undercut. The undercut makes this look an ideal option for just about any exercise or movement practice, as there’s much less hair to worry about setting in place. Because it’s a pretty permanent look, we recommend this one for our avid gym-goers or sportspeople.
Another versatile option, a low bun is a classic workout hairstyle. It’s also a look that would suit whatever you have to do after your session. You could wear this look as a sleek ‘do, or you want to amp up the volume by allowing your hair’s natural texture to shine through. For low impact activities like yoga or meditation, you could also pull out a few face-framing pieces.
If you’re running too low on time to style your hair, we say grab a cap. It may not be the first thing that comes to mind as a workout hairstyle, but it certainly is effective. And it’s especially great if your session or practice is outdoors, or if you’re going on a hike or bike ride.
Okay, we had to include a classic. And when it comes to workout hairstyles, what’s more classic than a topknot? (Ponytails not included.) Simply tie your hair up, right on the top of your head, and leave the hair looped halfway through the hair tie. You could neaten it up with bobby pins or hairspray, but this is the perfect look for guys and gals on the go.
Half-up looped ponytail
This look is definitely more suited to low impact activities, like a soothing yoga practice. The aim of this look is to simply tie back the front of your hair so it’s out of your face, while allowing the rest of your hair to remain free.
Keep your hair neat and in place with a spritz of strong hold hairspray. The VO5 Strong Hold Hairspray is a great option, especially as we go into Summer. This is because it protects against humidity and brushes out easily with no sticky residue.