38% of African American Women reported hair as a barrier to exercise. Sweating out hairstyles, and the time it takes to wash, dry and style hair after a workout were all reported as reasons for not being physically active.
But what about the effects of exercise on your hair? And what can you do after exercise to ensure you never have a bad hair day in 2022?
Michelle, founder of Ataji Hair Care, created her natural hair products when she couldn't find any products that could keep her daughters hair healthy and happy.
Now, in January 2022, when you have been working on your new year's resolutions, which likely include one of the top 10 - exercise more, and eat healthier. Michelle suggests concentrating on the WHY, and not the what. Her approach to 'exercise more', is going to be a little different to the usual fitness narrative.
'Let's be honest, exercise can be off-putting, so instead of making a goal based on exercising more. We want you to focus on the benefit exercise can have on sleep. Skin hydration is decreased with sleep restriction. Not getting enough sleep, negatively affects your skin integrity (more wrinkles, less elasticity). Melatonin (a hormone released prior to sleep) also helps prevent hair loss. So improving your sleep quality, and getting more sleep results in shinier and happier skin, and more hair growth'.
What does this have to do with exercise?
Sleep disorders are a major health epidemic. And you know how stressful it can be when you can't sleep. Exercise has been shown to improve sleep quantity and quality, and reduce chronic stress.
Not only is chronic stress associated with disease, it can also shorten your life expectancy. High levels of the 'stress hormone' (cortisol) causes hair shedding, and can reduce important skin elements needed for hair growth by 40%.
But maybe you're still worried about taking care of your hair during your workout?
Well as long as it is protected, whether you are joining a new exercise class, or doing a HIIT session at home, the increased heart rate and blood flow will increase oxygen and nutrient delivery to your scalp. Feeding your follicles and improving your hair growth and shine.
So rather than setting a goal to 'exercise more'. Let's focus on the WHY. And as Michelle says 'as a hair nerd I can think of no better reason to stick to my new year's resolution'.
Let's start a hair care revolution this year. Tag us (@ataji_hair_care and @ranbynature) in your exercise posts, and tell us how you are taking care of your hair during your workout.