Worrying about the status of your hair can be a huge distraction during any workout. No one wants to stop mid-run or break form while pulsing at the barre to reassemble her ‘do.
To find stress-free hair options that are stylish to boot (am I the only one hitting the ponytail-bobby-pin wall?), we tapped Lisa Richards, co-founder at RPZL a hair extensions and braid bar in New York City, who gave us the perfect braid for every type of workout, from spin to boot camp.
Ready to get gorgeously sweaty (and stay gorgeous after your workout)? Check out these pretty ways to keep your hair in check. —Amy Marturana
(Photos: RPZL shot at Well+Good’s Surfside Salutations event in Montauk)
FOR INDOOR CYCLING: Top knot or braid bun
“This hairstyle allows for a chic, clean look that can be worn post-workout as well!” Richards says. Since spin is low-impact, you won’t be bouncing enough to pull the bun out—unless you’re a diehard head-banging, hair-tosser at SoulCycle. Then any hairstyle you choose may be doomed.
FOR BARRE: Crown braid
Playing off its origins in dance, “the crown braid is the most elegant and efficient hairstyle to wear.” With a tightly braided updo, you can pulse until your thighs come off without worrying that your strands will fall loose.
RUNNING: Crown ponytail
Fancy yet practical! “This easy and durable hairstyle keeps hair in place and off of the face and neck during a long run,” says Richards. The braided headband is way more efficient than even the best non-slip headbands—it’s literally anchored to your head—and it’ll give you a little extra something-something in those post-race pics.
YOGA: French braids or fishtail braid
You want your hair to lay comfortably on your head when you’re chilling in savasana, making a low bun or ponytail a nuisance. “Braids are perfect for different yoga poses that would need you to lie flat on the floor,” says Richards.
CROSSFIT/BOOTCAMP: French braids
“Since this intense workout can be a bit brutal, we decided to create two French braids to soften the overall look and to secure hair on two sections of the head,” Richards notes. Plus, braids down your back don’t tend to flop in your face during a push-up or a plank, the way a ponytail can.
BOXING: Turned up or inspirational braid
Concentrate on throwing the perfect punch, not the status of your hair. “Braided hairstyles are stylish and perfect for boxing to ensure that hair stays away from the face and doesn’t bring too much tension in once place,” says Richards. Because it totally ruins that fierce face you put on when you’re fiddling with loose strands in your face.
ROWING: Pinned-up braids
Whether on a rowing machine in a studio above Fifth Avenue or out on the open water, “this hairstyle keeps hair away from the face and neck in a fun, effortless way.” Plus, it hides your part, keeping the sensitive scalp from an impending burn if you’re rowing under the sun.
MEGAFORMER PILATES: Crown braid bun
Great for those standup Megaformer workouts like SLT and Studio MDR, Richards calls this one “the best hairstyle for keeping bangs and layers out of the way during your workout.” It also looks like a legit style for a day out, lending a seamless transition from class to whatever your plans may be after.