You rock customized monogrammed leggings, you’ve got a museum-worthy sneaker collection, and you’re at the front of every waiting list in the athleisure game. So why are you still defaulting to a snoozy ponytail when it’s time to get sweaty?
To upgrade your hair for your next visit to the barre—and to help streamline the gym-shower-commute-work dance—we consulted Donna Tripodi, master stylist at Eva Scrivo Salons, to create three chic (but easy!) styles that will not only hold up during rounds of burpees, but can also seamlessly translate to the office or happy hour.
As it turns out, trying a more fashion-forward ‘do isn’t just a matter of aesthetics; it’s also ultra-practical. “The salt and moisture from your sweat helps create a natural wavy texture, so a braided or bun style is actually better for post-workout styling than a ponytail,” Tripodi explains (because nothing’s worse than that dreadful elastic crease).
The trick for all three styles is to use product to keep it in place pre- or post- workout, and it’s important to know which one to use. “A lot of people just use dry shampoo to add texture, but the product really weighs down the hair if it’s not dirty,” Tripodi explains. “Instead, you should reach for a texture spray that will give the hair body and ‘stick’ to keep the hair in place during your workout.” (Of course, we’re talking barre or yoga here—after a serious sweat, dry shampoo is a girl’s best friend).
Ready to level-up your workout hair game? Before you lace your favorite sneaks, try lacing your hair in one of these badass, gym-friendly styles.
The Twisted Rope Braid
Tripodi is a fan of braiding because it works on all hair types and lengths—not to mention the fact that it “holds all the layers in and gets hair out of your face.” And although this one might look elaborate, it’s just a two-strand twist, which means pretty much anyone can do it.
Bonus: This technique produces two hairstyles in one. When you unwrap it after your workout, you’ll get a cool, S-shaped wave.
1. Split hair in half from either center or side part to the center of the neck. Secure both sides in pigtails.
2. On each side, start a two-strand twist braid at your hairline and work down to the ends. Tie off both ends with a small elastic band. If you have fine or thin hair, you may need to add in a texturizer (we like this one) to help the bottoms stay twisted—and if it’s giving you trouble, you can transition to a normal three-strand braid once you get to the nape of the neck.
3. After your workout, rinse off in the shower with the braid still in, and use a blow dryer on a cool setting to work the moisture out. Once dried, unwrap the style, apply dry shampoo to the root and essential oil to the middle and ends of the hair. The result is a pretty, natural wave.
The Braided Sweatband
“This style works best with short hair, but can also be easily altered to work on long hair,” says Tripodi. “It looks fairly complicated, but it’s actually super easy as long as you know how to French braid.”
The fabric element isn’t just for show—”it will actually help absorb some of your sweat, leaving your hair a bit cleaner post-gym,” Tripodi says.
1. Take a 4-inch by 2-inch piece of cotton fabric and tightly twist until it becomes a long strand. Secure the twist at your forehead with two clips.
2. Start a three-strand French braid and begin adding the fabric into the third section of the braid.
3. Continue down to the bottom of your hair and secure with an elastic band. Repeat on the other side. Wrap the braid around, milkmaid-style, and secure with bobby pins.
The Half-Bun Mohawk
Don’t let the name scare you: This half bun-inspired look (which, according to Tripodi, “transforms it into an edgy and unusual style”) is actually surprisingly easy to do.
“Although it may look funky, all you do is create three half-buns on top of each other and—voilà!—you’re done,” she says. “Feel free to add in bobby pins as a way to ‘shape’ the final look if there are awkward spaces between the buns or you want to make them more uneven.”
1. Start by sectioning off the hair from the corners of your forehead and creating a bun by wrapping a hair tie halfway over the hair, twice.
2. Then, pick up the second section of your hair at your ears (including the tail of the first bun) and create a second bun.
3. Repeat the method for the bottom section with the reminder of your hair. You can style the buns and pull them closer together with bobby pins.