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These are the perfect hairstyles for every fitness class

Gym hairstyles Pin It
Photo: Stocksy/Bonninstudio

If you’ve ever looked forward to bootcamp just so you can wear your brand new leggings, you know the effect that fashion can have on fitness. The psychological benefits of feeling good about the way you look translates to confidence, and potentially even your own personal spin class record.

But it doesn’t have to be a chic sports bra’s sole responsibility to get you into the gym. The perfect workout updo can provide all the look-good-feel-good motivation you need, especially when you tailor it to your workout. And, by putting a little extra thought into your ‘do, you can also help it to stay in place, so that you don’t have to spend your breaks between sets readjusting your pony.

Because the ideal style for yoga might not be a fit for HIIT, I consulted with Justin Marjan, ghd brand ambassador and celebrity stylist to Khloé Kardashian and Olivia Culpo among many others to help us nail a style for every studio sesh. Here, the looks that are as functional as they are flawless.

Keep reading for three gym scenarios and the perfect hairstyles for each.

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Gym hair
Graphic: Abby Maker for Well+Good


With shoulder stands, headstands, and downward dogs (just a significant amount of upside down action, TBH), a simple ponytail might not provide the hair security you need. “I like to do two low braids for yoga so that you don’t have to adjust your hair midway through class,” says Marjan.

When you turn up the heat, you may also want to up the protection. “If you’re doing a hot yoga class, prep your hair with Tresemmé Repair & Protect 7 Mask ($5) before braiding to double as a deep conditioning during class,” says Marjan. If you want to make sure your hair lasts post-sweat sesh, Marjan suggests adding a texture spray (along the lines of Captain Blankenship Mermaid Salt Spray ($24), for instance) before braiding. When you release your locks after class, you’ll have fun, beachy waves.

Gym hair
Graphic: Abby Maker for Well+Good


Because everyone is prone to the occasional dramatic hair flip mid-SoulCycle (and why shouldn’t you be?), Marjan suggests a tried-but-true favorite. “A high ponytail is great for spin because it keeps the hair out of the way and looks cute when you’re going side-to-side on the bike,” she says. If you have bangs, consider pairing your pony with a thick headband, and to nix frizz post workout, rub a cream, such as Hairstory Hair Balm ($36) through your fingers and lightly pass it through flyaways.

Gym Hair
Graphic: Abby Maker for Well+Good


Feeling secure about your ’do of choice is clutch for a HIIT class. When you’re moving from floor crunches to treadmill sprints, the last thing you want to worry about is what’s going on with your hair. “I suggest two slick, low buns that sit at the nape of your neck,” says Marjan. “Add some Ouai Hair Oil ($28) before you slick them back to hydrate and nourish your hair as you work out.” In other words, max out your time sprinting to be recovery time for your strands.

Want to really focus on your gym-hair game? These are the hair ties for every scenario, and here’s a super easy top knot to get you from the gym back to reality in one-minute flat.