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Gabby Douglas competes for gold in women's gymnastics finals at London Olympics.

Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas is fit and fabulous! (Getty Images)

I don’t know about you, but the Olympics sure are inspiring us to get out and move! From Gabby Douglas and the Fab Five gymnastics team to Destinee Hooker and Team USA volleyball – we just can’t get enough of these strong and beautiful women.

But uh oh. What about our hair?

We all know that regular exercise can take a toll on any woman’s tresses. All the sweat and ponytails and extra shampoos can sideline even the most ambitious of girls. And, rumor has it, black women find it especially difficult to lace up those sneaks if it means sweating out that ‘do.

But we know better. Health comes first! So fortunately, your hair doesn’t have to be sacrificed in the name of fitness. Keep your hair and your body tight with these 5 simple steps below.

1. Moisturize

When sweat, dirt, and dust are thrown in the mix, it becomes so much more tempting to wash the grime out of your locks after every single workout. But black hair care protocol tells us to never wash our hair everyday. What’s a girl to do?

Olympic swimmer Lia Neal

Team USA’s Lia Neal swims in the London Olympics as the second African-American ever to make the team! (Getty Images)

Well, the harsh truth is this: washing your hair everyday will dry it out, which will have more damaging effects in the long run. Unless you’re a swimmer, try to limit your shampoos to once a week if possible. In the meantime, opt for leave-in conditioners like Fermodyl (increases the strength of your hair 18-22% with regular use) or moisturizing creams like Keracare Oil Moisturizer with Jojoba Oil to hold you over. You know your breaking point, and if you desperately need a wash, be sure to use a good conditioner and let it sit. Or skip the shampoo all together and co-wash instead.

2. Wrap it up

You’re probably already in the habit of wrapping your hair at night. (If you’re not, come see us and we’ll show you how!) This hair care tip should be an easy one to follow – especially for those of us who roll right of bed and hit the pavement first thing in the morning.

Wrapping your hair during workouts can do wonders for women with relaxed or short styles. The wrap works to maintain the sleekness despite the sweat or humidity. But your typical hair wrap isn’t the only way to beat the heat. Go with us on this one, but why not pull out your old sweatband or bandana? You can keep your edges flat and trap the sweat at the same time, which makes it much simpler to bring back your pre-exercise style. Just be sure to keep your wrap on until your hair is fully dried, then use a wax stick to hold down your edges.

3. Go natural 

Team USA volleyball player Megan Hodge wears natural hair

Megan Hodge is flawless with natural hair as she leads Team USA Volleyball to victory over China. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

This trend is hot for so many reasons. One of the biggest being that it’s so much easier  for women to keep fit. Sweat doesn’t stand a chance against natural hair. Natural girls are already pros at moisturizing on a consistent basis, and sweat won’t throw them off their game.

Whether you’re rocking the ‘fro or wearing two-strand twists, dreadlocks, or braids, you’re at a great advantage. Unlike relaxed styles, natural hair doesn’t require the heat from flat irons that can be quite harmful if used frequently. And less shampooing and styling is nice perk as well.

4. Strategize Call us vain, but I’m sure we’re not the only one’s who’ve planned our social schedules around our hair appointments. Anyone?

Well, workouts don’t have to be any different. If you know you have a hot date or somewhere special to be, hold off on the Insanity. Strategize your workouts so you can survive until your next appointment. Balance lighter workouts like time-limited yoga sessions and walking, with more intense sessions of P90X, sprinting and swimming. There’s nothing wrong with having a plan, especially when hair care is so important. Depending on your fitness goals, you’re sure to find the right routine for you.

5. Drink Lots of Water

Ok, maybe this is a given, but we have to mention it anyway. Hydration is key to keeping dandruff away. Let’s face it, the more you sweat, the more likely you are to wash your hair. Sometimes, we just can’t help it. But, all this sweat and shampooing makes you increasingly susceptible to having a dry scalp. Drinking water is a great way to fight those unsightly flakes.

Go For Gold!

Being fit is well within your reach – and well worth your effort – no matter what your hair type. Don’t let hair care stand in your way. Now, let’s see you go for the gold with a healthy body, mind and tresses!

How do you maintain your locks post-workout? Let us know in the comments below!

June 6, 2013: Comments have been disabled for this post. To speak with a Beautique stylist, contact us today!