I’m calling this article a curly hair routine after a Peloton workout. But the truth is, the advice I’m going to share applies to after any workout or exercise routine.
Basically, are you a curly hair girl like I am–sometimes a wavy hair girl, depending on the humidity level? Then, you know we face certain challenges.
This page may contain affiliate links, which means I may be compensated if you click a link. However, there is no cost to you. Also, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, please see my Privacy and Disclosure page.
Challenges that curly girls face
Washing our hair every day is not a good idea. However, if you’re working out every day on your Peloton (or other exercise routine) like I am, then you’re getting sweaty. And no one wants to walk around with sweaty hair after a workout.
I don’t care what those memes say–Gym hair, don’t care. Well, I do care. However, if you don’t, scroll to the bottom of this post for some cute products on Etsy that support the “Gym hair, don’t care” point of view.
Come check out my new PeloZone Blog!
Because of the popularity of my Peloton content and my Peloton expertise–I’ve been a Peloton user since 2016–I’ve decided to start a new blog devoted entirely to Peloton content.
But, before you head over there, head to Amazon, where, through 12/6/23, Peloton accessories are on sale by as much as 50%.
Purpose of this curly hair routine article
So the purpose of this article is threefold. One, I’ll be offering advice on how to wear your curly hair when you’re working out. This advice is designed to help preserve your curls and your hair health overall.
Two, I’ll make suggestions on a washing routine for your hair. That is, a healthy hair care routine for curly hair.
And, three, I’ll share a step-by-step curly hair products routine so you can refresh your hair as needed and keep the curls alive. In fact, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite curly hair products that I use everyday.
Finally, I’m female so this is a curly hair routine that I use as a woman. But, I imagine that if you’re a man with curly hair, you can employ many of these tips, too.
Curly Hair Routine: How to Wear Your Hair When Working Out
For the longest time, this was my routine for how I wore my hair while working out. I put on a wide headband and pushed my hair back from my face. As my hair grew longer, I would use a hair tie or coated elastic band to pull my hair into a ponytail.
Then, I started seeing a hair stylist who specializes in the Deva Cut. This is a unique way of cutting hair that focuses on trimming each curl on your head–not giving you a “shaped” cut overall.
Learning my curly girl mistakes
My first time in this stylist’s chair, and I learned all the things I was doing wrong. For starters I had no curly hair routine.
Next, she explained all of the things I may have been doing to “suppress” my natural curl or wave. This included wearing a baseball hat outside when I walk my dogs–it smooshes the crown of your head.
Why headbands and ponytails are bad
After that, she explained that wearing a headband with my hair pulled back also suppresses the curl. It’s also a great way to thin your hair around your face from continued pulling.
In addition, while ponytails themselves aren’t bad, using regular hair elastics is. Why? Because they’re narrow and mess with your hair’s natural curl.
Choosing scrunchies instead
A better choice? Scrunchies. Yes, this GenX curly hair girl got permission to go back to the ‘80s and ‘90s and start wearing scrunchies again.
Another option if you don’t have a scrunchie is a soft headband as a scrunchie. That is, I double up the headband, and use it like a scrunchie to hold my ponytail or bun. I find that these Goody headbands are the best as a faux scrunchie.
Why are scrunchies better for curly hair? Because they are wider and simply do not hold your hair as tightly as a hair tie or coated elastic band. So, they’re not doing much damage to the curls you’ve worked so hard to get and keep.
Finally, I was just gifted this Kitsch Beuaty Satin Sleep Set. It includes a satin pillowcase, satin sleep mask and satin scrunchie. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the perfect gift for a curly girl!
Headbands and scrunchies for curly hair girls
Here are some headbands and scrunchies you may want to invest in to help keep your hair curly and out of your face while working out.
Curly Hair Wash Routine
One of the benefits of having thick, curly wavy hair is the fact that I don’t have to wash my hair every day. To be honest, I stopped washing my hair every day when I used to get it colored. My color tended to last longer by shampooing twice a week only.
However, two years ago I decided to let my gray grow out. So, even though it’s been a long time since I last colored my hair, I kept my infrequent hair washing routine going. In addition, I rarely, if ever, blow dry my hair or use a flat iron. Therefore, overall, my hair is really healthy and not dried out at all.
In fact, dried out hair is something I learned can plague lots of curly girls. That’s because of the aforementioned daily washing, blow drying and flat ironing. It’s all really bad for your hair.
How to wash curly hair
So, how do you wash curly hair? Well, you don’t shampoo it every day. Instead, you can cleanse your hair every day as a way of washing your curly hair. And you can just wet it so you can refresh your style after a shower.
Again, the best way to wash curly hair is to use shampoo and conditioner only a few times a week. Like I said, I wash my curly hair with shampoo only twice a week.
On those in between days, I’ll use a curly hair cleanser, such as Curlsmith Quenching Conditioning Wash, which I buy from Ulta. Previously, I would “wash” my curly hair by just applying conditioner and rinsing out.
However, my Deva Cut hair stylist told me I wasn’t doing anything to help reduce product build up in my hair by just using conditioner. So, I switched to the cleanser wash mentioned above.
Dentangle while you’re in the shower
As far as the actual washing of my curly hair, here is something I just started doing. Now I keep a pick or wide-toothed comb in the shower with me. My stylist told me I should be doing this to detangle while still in the shower.
So, if I am using shampoo that day, after I rinse and add conditioner, I’ll use the pick to detangle my hair. Then, I’ll rinse.
If I’m washing with the cleanser, I’ll leave the cleanser on for a few minutes and detangle with the pick before rinsing. And if I’m just doing a refresh or reset that day, I’ll wet my hair, apply a little bit of conditioner and use the pick to detangle my hair.
Styling Routine for Naturally Curly Hair
With regards to the styling routine for curly hair, this applies to hair you are refreshing (aka have rewetted to restyle) or just washed. The important thing I’ve learned is that your hair has to be sufficiently wet to get the most curl possible.
This is how I style my naturally curly hair. First, if I feel like I didn’t do a good enough job detangling my hair in the shower, I’ll run a pick or wide tooth comb through it again. This includes making sure my part is where I want.
Next, I will blot it gently with my towel. This involves taking handfuls of my hair in the towel and scrunching it. This is so it isn’t sopping wet, dripping down my shoulders but still wet enough so the product works.
The curly hair products I use
After that I start applying hair styling products, in this order. One, Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Heat and Humidity Gel. I rake my fingers through my hair to evenly apply.
Two, a foaming mousse. Ouidad has a great one that I’ve used. It’s called Ouidad VitalCurl and Soft Defining Mousse.
However, recently in my Ipsy box I got Voir Soft Styling Foam and I’ve started using that. It works really nicely. I’ll apply to my hair, and then scrunch from the bottom to the top to encourage curls and waves.
Three, I finish off with another product. This time it’s Bumble and Bumble Don’t Blow It Cream.
Then, I let my hair air dry. If I need to go out to a meeting or an event soon after washing or refreshing my hair, I’ll use my blow dryer with a diffuser on the end. I recently bought a new one at Target, which I’ve shown below.
Finally, my stylist said that if I had super dry hair–which I don’t, thank goodness–she would also add a leave in cream conditioner to my styling routine. If this describes your hair, applying leave in conditioner, such as the Weightless Air Dry Cream from Curlsmith, would be your first step.
Curly Hair Routine: How to Plop Your Hair
While researching this article, I learned about another curly hair technique. I’ll admit I’ve never tried it, but now I’m interested.
It’s called plopping your hair. So, how do you plop your hair? The idea is this.
Wrapping your hair helps with the plop
You do all the things I mentioned above–from detangling and applying product–but then you add another step. You wrap your hair in such a way that you “set” the curl without having to use a diffuser.
Steps to plop your hair
One, lay your Devacurl towel or old t-shirt down on the bed or a counter. Two, bed over so that your hair (with product already applied) falls in the center of the towel or the t-shirt. Three, take the part of the towel or t-shirt furthest away from your body and bring it up around your hair and your head. Four, take the remaining parts of the towel or t-shirt and tie around your head like a wrap.
You can wear this head wrap for as long as you need to get the excess moisture out of your hair. I know people who get dressed and do their makeup routine, all the while their hair is wrapped up. Then, when they’re done, they’ll unwrap their hair, use the towel or t-shirt to scrunch their hair one final time. I understand that plopping helps to reduce frizz.
Gym hair don’t care
As I mentioned above, if you really agree with the statement “Gym hair, don’t care,” here are some cute products I found on Etsy you might like or like to give a curly hair girl you know.
How Peloton instructors deal with workout hair
While researching this article on a curly hair routine when you’re working out daily, I came across info from various Peloton instructors. They shared their tips for dealing with workout hair–whether they had curly hair or not. Here are some highlights.
Instructor Rebecca Kennedy, who has naturally curly hair that she often straightens, relies on dry shampoo after a workout. Dry shampoo absorbs oil and helps keep her hair looking fresh in between showers.
Kendall Toole also swears by dry shampoo for keeping her mixed curly and wavy hair looking fresh. When she washes, which she doesn’t do every day, she’ll use a clarifying shampoo to break up any product build up.
When her hair was longer instructor Tunde Oyeneyin would wear her hair in braids. It was easy to teach class or exercise with her hair in braids, and she could leave class with them still in braids–and still looking fashionable.
In this interview on a hairstyling blog, Ally Love said that if she doesn’t have time to shower after teaching, this is what she does to keep her hair looking great. First, she’ll use Bumble and Bumble Curl Spray. (She calls it a curl spray; it’s actually a dry powder spray from Bumble and Bumble.) Then she’ll use this Paul Mitchell product to define her curls.
Final thoughts on my curly hair routine after a Peloton workout
Since I’ve started following this way of wearing my hair during my Peloton workouts, plus this washing and styling routine, I’ve been so happy with how my curly hair is behaving. I used to have days when my hair would just go flat and I couldn’t tease curls or waves out, no matter what I tried. Thankfully, I don’t have those days anymore.
Not only has styling it differently helped, but also I believe getting a Deva Curl Cut. I used to feel like there were bunches of my hair that felt thick and limp and just wouldn’t behave. But I now know that’s because I was having my naturally curly hair cut wrong. You can’t cut hair like this in a straight line or straight layers and expect it to behave.
If you have any questions about your own curly hair routine, let me know. And if I’ve missed any important steps that you use with your own hair to maintain the curl after working out, do let me know.