Jan 14, 2013

Health Before Hair : Black Girls Run! Preserve The Curls

BGR! HQ Team : Nashville, TN, 2013

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Black Girls Run! Preserve The Sexy tour here in Nashville.  During the workshop, founders Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks shared their experiences with allowing their hair to grow naturally.  Like most women, they continually adjust to balance the work they put into maintaining their hair with their fitness routine.  When Ashley shared her frustration with not knowing what to do with her hair in the beginning of her transition, I realized it is easy to feel that way at any point.  Our understanding of our hair will evolve with us.

To help establish some ground rules, BGR! invited Kaneesha Martin, founder of Mahogany Suite, to conduct a session on hair maintenance.  With Hair Before Health, Kaneesha shared some great tips for preserving hair before, during and after workouts and runs.

Here are three great tips that Keneesha shared to help retain the beauty of your hair:

Nurture hair from the inside out.

Yes, you've heard it before and it is true.  What you eat and drink has a huge impact on the health of your hair.  That means what you eat will also determine how your hair responds after a workout.  A diet rich in clean water, Vitamin A, Vitamin B Complex, Vitamin C, Folic Acid, Iron and Zinc will maximize hair growth, quality and manageability. 

Shampoo Education

To free hair from dehydrating salt build up after workout, Kaneesha advised shampooing once per week outside of any co-washing routine.  When choosing a shampoo, have a variety in your arsenal and let your hair decide.  Clarifying shampoos, neutralizing shampoos and mostiurizing shampoos all have their place depeding on your hair choices and needs. 

Kaneesha also cautioned against using moisturizing shampoos as a staple.  Clarifying shampoos are crucing for cleaning the hair instead of acting as  a mositurizer alone.  According to Kaneesha, using only moisturizing shampoos is like showering with body lotion.  It may also be worth it to invest a bit more in a professional brand of shampoo.  Most commercial brands have more of a water base than professional brands and require more to properly lather and cleanse.

Kaneesha Martin, Founder, Mahogany Suite

Workout Hair : Before + After

While cotton is usually not recommended for covering hair, it is perfect for workouts.  Cotton is a moisture-wicking fabric, which helps with pulling sweat from hair during and after runs.  Covering both the forehead and edges of hair with a cotton headband or accessory will help prevent excessive sweat build up and allow the hair to dry quickly.  Hair should always be pulled away from the face and off the neck.  If possible, allow hair to completely dry before taking it down to style.

With just a few modifications and a little effort, all that hard work won't be in vain after a good workout. 

What tips do you have for keeping your health before your hair while keeping your hair healthy?

Melissa had the chance to visit Kaneesha at Mahogany Suite last year.  Check out her post here.  You can also read more about the Preserve The Sexy tour in Nashville here.
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