If you’re generally a throw-your-hair-into-a-ponytail-and-go type (that’s how we are 99% of the time), then you might not think about trying a new hairstyle for the gym. But if you’ve spent any time on Pinterest, then you know there are actually tons of hairstyles out there that bill themselves as workout-friendly. There are tons of cute options, but some look, shall we say, a little elaborate to tackle before a 7 a.m. Spin class.
Our big question when scrolling through these hairdos: Do they actually hold up to tough workouts? Or are you just going to set you up to look like a living Pinterest fail? So we decided to stop just scrolling and Pinning our favorite looks and actually try them out. (Get tons of great workout ideas that will help you maintain a fit, healthy lifestyle for GOOD with The Women’s Health Fitness Fix.)
We asked the folks at Pinterest what their top trending workout hairstyles are, and the results were…illuminating. They are:
- Dutch Sister Braid from Makeup Wearables
- Braids and Bun from The Right Hairstyles
- Pony buns from Tala Hair Life
If these were the most buzz-worthy ones, we had to try them ourselves. So we had three Women’s Health staffers put them to the test. Here’s what they had to say:
The verdict: “Normally, I stick with a simple ponytail to hold back my hair during my early-morning workouts. (I’m usually still half asleep while getting ready, so that’s about as much as I can handle.) Luckily, the Dutch Sisters Braid only took about five minutes to pull together, so it didn’t add a ton of time to my morning routine. The instructions on Pinterest were easy to follow, and I’ve known how to braid my own hair since I was a kid. (If you have no clue how to braid, I wouldn’t recommend attempting this style unless you’ve got a lot of time on your hands.)
“My workout consisted of 20 minutes on the treadmill in my building’s gym, followed by a 12-minute arms and abs workout courtesy of the Nike Training Club app. The Dutch Braids held up really well as I bounced along on the treadmill, and even once I transitioned to abs work on the floor. My only complaint is that the low ponytail left hair sticking to my neck once I built up a sweat. Otherwise, the style held up and kept my strands out of my eyes. By the end, it looked just slightly messier than when I started—a definite win.” —Amanda Woerner, deputy web editor
Check out 3 cute ways to wear a scarf in your hair:
The Verdict: “When it comes to styling my hair for a workout, I rarely venture out of my easy ponytail comfort zone. So, I eagerly took on the challenge to test out a “braids and bun” hairstyle for my go-to workout: running. For starters, it had been quite a while since I attempted to French braid my own hair. So while I did my best to put together a neat French braid down each side of my head it was, admittedly, a struggle. Also, when I got to the end of the braid, I realized I didn’t quite have enough hair to pull off complete wrapped buns at the bottom, like the Pinterest style called for, so I opted for mini floppy buns instead. The result: not my finest braid work, but it seemed secure enough to last through a workout.
“I powered through my morning run while sporting my little braid/bun combo, and it (shockingly) did hold up. What was nice about this ‘do vs. a regular sporty pony was all of my hair was secured to my head, rather than flaying or flopping around (an issue that was definitely more relevant when I had long hair, but still noted). That said, I personally don’t think this cute style was quite worth the extra time it took out of my morning. However, if you’re much more adept at braiding than I am, the braid and bun combo is definitely a fun and functional style worth trying”! —Kristine Thomason, associate online editor
The verdict: “What my hair looks like is usually the last thing on my mind during a workout. I have a lot of long, relatively thick hair and hate having it touch me when I’m sweaty, so I usually opt for a high ponytail on the very top of my head. Because of the amount of hair I have, I steer clear of top knots when exercising—mine is so big and heavy that it typically falls to one side and/or gives me a headache. Plus, a sweaty bun leaves my post-workout hair way kinkier than a ponytail does. So naturally, I was trepidatious to try out a hairstyle that involved not one, but three buns during a SoulCycle class.
“There aren’t any instructions on how to do the Vertical Buns, but from the picture, I gathered it’s just three buns down the center of your head—easy enough, right? Sort of. It took me about two minutes, two hair ties, and four bobby pins to throw this look together. Honestly, if I wanted it to stay perfectly in place, I could’ve used one more hair tie and way more bobby pins. It did, however, turn out pretty cute and didn’t fall completely apart on me. Another note: You need a lot of hair for this one. I’ve got a lot to work with and was still surprised by how small my buns were.
“As for whether I’ll be adding this to my routine…I have to say no. Getting to 7 a.m. spin is hard enough as it is without a styling session. But if you want to look extra good next time you hit the gym, this is a pretty easy way to up your game.” —Alexandria Gomez, online editorial assistant
Source: Women’s Health Mag