Should I Wash My Hair After Every Workout?


Many of us believe that we have to wash our hair after every workout. The truth is, how often you wash your locks has a lot to do with your hair texture, type and your own preference. 

Many beauty experts say that it’s okay to skip your hair washing after a workout. Rinsing with water may be enough. In addition to saving time, skipping your post-workout hair washing every once in a while can actually be beneficial for your scalp health.

Scrubbing too often could disrupt your scalp’s pH and cause dryness, which could lead to uncomfortable flakes and itchiness. Conversely, you don’t want to skip too many shampoos — because, besides smelling, you may encounter scalp buildup, which can block new hair growth and cause other issues. 

Tips to Washing Your Hair Less Often Following a Workout

Though the exact makeup of sweat is different from woman to woman, our sweat is typically a mixture of proteins, ammonia, salts and water. When we exercise a lot, this mixture can give us limp, dried-out hair, especially if you're a heavy sweater.

Fortunately, there are ways to modify your hair care regimen to keep your mane looking shiny and beautiful

Put Your Hair in a Braid, Ponytail or Knot

Before starting your workout, braid your hair or put it into a ponytail or knot to ensure no sweat reaches the tip of your hair.

When you use a bun or ponytail for your workouts, make sure you don’t pull your hair back too tight. Hairstyles that put considerable tension on the hair follicles can lead to traction alopecia in women prone to getting this hair loss condition. 

Wear a loose braid with a headband or opt for a coated ponytail holder. Take it out as soon as you’re done exercising. 

Consider Washing Your Hair Less Frequently

Because everyone’s underlying physiology is different, everyone’s hair-washing routine also differs.

Shampooing after every workout may strip away your beneficial natural oils and lead to flatter and dryer locks. Try washing every second or third day — often enough to remove product buildup without dehydrating effects.

Menopause-related hormone changes dry out our hair, and it may take a week for it to become greasy. However, other women may experience greasy hair after only one day. 

To figure out the number of times you should wash after a workout, you can gradually reduce your shampoos. After some of your workouts, just rinse it with water and use your fingertips to exfoliate and stimulate the microcirculation in your scalp. 

You can also use conditioner on the ends of your hair, but not on your scalp. 

Dry Shampoo

If you work out a lot and want to keep your hair fresh every day, you may consider dry shampoo. Used prior to your workout, it can help absorb sweat. Though too much use can lead to hair breakage and clogged follicles. Don’t use dry shampoo on wet hair, or you will end up with a cakey residue. 


Wear a Sweatband

Many sweatbands today are designed to minimize sweat and keep your hair dry throughout your workout. 

Ways Sweat Can Impact Your Hair

Though it's okay to skip shampoos after working out once in a while, you do need to wash your hair if you experience a change in hair texture or excess breakage. 

If left on your scalp and hair too long, sweat can throw off your pH balance and cause these problems:

  • Sweat-soaked hair can cause your locks to become stretched and easily damaged.
  • Sweat and your scalp’s sebum oil can harm your follicles and block your pores, blocking new hair growth and triggering hair loss
  • If the lactic acid in your perspiration builds up on your scalp and mixes up with your hair's keratin protein, it can weaken your locks. It can also lead to inflammation which can negatively affect your mane's luster and quality
  • Your color-treated hair may fade faster due to sweat
  • Your head can start feeling itchy because of skin cell buildup
  • Workout sweat buildup can mix with your scalp bacteria, causing a fungal or bacterial infection, leading to seborrheic dermatitis (i.e., dandruff). 

If you don’t sweat much during workouts, you can probably get away with shampooing only two to four times per week. It all depends on how oily your hair gets. If you sweat a lot during your workouts, it may be best to find time to wash your hair to prevent dandruff. 

Use Sulfate-Free Shampoos When You Wash

Better Not Younger's shampoos and conditioners are sulfate-free and are gentler and lighter on your scalp and hair. 

People who exercise often should use Better Not Younger’s mild Wake-Up Call Volumizing sulfate-free shampoo with ingredients like: 

  • Hops — A nourishing, antioxidant-rich oil that smoothes and thickens your hair 
  • Burdock root — Rich in potassium, essential fatty acids and vitamin A
  • Sage — An organic astringent that balances scalp oil production and unclogs your hair follicles caused by workout sweat

And BNY’s new and improved Second Chance Repairing Shampoo for Dry or Damaged Hair with:

  • Birch bark extract — Which is rich in vitamins A, C, E, B1 and B2 and promotes metabolic activity
  • Rice bran oil — Protects your hair from environmental stressors while strengthening and boosting your hair’s body. 
  • Argan oil — Supports follicle health and keeps your hair healthy and hydrated after working out

When using these gentle formulas after working out, focus on your scalp to remove sweat and buildup. Follow up with Better Not Younger’s Wake Up Call Volumizing Conditioner or Second Chance Repairing Conditioner

No matter your hair type, avoid shampoos with harsh sulfate ingredients, leading to dry scalp and hair breakage. 

Restore Health to Sweat-Damaged Hair with Better Not Younger

Exercising and staying active is great for your body, and skipping a post-workout shower now and then likely won't cause much harm.

Though too much sweat buildup could block healthy hair follicles, leading to conditions including folliculitis or even hair loss.

Used regularly, Better Not Younger products can help balance your pH and give you healthy, vibrant hair following every workout. Please visit our Shop page for our full lineup of Better Not Younger hair-care solutions.