Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The (Not-So-)Gentle Art of the Workout Hairstyle: A Guide for Long Hair

 My hair has gotten pretty long over the last few years. In 2009 I cut it all off leaving only some long chops, but it’s now grown to what I call “stripper-length” and measures almost 3 feet in length from root to tip. It’s soft and medium thickness and has a slight natural wave that straightens out the longer it gets.

Sounds all wonderful and magical and unicorn-status, right? 

Wrong. It’s a pain in my ass, really. 

Every night, I have to gently tie it up with a snag-free hairband and keep it to the side that I’m not sleeping on, otherwise a single-restless night of sleep will have me ripping at tumbleweeds (my hair) in the morning. I have to lean into the center of the car if I roll the window up while driving or risk my hair getting sucked up and out the window (it’s been caught in the car door and seat belt, also). I can’t sit back against chairs without lowering my head first to my chin (so as to allow some give in my hair) otherwise it has me pinned. My dog will chew and swallow my hair (while it’s still attached to my head and yes I have to PULL IT FROM HIS THROAT) and it always manages to shake loose in my shift for an unreachable itch that lasts all day.

But the worst of it is when I am working out. While most women can put their hair into a ponytail, a bun or pig tails, my workout determines which hair style I rock. For those of you with long locks, hopefully this blog will help shed some light on a hairy situation.

Jogging, Running, Weight-lifting 
Chosen hairstyle: The high ponytail.
Details: It has to be tied using at least two snag-free bands otherwise the softness and weight of my hair pulls the ponytail down from the top to the bottom. I’ve tried the bun and it inevitably flops over and smacks me in the head. Pigtails are more like a whipping when they aren’t rubbing against my arms or getting caught in my armpits (particularly when doing overhead hangs or pull-ups).

Chosen hairstyle: The single side braid or pigtails*. 
Details: This hairstyle comes with an asterisk as a warning, because even with the hair loosely tied up, I still find a way of stepping on it (Down-dog) or eating it (Triangle poses). But it’s better than the alternatives: The pony tail pulls the scalp too much for me to feel connected in my asanas and gets in the way of the any supine poses, whereas the bun is bothersome in Down-dog and, particularly, Dolphin pose. I’ve tried leaving my hair down and completely untied as if it were some loose flowing tapestry where every fiber serves as some energetic antennae connecting with the Divine & Great Universe, but that graceful image only serves well in photos as I trip over my own hair and have ripped chunks out during even the most relaxing and cooling of sequences.

Chosen hairstyle: The bun. 
Details: Not just any bun, the messy bun. The messier the better, because for me my hair has a hard time holding what I call the “blogger bun” (because all those fashion bloggers rocked it for a long time, but most of you may know it as the “sock bun”). My hair being so soft requires some funk and texture for it to hold a bun. While hiking, hair in or on my face, neck ,or arms drives me absolutely insane. I work up more of a sweat hiking then I do most anything else and the combination of heat and sweat and hair is enough for me to kick a deer if one were to come along my hike. Oh, and did I add that I use at 3 snag-free hair ties for the bun?

Reading a book,  Drinking Wine (Shut up. I swear, these are workouts.)
Chosen Hairstyle: Loose & down. 
Details: When reading a book, I get antsy during the intense parts and start to fidget. I use my hair to shield my eyes or to pull on when I’m anxious to see what happens next or even as a bookmark in a pinch. Also, everyone knows that leaving hair loose while drinking wine is a quick resource for mopping up spills. But it does end up getting tangled or whipped around into my glass.

So why the long hair?
Because with short hair (or a mustache), I look EXACTLY like my Dad (See Exhibit A). And it’s one thing to look like my Dad, and another to be stopped along the street and asked how much I’m selling my Ranchero for (I don't have a Ranchero; he does) and would I work a deal for a small pick-up (the answer would be no, so stop asking me). So there it is.

Exhibit A.


  1. You crack me up! I love it!!!!!!!! Thank you for all the tips...lets sport a messy bun and go hiking I miss my Connie! Hey we can even drink some wine while we hike ha ha! Xo

    1. Hike AND Drink Wine?! But how would we wear our hair?!!!! hahahahaa I miss miss miss you too! But I'm so happy we got to chat today!!!

    2. Me too you always cheer me up friend...oh and as for wearing our hair for the hike with wine I'm thinking. Messy half no not really..that's a baseball cap I'm bad ass hair day when you drink wine and hike ha ha! Xo

  2. Bwa! lOVE THE RANCHERO comment! LOL.... I've had long hair for so long I dont even think of if. Every gym workout is a bun. LOL