You might think that sweating it out can be harmful to your hair, but you should start thinking of your workout as part of your beauty routine. Most of us know that eating a well-balanced diet helps make for a healthy mane. But it hadn't occurred to me that hair could also reap beauty benefits from working out until celebrity stylist, educator, and fitness buff Natasha Sunshine introduced me to the idea. She's built her career on holistic hair care after witnessing the benefits first hand. Natasha shared five ways that getting your sweat on helps add shine to your hair.
Turn Up Intensity
Natasha reminded me that intense cardio is a great way to rid the body of toxins. This has a direct impact on your sebum, an oily, conditioning substance secreted by skin glands that helps prevent hair from drying out. Natasha says that the release of toxins "directly contributes to purer, healthier and an even more conditioning sebum."
In addition to intense cardio and other sweat promoting workouts, Natasha advises clients to take a steam or sauna once a week as a "fantastic tool in releasing excess contaminants in the body to maintain a healthy sebum."
Learn more ways your hair benefits from your gym time, after the break.
Keep Muscles Loose
Stretching on a regular basis not only reduces acid build-up in your muscles, but also keeps you vital and limber, which helps maintain overall health and healthier hair. Natasha notes that "the advantage of calisthenics is that overall strength and energy improves thus promoting overall health. It's a tool for full body health and fitness. The healthier you are, the healthier your hair will be." Benefits of stretching also include improved posture which can help maintain healthier hair by allowing blood to circulate more easily to the scalp. This increased blood flow provides essential oxygen and nutrients to our hair cells, without which they can't thrive.
Inverted poses or backbends increase the amount of blood that circulates to the scalp. Not only does the scalp receive oxygen from increased blood flow, Natasha notes that doing inverted poses can relieve neck and back tension, which also benefits hair since tight muscles can stagnate blood flow. "At the very least," she says, "upside-down poses can slow down hair loss."
Work Out to Chill Out
We all know that exercise dissipates stress. Since stress can cause unexpected hair loss, it's important to stay active to reduce stress levels and hopefully keep thinning hair at bay. Keeping up with a workout regime that includes eating a healthful diet can do wonders to help maintain a healthy mane.
Natasha notes that taking good care of your hair on a consistent basis also plays a large role in keeping your hair at its best. She reminds us that "hair is like fabric but it's also like a garden. Nutrient-rich soil will give better results than dry cracked earth. The environment you set up for your hair definitely affects your hair's health." It's important to see your stylist regularly for trims and use high-grade-ingredient products, which actually penetrate the hair and deliver nutrients, unlike products full of fillers that just lay on top of the strands. Be consistent and you'll be amazed at not only how beautiful your hair can be, but also how fabulous you’ll feel!