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Easy Braid Hairstyle For the Gym

This 30-Second Gym-Ready Braid Will Take Your Ponytail to the Next Level

After a traumatic experience involving a sagging ponytail, a hair tie trapped in the worst of knots, and yanking on a large chunk of hair that will not soon be forgotten — all during a half marathon, no less — I knew I needed to figure my sh*t out with hairstyling for exercise.

I have long, thick, heavy Italian hair and no plans of cutting it short anytime soon. I love my hair, but with any sort of movement beyond walking, a single hair tie doesn't usually cut it. To avoid A) being a sweaty mess and B) having to (painfully) rip sections of my hair apart to release a hair tie, I decided to experiment with a few styles and hone in on what would keep it both secure and tamed.

This 30-second style is the result of said experiment, and it has become my go-to for intense cardio classes and anything where I'll be bouncing around a lot — and sweating profusely. The braid holds everything in place, so even if my hair is sweat-soaked, it looks just fine in its nice little plait. Plus, I have the option to mix up the ponytail portion if I'm feeling more like a topknot or a half-pulled-through style.


The best part is that it truly becomes lightning fast once you've done it a few times. Even if I'm running late for class, I can whip my hair into this style — eyes closed — in seconds flat. Here's how you do it:

  • Part your hair into a deep side part, and begin a dutch braid in the front.
  • A dutch braid is like a french braid (where you continue to pull more pieces of hair into your braid as you go), but with the dutch braid, you pull the pieces under each other rather than over. Check it out.

  • Braid the front section of your hair, and start pulling pieces from the bottom/side of your scalp (see below) to start pulling all your hair toward the crown of your head for your ponytail.

  • Pin the braid in place or just hold it while you fasten the rest of your hair into a ponytail. Then that's it! You're all done.
  • You can pull your hair into a half loop instead of a pony, or wrap it all into a topknot bun, whichever you prefer.

Image Sources: POPSUGAR Photography / Dominique Astorino and POPSUGAR Photography / Victor Verdugo
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