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4 Runners’ Hairstyles Worth Trying!

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What’s worse than running with a rock in your shoe? Running with hair in your face. Those luscious locks look great for a night out, but they can be a real problem out of the trails.

As a runner with long hair, I have experimented with almost every hairstyle imaginable, from high ponytails pigtails, and braids. 

Below, I want to dive into some of my favorite running hairstyles that work best to keep both long hair and short hair securely in place and tangle-free – while still looking great! 

1. Braids

Braided hairstyles take time, but for me, they are well worth it! My favorite option is the french braid because it is far more comfortable than a standard ponytail (no more hair tie headaches), and it stays firmly in place even if it’s relatively windy outside.

French braid
French braid, source: transformationfund.org.uk

Want a pop of style while keeping flyaways away from your face? Try a front-row braid! 

front row braid
Front row braid, source: lovethispic.com

The great thing about a braided ponytail is that you can run while keeping your hair as neat as a pin.

Have somewhere you need to be later? Braids will keep your hair tucked nicely in place and won’t leave the dreaded hair tie crease in the middle of your head!

2. Zhushed up Ponytail

The ponytail is every runner’s go-to move, but there are ways to improve perfection. Instead of just tying it back, get creative! I like to section my ponytail off by using hair ties every 3 inches to ensure that my hair doesn’t tangle.

Segmented ponytail
Segmented ponytail, source: howtowearfashion.com

When I have the time, I also like to do a messy fishtail braid instead of a regular braid to rock for the remainder of the day.

messy fishtail braid
Messy fishtail braid, source:oncewed.com

3. Pigtail

In the summer, I almost always section my hair off into low pigtails. This look is not only super cute, but it helps to keep my head nice and cool.

By parting your hair down the middle and locking it in place, your hairline can breathe, which helps to keep you cool when the temperature rises. 

(Just be sure that you add a little bit of sunscreen to that exposed scalp!)

low pigtails
Low pigtails, source: americancheerleader.com

4. Basic Bun

Nothing beats a simple updo such as a bun. If you don’t want to be bothered with styling your hair, twisting it into a bun is great to lock it in place. It’s a quick, tangle-free, easy hairstyle.

Bun, source: Pinterest

I like to gather my hair at the crown of my head, twist it into a tight bun and lock it in place with a hair tie or a fun scrunchie. 

A bun isn’t the most stylish look, but it’s the perfect option for runners that don’t want to be bothered with their hair. 

What About Bangs?

I love my bangs – but hate when they are glued to my face when I run. When I head out on the trails, I pull my hair back in a hair tie and then reach for a soft headband to pull my bangs away from my face.

However, keep in mind that a headband will make it nearly impossible to style your bangs if you have anywhere to go that evening. 

If I’m going for a run and want to style my bangs later in the evening, I opt for plenty of bobby pins, sweep them off to the side, and lock them in place. 

Is it OK to Run with Wet Hair? 

The answer to this question boils down to the time of year. When running in the summer, lacing up those running shoes with a wet head is a great way to keep yourself nice and cool, and it allows your hair to dry naturally. I hate spending the time drying my long hair with a blow dryer, so going for a run to dry my locks saves me a lot of time in the morning. 

In the winter, you will want to ensure that your hair is completely dry before heading out. Despite what your mother may insist, going outside with wet hair in frigid temperatures won’t cause you to get a cold.

However, damp hair makes a cold-weather run even colder, and many hairdressers find that it can cause damage to your hair. Your hair is more vulnerable when it’s wet, and the cold, dry air can cause severe breakage.

Do I Have to Wash My Hair Everyday?

We all know that washing your hair daily is a quick way to zap the life right out of your locks. But does that pertain to runners as well? After a sweaty run, is it necessary to suds up?

Regardless of your training intensity, even runners should only shampoo their hair 2-3 times a week. 

I know what you’re thinking – ‘What if my hair is dripping with sweat- do I still skip the shampoo?’

Sweaty hair isn’t dirty hair, necessarily. The key to healthy hair is to lock in moisture. Sweat and soap cause your locks to become brittle over time, so it’s important to rinse away the sweat with water (sans soap) to keep it healthy and shiny. 

What If I Have Oily Hair?

As someone with oily hair, I hear you. Rinsing or blowdrying my roots helps to keep my long locks healthy, but they don’t have that same fresh-out-of-the-shower feel.

However, picking up a good dry shampoo is a great way to keep your locks looking (and smelling!) great after a long workout session. 

On non-shampoo days, I spray my roots with a fresh-smelling dry shampoo, which adds a lot of life to my hair. I often spray my bangs (which get incredibly oily on day two). 

Things to Keep in Mind

Always bring an extra hair tie. I learned this lesson the hard way. I was on a run around my neighborhood, and I reached up to tighten my ponytail and heard the snap of the hair tie.

For the remainder of my run, I ran home with my locks flowing behind me like a 1990’s Disney princess on the hottest day of the year. 

Before you head out the door, pop an extra hair tie on your wrist. Trust me on this one. 

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