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8 Runners’ Hairstyles Worth Trying!

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Whether you are male or female, the question of what to do with your hair while running is a very real crisis for some people. While this may seem geared toward females only, the struggle is real for people of both genders. 

Runner’s hairstyles are actually a thing in running circles. Just ask any runner how they tame their mane and you are sure to get some creative answers. 

How Do Runners Wear Their Hair?

There is a multitude of different ways to wear your hair as a runner. If you are looking to keep long hair out of the way while running, this part of the article is for you!

1. The Ponytail

A basic ponytail is a viable solution. The benefits of a ponytail are that it is quick and easy. If you are like me, you can pull it back into a pony and have it out of your face in a matter of just a couple of seconds. For runners with a lot of thick and heavy hair, a pony may not be the best choice. 

Laura Marie, Sub-30 Club on runners hairstyles
Photo credit: Laura Marie, Sub-30 Club

Having that thick pony hanging down and touching the sweat on your back can actually be uncomfortable. Not to mention that the swing and sway of the pony can prove distracting. 

Personally, I find a high ponytail is less distracting when I run than a low pony. 

2. Braided Ponytail

If you are not up to doing fancy braids such as French braids, a braided ponytail is much easier of an option. Just pull your hair into a pony, then braid the hair down to the bottom.

This option helps control the hair better so it is not falling loose down your back. 

Karla Iseler, Sub-30 Club braided ponytails
Photo Credit: Karla Iseler, Sub-30 Club

It still does have some of the same potential problems as the normal pony mentioned above. 

3. Messy Bun

Enter any high school, and you will see girls passing from class to class with their hair wrapped up in a messy bun. Also a quick and easy option, it does have potential downfalls.

A messy bun often has small pieces that pop out of the bun. This can result in hair falling out and touching your face and neck while you run. 

Carolan Garceau messy bun hairstyle
Photo Credit: Carolan Garceau

If my messy bun is not tight enough, I end up monkeying around with it while on the fly. I do not like that. My daughter Carolan is the queen of the messy bun (image above). 

4. French Braids

French braids, whether you wear your hair in one or two, can help keep your hair under control. Not only does it look pretty, but they are also another tight option that can remedy any flyaway hair problems you might have. 

Marie Davis french braids
Photo Credit: Marie Davis


The downsides of French braiding your hair? It can be time-consuming to put them in and take them out. Also, not everyone has the skill to do this style.

Sandarina Benbow- Sub-30 Club
Photo Credit: Sandarina Benbow- Sub-30 Club

5. A Bun (“Ballerina Hair”)

There are so many ways (in addition to the messy bun) to put your hair into a bun. This can include coiling the ponytail around itself into a traditional bun.

You could also have one braid that you coil around the base of the pony. A bun is a nice neat way to handle long and thick hair.

6. Short Hair, Don’t Care!

If you have short hair a simple headband might do the trick. Otherwise, a small ponytail on the top of your head could also keep your hair off your face and out of your eyes. 

Tamara Stephany: Sub-30 Club short hairstyle
Tamara Stephany: Sub-30 Club

7. “Bunches”

Remember back to when you were a little girl and someone put your hair into two piggies, one on each side of your head? Some people call these angel wings, which is when the piggies splay out on the side. 

Photo Credit: Deidre of Runnerclick Pro
Photo Credit: Deidre of Runnerclick Pro

When you google cute running hairstyles, you will notice a newer trend is to wear those bunches into top knots, which is a kind of mini bun on each side of your head.

These tiny knots are another way to keep your hair under control. Dividing the weight of the hair into two pieces helps keep the hair lighter and easier to manage for the runner. 

8. Headband

No matter how you style your hair, you may find a headband is helpful to keep it out of your face. Men and women both who have short hair can benefit from buying a functional (and possibly cute!) headband to keep their hair back.

If using your headband as a sole hair restraint device, make sure it fits snugly enough to accomplish that task.

Photo Credit: Becky Sue Kreiger
Photo Credit: Becky Sue Kreiger

Men Need Hair Help Too!

Of course, we can’t forget the men. 

Tynan Power, “I am a man with an undercut and usually wear the longer part on top twisted into a bun. Sometimes in a braid twisted into a bun.” 

Photo Credit: Tynan Power
Photo Credit: Tynan Power

I have recently seen an increase in men who have their hair pulled back by headbands, in addition to traditional ponytails. What it boils down to is that if the hair is in your way, some way to restraint it can be important.

Whether you prefer a headband, a hat or a visor, there are tools for you.

Bald is Beautiful

Says Rutter, “Stylin’ high!!! I’m so boring. I just apply a little pancake and buff gently to tone down the glare for my fellow running brothers and sisters. See what I mean? One can run right behind me and still see. You’re welcome.”

Photo Credit: Paul Rutter, Sub-30 Club
Photo Credit: Paul Rutter, Sub-30 Club

Runner’s Hair Health Tips

How do I Protect My Hair When Running?

Remember that there are options out there for you. When looking for something to cover your hair with, you can turn to a baseball style cap. If it is cold and you are looking for warmth, there are many winter running hats from which to choose. 

Personally, I find fashioning a hat from a buff can be a great option. This is especially true on those not too cold but cool winter days.  And let’s not forget that you can use a headband to keep your hair off your face and out of your eyes. 

Do Runners Wash Their Hair Every Day?

Excellent question. Some runners wash their hair every day and others find that unnecessary. There are great dry shampoo products out there to help you tame the sweat and return to work if you need to do that. 

Also, they make shampoos especially for people who are very active. 

How Should Runners Take Care of Their Hair After Running?

This depends on the athlete. When reaching out to speak to runners about their after-running regiment, there are as many answers as there are running distances. Some runners feel the need to shampoo and shower immediately after every run. 

Other athletes just rinse off, and that includes body and hair. There are also runners who do not feel the need to do that, and may towel dry to remove sweat then spray on a dry shampoo before returning to their day. 

The point is that as a runner, you need to figure out something that works for you.

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