Gym hair has really stepped it up as of late. Even just a search on Pinterest brings up images of impossible-to-reach braids and, frankly, a lot of piecy updos that would never make it through a sweaty sesh. To get some realistic insight on gym hair, I asked three stylists to give me a triple-duty ‘do: look pretty, stay put and be easy to DIY. And here’s what they offered up:
1. The gym hair look: The Oversized Top Knot
The stylist cred: Caelin Pintozzi, who works at celeb-favourite salon Anthony Cristiano in Chicago
Why it’s pretty: Buns make you think of ballet. Who doesn’t want to look like a ballerina?
Why it stays put: Tease. Tease. Tease. Pintozzi says this helps keep your hair in place: “A great top knot comes from a good foundation of hair, so that’s why I teased it a lot. Like a lot.”
Why it’s easy: It’s basically a high ponytail and a few bobby pins.
How she did it: She put a volumizing mousse from roots to ends, brushed it all back into a high ponytail, and teased, teased, teased. Then she lightly combed the outer bits of the ponytail (a superficial combing), and gave it a subtle twist, wrapping it around the hair elastic. Then with about five bobby pins, she pinned the base of the knot and spritzed with a strong-hold finishing spray.
What she used: Phyto Phytopulp Intense Volume Mousse with Acacia Collagen and Phyto Phytolaque Soie Botanical Hair Spray
2. The gym hair look: The Boho Side Plait
The stylist cred: Toronto editorial hair and makeup artist Natalie Ventola
Why it’s pretty: It’s slightly off balance but feminine.
Why it stays put: This is more for a studio class – think: barre, Pilates, yoga, etc. No jumping. You don’t want to get whipped in the face by this braid from plyo jumps.
Why it’s easy: Because it’s not symmetrical or tight, you don’t have to worry about this gym hair looking perfect. “I love this look because it gets the hair out of your face and it looks styled,” says Ventola.
How she did it: She used a volumizing mousse, from roots to ends, to give my hair texture so the braid would hold. Then, she finger-combed it to one side, and sectioned it into three pieces. Just before she braided, though, she smoothed my flyaways with a hair serum.
What she used: Nexxus Mousse Plus Volumizing Mousse, Nexxus Encapsulate Serum Caviar
3. The gym hair look: The High French Braid
The stylist cred: Celeb stylist and Viviscal ambassador Darrell Redleaf, who’s behind the locks of Selena Gomez and Ali Larter
Why it’s pretty: It’s a twist on the traditional French braid by starting at the crown, instead of the back of the head. It’s a nice way to frame your face.
Why it stays put: It’s a tight braid held close to your scalp – nuff said.
Why it’s easy: Redleaf says he likes this because it’s off the neck and he doesn’t think I should use a lot of product because once I start sweating it’ll just run into my eyes. “Just use one product,” he says, like a volumizer.
How he did it: He began braiding at the top of my hairline, so that the centre piece was above my forehead and the sides were above my ears. Just keep braiding (need a refresher French braid tutorial?) until you run out of hair. If you do this, you’ll notice your French braid ends high, too. On me, it ended just on my occipital bone (the bump you feel on the back of your head). Redleaf says, this will leave you with cool-girl crimped waves post workout, after you pat your wet hair with a towel and use some dry shampoo.
What he used: I didn’t see Redleaf after my workout, so I used what I had in my gym bag, which was Delectable Vanilla & Cream Multi-tasking Dry Shampoo.