CNN is becoming that White kid who had a bunch of Black friends in school and now wants to “explain” us to her friends, as if she became some sort of Black People expert. I won’t even get into the Black In America series, AKA National Geographic: African America (though it has improved tremendously since the first installment).

In today’s installment of “Look what they do!”, the Negro woman’s hair and it’s relationship to her gym routine is explored. Interestingly, the tag on the main page of the CNN site is “Black women, hair and the gym”, while the actual article is called “Surgeon General: Hair shouldn’t keep you out the gym”. While Dr. Regina Benjamin, who is a sister, does specifically reference Black women and their hair issues as they relate to working out, she also states that this isn’t only limited to us. I guess the article is just more appealing if it is packaged that way. Sigh.

Anyway, Dr. Benjamin showed up at the legendary Bronner Bros. Interntional Hair Show this weekend to encourage the sixty thousand stylists present to help their clients find gym-friendly styles. She says she’s heard  the same excuse from too many women about why they don’t workout: “I don’t want to sweat my hair back or I don’t want to mess up my hairstyle.  It cost me too much to get my hair done this week.”

The Office of the Surgeon General reports that fewer than thirty percent of women of color get the recommended amounts of exercise each day; the most commonly cited factors are “economic constraints, major life changes or traumas, safety issues, weather and environment and the hassle of personal care such as showering and keeping hair looking good.”

Dr. Benjamin’s personal tip for balancing high-maintenance hair and the gym? Work out at night.

Is this an issue for you, Frugettes? I know that on the rare occasions that I straighten my hair, I have to carry a flat iron to the gym and press it both after my workout and again the next morning. To be fair, I also don’t know how to wrap my hair, which seems to be key to gym/press out balance. This is much of the reason I keep my hair natural, but for those of you who rock the straight tresses, please let us know if you got some tips for how you can keep your hair AND your exercise routine on point.



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  1. Black Women are more concerned about their hair looking good because, for many of them, their self-esteem is tied to their looks and especially their hair. I cannot understand why, but I feel IMHO, that all women, whatever their race, find excuses to not push it in the gym …

  2. Kristen Carnegie

    Health Over Hair is my motto!I refuse to let my hair the reason I’m not healthy. I’d rather be fine and fly then fat n fly. I workout Tuesday thur Friday depending the my schedule I’ll workout Saturday mornings before I go get my hair done on that. So that I will at least be descent for Church on Sunday and I wear my hair do to work on Monday. Then thru out the week I wear my hair molded down for the rest week. Sista’s we got to get moving!

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