There is a nasty stereotype about black women that continues to be repeated so often it is now a legend: black women rather save their hairdos than workout. Even though all legends have a smidgen of truth behind them, for the most part, this legend, in particular, is not true.

There are countless numbers of black women that dedicate themselves to healthier lifestyles, filling their days with walking, swimming, and calisthenics. From the beautiful examples set by our star athletes to our health-conscious U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, black women are finding ways to incorporate fitness into their increasingly busier lives.

Case in point, Nicole Ari Parker. After gaining thirty pounds by eating lots of highly processed carbohydrates and only performing twenty minutes a day of aerobic exercise, Parker began a fitness journey that led her all the way to the top of a fitness competition.

But according to ESPN’s Jamele Hill, Parker needed some help keeping her hairdo somewhat fresh. So instead of letting beauty become before her health, she invested in a head-wrap that would help pull the moisture from her scalp without soaking her hair.

“It’s really about being part of the solution,” Parker told Hill. The wrap, which she released earlier this month and comes in different sizes and colors, uses Edge Control Technology to absorb sweat and heat while allowing cool air in.

It’s aptly named Save Your Do Gymwrap.

As mentioned before, Parker lost the weight training for a fitness competition — which she won — and she tested out Save Your Do as she trained. She said it worked beautifully.

“[With the head wrap] I went through 45 minutes of intense boot camp with multiple circuit training, indoors and outdoors,” said Parker, who went through 17 prototypes before settling on the final version. “I washed it. I dried it. I threw it on the floor. I really tried to find a way to make it perfect.”

Sounds like an ingenious way to keep your workouts rigorous without worrying about your hair. Way to go Nicole!

So disregard the hateful black women mockery in Chris Rock’s film Good Hair and the limiting science of the Body Mass Index (BMI) because in 2012 there are no more excuses!

The wrap cost between $24.95 and $29.95. Ten percent of the proceeds go to Sophie’s Voice Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by Parker and her husband, Boris Kodjoe, to honor their daughter Sophie, who has spina bifida.

around the web


  1. Sorry- but I’ve worked in the fitness industry and I’ve heard this excuse from fitness professionals. So while I agree there are many of us who are weekend warrior athletes who don’t worry about this, I think it’s dangerous to say that it’s not a real concern. It is. Our African-American surgeon general addressed this issue after reviewing studies with thousands of Black women. So- this one wasn’t dreamt up in the land of stereotypes. And if it was such a myth- why would Nicole Ari Parker market this? I’m not saying it’s a bad product- but it does address an excuse that too many women use. I say kudos to her for tackling this issue. We can only address the problem once we admit that there is one.

    • @Oneika: @oneika It’s a not a problem amongst black women, it’s strictly a meme. People repeat it enough and then people start to repeat it,believe it. Before the invention of gyms and the current fitness craze, black women worked out just as hard as any other race.

      This product is gimmick without a doubt but so is your meme. Black women have just as many excuses as any other race. Black women don’t need anything to help them workout and they definitely don’t need to have their hair look one way of hair care to workout, not that say you said that.

      • @Shawn West: No, it’s a problem. It isn’t about having your hair look a certain way when you workout, it’s what happens to your hair AFTER you have “sweated” it out. I don’t know about you, but my hair starts to break if my hair sweats out 3xs a week & I have to go through the process of making it look good again. It makes your hair weaker and it takes up a lot of time that, frankly, I just do not have. So this is not peoples imagination, it is a real problem for a lot of women, not just black, but women with any kind of real texture in their hair.

        • @iLuvRenae: That’s all I was saying in the first place, it’s not only black women, but you hear in black circles all the time. Rarely do you hear that meme repeated about white women. My white girlfriends say they don’t want to work out cause they just got they hair done all the time but no one makes a deal out of it. JMO

          • @Shawn West: One of the main reason why you white friends probably don’t complain about their hair is because they need to wash out the oils in their hair, every day or every other day.
            Black women, simply cannot wash their hair that frequently. So to sweat out your hair, is to cause the need to wash it more frequently and then blowdry or sit under a dryer more often.
            With this particular item, we may not have to worry as much about what will happen to our hair.

      • @Shawn West: Sorry I disagree- I’m not debating the voracity of why other women give excuses about not working out. I was speaking for my experience as a black women walking around for 40 years. Granted, a small sampling to be sure- but I have heard this as an excuse over and over. I think it’s dangerous to pretend that most black women work out. As a percentage black women work out less than their counterparts. That’s an issue. No meme in that.

      • @ Oneika-out of ALL the places in the world, this is where we cross paths? Quite interesting.

        To all; not working out is an excuse; bottom line. People make time, afford, and make provisions for anything that they truly want in life.

      • @Shawn West: How funny I just saw a video clip of when Amber Rose was on Russell Simmons reality show and the two Black women made it clear they didn’t want to get their hair wet in the pool and had was very dramatic when they did. It’s OK to address an ENERGY and correct it, to act like it doesn’t exist is fruitless and dangerous.

      • @Shawn West: As as a Black woman who actually used that excuse for years I can assure you that Ms. Parker is marketing a very necessary product. It’s extremely frustrating to having to style and or wash our hair every day so we won’t work out and that leads to all kinds of problems. I personally keep my hair short and natural but this wrap will give me some styling options.

    • @Oneika: I totally agree. i myself have been guilty on not doing aerobics in the gym because of my hair.. I still worked out, lifted weights, skating, did cardio that would ruin my hair.. When i decided that I would do boot camp for a period of time, I would just wear a cap until bot camp workouts were done with.. usually about 6 weeks.
      i know so many black women like this! Not a meme!

    • @Oneika: @Oneika: I’m personally into fitness and eating well in fact I consider myself a health nut and athlete and recommend everyone works out, BUT I think it’s false to claim that the black hair vs. fitness issue is just an “excuse” what woman wants to walk around feeling like her hair looks horrible. It may not be an issue for you, but it’s an issue for many. I struggled with it for years it was either working out or my hair and it sucked. Because I love fitness so much I finally decided that I have to wear my hair in ways I personally don’t prefer or that makes me feel my best in exchange for being able to workout every day. Not only that, but sweat is also very damaging to my hair and washing it every day would also ruin it.

  2. not trying to be funny but isn;t her hair a “finer” soft texture,??I wondering how it would work on thicker courser longer hair, right now I just sweats on my wet sets on it LOL

    • @OSHH: Just because she’s half Native American doesn’t mean she has a “finer” texture. Her hair is tightly coiled like most Black women.

      In the TV movie Divas, she had a closely cropped natural.

      • Self Promotion

        @EssDot323: I have never seen a picture of this woman exhibiting nothing, but a straight or wavy hair texture. Where have you seen this woman pictured with some naturally coily hair?

      • Self Promotion

        @EssDot323: Yes, and I do understand that a Black person with Native American (or White or Asian, etc…) ancestry can have any hair texture known to mankind.

      • Self Promotion

        @EssDot323: Ok, I didn’t see the part about her being in a movie called ‘Divas’. I’ve never seen that.

    • @OSHH: “fine / soft / curly” hair is the kind of hair I have and this problem is no different for these textures of hair as it is for kinkier textures, textured hair is textured hair and working out wrecks havock on my hair, not just in the way it looks, but in hair health as well. I do workout out daily (so it’s not an excuse it’s a valid CONCERN), but my hair definitely pays a huge price.

  3. That first line in this post really threw me off! It’s not a nasty sterotype if it is true. I hate working out because I don’t want to re-do my hair. It might sound awful, but it’s true. Plus, there are sooo many other ways to be fit & in shape without doing an intense workout. I walk & drink plenty of water and that works out perfectly for me. With that being said, if this works, this is going to be great. My friend really likes going to the gym but has avoided gym workouts because of the hair issue. So, hopefully this will work for her.

  4. I am plump, I know I need to work out and do so twice a week at a professional gym. Often black women don’t work out because Gyms are not affordable, they are single moms, in school etc. I enjoy he gym and will buy the wrap. My hair sweats a lot in Summer and I have a real head of hair.

    • @Elizabeth: Hi Elizabeth, I have long hair as well. I am a very fit 44 year old woman and I go to the gym at least 3 times a week. I don’t want to seem biased because I can do my own hair. I don’t understand why someone would rather have their hair done and not workout. People who go to the hair salon every two weeks can take the other two weeks of the month wear a ponytail and work out. What good is having your hair done and your health at risk, if you are a person who doesn’t work out. I agree with you Elizabeth you make a great point. Good luck with the wrap!

  5. Wow what agreat invention, hopefully it really works

  6. Cool invention! Parker is addressing a need in the market. Women, not just black women need to exercise more regularly. If purchasing a product that helps keep your hair care neat and reduce some of the barriers to exercising on a regular, I’m all for it. I think the only problem that the product could cause is someone purchasing it thinking it would make them look like Nicole Ari Parker after using it.

  7. How do I get one of these?

  8. Or you could just Wash your hair afterwards! !!

  9. Ladies go natural, wrap it up and take your butts to the gym!!! Stop worrying about your hair cause it’s all about being healty. Your hair won’t matter if your in the casket because you died of something that could have been prevented (not living a healthier lifestyle).

    • @Paula: Even if you go natural it can be difficult to maintain hair with a regular workout. Who wants to spend HOURS on a twist out just to have it become a fuzzy mess after you work out? And the same for wash and go’s, some people’s hair just doesn’t do well with those… Admittedly I have skipped days of bikram and the gym because I had an event or something where i wouldn’t have time to fix my hair. I always said you pretty much had to choose between your hair and working out. I know my hair puts me in this situation all the time…

      • @Tracy: You don’t have to spend hours on your hair if you’re natural…When I first went natural I did all that, but then I just learned what my hair likes…now I don’t even have to comb it and it looks cute. Work with your hair and it will work with you.

      • @Tracy: My wash-and-go can last about 2 to 3 days. The only thing that messes up my hair is that I’m a rough sleeper. Maybe you should try different products that can help with style maintenance.

      • Self Promotion

        @Tracy: I am natural, I wear twists. I don’t need a do-rag to save my style. For those who work out a lot, if you have natural hair and wear protective hair styles:

        1) You don’t need to wear a do-rag when you work out.
        2)Having excessive sweating in your scalp IS NOT an issue as far a saving your hair style goes.
        3) You can wash your hair as much as you need to.

    • @Paula: Second That!!!!!

  10. check out the testimonials on there all different types of women saying it works. Can’t wait to try this!

  11. Great concept but it doesn’t look like it covers your whole head of hair. Am I missing something? It only covers the top of your hair…what about the back of your hair…I have really long thick hair…what should I do?….(put a bag over it??)…lol!!

    • @Neke: Firstly you don’t want to cover the whole head because you want a good air flow, to allow as much evaporation as possible, otherwise you end up steaming the hair.

      Secondaly not really sure what technlogy they are talking about. Any scarf/buff would prob do just as well.

  12. $30.00 for a hair wrap………REALLY????? Come on!!!!!!!

    • @mzstar38: I agree with you about the cost. Too much and silk scarf works just fine. I would forgo the wrap and donate straight to the charity.

  13. I’ve grown up with women and hang out with women who didn’t/don’t exercise because they didn’t want to get their hair messed up. I used to be like that a while ago. Now I just don’t give a damn. I just wash it. I’d rather work on getting off the weight so I can be super-duper extra fly lol.
    I’d pay 30 bucks for a hair wrap if it does what it says it’s supposed to do. I understand we’re paying for technology.

  14. I use to be a hairstylist, and we would all lose a client every once & a while because they decided to work out & would get their hair braided (usually around resolution time, lol then they’d come back). It is definitely not a meme, and not a stereotype, our hairstyling is a process.

  15. Termintator Tanya

    Black women don’t need this. I workout everyday (at work in my office and at a local gym) and I wrap my hair with a silk scarf. As long as you dont unwrap it until it’s dry, you’ll have the same hair you started with. I have no perms, no weave…just a pair of ceramic flat irons and a scarf. My health is more important than my hair.

    • Self Promotion

      @Termintator Tanya: I totally agree. But, maybe, someone out there needs to spend $30 on ‘something’ so that they will be motivated to work out.

    • @Termintator Tanya: I’ve tried that many times and I looked like a lion when I took the wrap off (hair had dried) you have to realize we all have different types and textures of hair and sweat at different levels. Also, I have a busy life who the h3ll has time to wait for their hair to dry. My hair gets soaked when I work out.

  16. There ARE no excuses. Not there IS no excuses.

  17. I am a fitness instructor and I know first hand that black women not wanting to mess up their hair has been the number one excuse I have received. More than money issues, childcare, time….etc. I teach several Zumba classes for cheap and we offer childcare and I STILL get the excuse about the hair. My own sister says she can’t come to class because it’s the same day as her hair appointment. Even those ladies with natural hair have the issue. It’s not only women with pressed hair who are worried about sweating out their hair. I personally had long, curly hair but I cut it because it was too much to deal with. Of course that’s drastic but I personally would rather be happy and healthy than be overweight with a nice hair style. And my hair still looks cute even short….I just had to find a style that worked for me.

    • @Shavaun: People just dont want to work out. My hair is natural and i pretty much wash it everyday some times i wet it and put in a conditioner . it is all about conditioning it and adding moisture to keep it from breaking off and working out for better health. If you can find a style that works for you and I dont have a problem with my natural hair other people should be able to find a solution. Natural is the way to go. I agree with you, people make excuses

  18. Self Promotion

    It appears that many of the testimonials, professions of wanting to buy, in this comment thread are being posted by ‘said company’.

    • @Self Promotion: I don’t know about that but it seems kind of fishy that everyone’s on-board without an independent product testing. Frugivore should review it before it just gloats about how great the product is. This could be a gimmick for all we know. Is this an advertising article?

      • Self Promotion

        @Antoinette: I agree. I also agree with @Shawn West when he stated that this product, as well as other products targeting blacks, exploits a meme, something untrue stated/implied over and over again that people start to hold it true.

        In the ESPN Parker states that she tested it herself, on herself. Ok, but what about testing it on women with different hair textures who wear their hair in different styles (afros, thick loose afro-textured styles, twists, braids, afro-textured pressed or blown-out hair, etc…)?

      • Self Promotion

        @Antoinette: I have this strong hunch that this product was made MORE SO to cater to women who don’t have tight, coily, or course afro-textured hair textures. Yes, a negative and disparaging perceptions about black women are being used, HEAVILY, in order to promote this product.

  19. I have an executive career and to maintain the look that was expected of me, I had relaxed hair. I routinely shampooed and and styled my hair 2-3 times a week due to my workouts. That meant upwards of 4-6 hours weekly, just to maintain my hair.

    In 2003, I stopped relaxing my hair due to damage to my scalp. I still shampoo twice weekly to maintain soft spirals in my natural hair, but I don’t have to blow dry, flat iron and curl my hair each time. No relaxers every 8-10 weeks.

    It’s a lot less damage and a lot less time … but I wear a wig to work. Why? Because it helps my career. I’m lucky that my guy likes my wash & go hair, but it was an issue while dating.

    So many tell me how much “cuter” I look with straight hair. So, when we talk about black women and their hair issues, please keep in mind that pleasing the public and our men folk and supporting our careers can be a lot of the inspiration for the investment.

    • Self Promotion

      @DB: so the investment stems around altering our physical attributes to please others? Why is it our job to alter our looks, physical traits, to please the public?

      I know for fact that it doesn’t take having strait hair to have an ‘executive career’.

    • Self Promotion

      @DB: If anything, natural afro-textured hair is embraced more in corporate America, among the more highly educated, than anywhere else.

  20. Meh. I never had an issue with sweat (or rain lol) ruining my hair when it was relaxed, but I guess that’s just me. I actually would prefer to not get my natural hair wet though. Ruins styles, causes shrinkage and my hair is more prone to tangling if it gets wet, then airdries.

    Unless you’re working out everyday I don’t understand why folks can’t wash their hair afterward. Or am I not exercising often enough? If your hair is dry because of sweating and having to wash too often, co-washing and a good (non-pink oil hair lotion) moisturizer could help. I wet my hair everyday in the summer (did this when I was relaxed too) and I don’t have a problem retaining length.

  21. My question is, did we really need her to “invent” this or do we already have head gear as resources available to us? I support entrepreneurs an I love Nicole Ari Parker, it’s just interesting that she “invented” this, that’s all.

  22. I don’t understand. How is this writer saying it’s a nasty stereotype, while showing a solution? If it’s a stereotype, then women don’t need those $30 wraps, because there’s no problem!! What a stupid, and poorly written article.

    The truth is, I think the wraps will come in handy for A LOT of women. To say that there’s not a higher percentage of black women that don’t go to the gym because of sweating out their ‘do’s is completely false. Yes, of course you’ll find someone other than african american saying that they don’t want to go to the gym because of their hair, but c’mon, ya’ll know more black women say that then others. I know I did. Then, as someone else said, I just got over it. I go at least 5 times a week, co-wash 3 of those days and wash the other 2.
    I have very course hair and it gets dry and brittle very easily, though it’s been that way way before I started working out. I moisturize my hair daily, take vitamins, and wrap it at nightly. I don’t have problems with breakage or drying if I follow these steps. I’ll look into getting these wraps, but truthfully, I’m not looking to spend $25-$30 on a piece of fabric to wrap around my head. I’m sure it’s got alot of ‘scientific’ and super power reasons why it’s so expensive, but I’m not buying it. I’d like to see someone put up a youtube video of putting this on their head, working out for an hour, and taking off their wrap. It’d be interesting to see how much their style held.

    • What I was saying upthread minus my typos, was that I simply wet set my hair and just sweat on it. Sometimes if my relaxer and color is fresh I will wrap it during my workouts in a satin scarf and then blow dry the the scarf with my hair still wrapped underneath when I am finished my workout.

  23. I’m a white girl with really long hair that takes FOREVER to wash, dry and straighten. I’m going to try this product so I can go to kickboxing in the morning and not have to worry about my hair getting ruined for work. I really hope it works!!!

  24. Good for Ari Parker for marketing off of black women during a recession. Her husband tweeted last year some negative remarks towards black women. Ladies go to the fabric store and purchase a scrap of silk and sew around a fabric sweat head band. Side note. I truly believe this product is marketed to ladies with Ari’s hair texture.

  25. I am a black woman with natural hair. My hair is very soft and fine. I wear it in its natural state or I may flat iron it sometimes. I work out but only when my hair is in its natural state because it sweats out so easily. I ordered this product after reading and watching many video reviews about it. I will post another comment after I’ve used the product myself.

  26. I agree that this product is not necessary (I don’t need to try it), specifically if you have natural afro-textured hair. And, to me, the idea of going natural, only to regularly flat iron your hair (causing irreversible damage) defeats the purpose of going natural.

  27. Wow is it that serious. I’m sorry since I’ve started to workout my hair has been the less of my worries. I’m natural and since I know I workout frequently, I put my hair in a style that accommodates that. I started wearing twists with my own hair, and when I needed to wash it I simply did just that. Even when my hair unravels it’s not a big deal, twisted it back up and kept it moving. It seem like most of these comments are excuses. If you really want a healthier life, or lose weight you will make it happen, and you will do what you need to do as far as your hair is concerned. That just my opinion. I also have friends with relaxed hair who works out daily, one is even a Zumba instrutor.. I never heard a “my hair” complaint from them. Wrap and ish up and make it happen lol.

  28. I have natural hair and work out all the time (I am 61 years old and look great)! I would like to find out where to purchase this head wrap just for style when I am in the gym.

  29. I have to admit, I recently lost 35 pounds and I had to work out about 5 days a week for no less than 45 minutes to lose the weight. I had to decide that I would rather be slim and healthy rockin a ponytail, than chunky with my hair immaculate.

    I think this is going to be a great product. I just ordered it from I will post an update once I receive it and try it out. Keep your fingers crossed.

  30. A lot of these comments are interesting. As a black woman I have no problem working out my work out is on my job 10hrs a day 4 days a week in a sweat box warehouse lifting boxes and driving forklifts. I was wearing a sew in with my hair rlaxed and I took out the sew in because I sweat my relaxer out plus its way too hot to wear that sew in for 10hrs. I’m hoping if I buy this head wrap it will save the next relaxer I put in and I can wear a half wig instead on my off days. 🙂

  31. I’m 52, workout regularly and I sweat a lot! in the gym from cardio AND combined with hot flashes! Sweat used to get in my eyes and my hair would be soaked! I found a wonderful head band similar to Ari Nicole Parker’s in the outdoor sporting store REI for $10 in various colors. It also has moisure wicking and when I finish working out, the head band is soaked! and my hair is dry. I bought about 6 of them and wear them every time i work out. If you want to save $15 dollars, otherwise you can also support the sister.

  32. A good product. A godsend for someone whose hair frizzes at the MENTION of moisture.

  33. I am natural but my hair is a combination of 2 or more cultures: meaning it isn’t naturally kinky, curly, twisty, or straight. I can’t get a full puff ball but to blow dry it, it is straight (not flat ironed but pretty straight). Even air dried, it is pretty straight. So there are major times I would not workout (nor swim) because to then have to wash my hair and blow dry it again (takes hours for me to do it and leaves me exhausted)! My friend gave me one of these workout head gears and I love it and have been working out every since. I don’t worry about sweating my hair dried hair out (because I leave the wrap on for 10-15 minutes after my workout) and my blowdried hair is still straight. So I’m off to purchase some for my self. Because I am about to kick my workouts up another notch. This is just my opinion. I’m not attempting to sway the conversation one way or the other. I just know they work for my hair.

  34. will this product work for us white girls who just dont want to look like a sweaty beast after a workout. I have short bob cut hair and i literally looked like i got caught in a monsoon after a workout. would love to be able to be a little more lady like 🙂

  35. Lol. It’s not a stereotype. I literally got here because I was googling up some options for my hair. I joined a fencing team 3 months ago. Finally having an exercise that I enjoy is fantastic! Sweating out my hair after every 2hr practice is not. I prefer pressing my (thick, natural, kinky, 4c, wonderful) hair but I’ve switched to Marley twists for the sake of my sanity.

    For the record, my current headband is great for protecting pressed edges but it does nothing for the rest of my head. After practice, I end up with straight edges and ends with a puffy mess in the middle. Not the look I’m going for xD

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