FREE ground shipping on orders over $49 USD + Join our newsletter and get 20% OFF


Sweaty Hair and Workout: What you Need to Know


Engaging in physical activity often leads to sweaty hair, but understanding how to manage it can make a significant difference in your hair health and overall workout experience. 

This guide provides essential tips and insights on dealing with sweaty hair during and after workouts, ensuring you maintain fresh and vibrant locks without compromising your fitness routine. 

Discover the best practices, Avanza Skin’s a shampoo for swim and sweat, and simple techniques to keep your hair looking its best even after the most intense workouts. Say goodbye to post-exercise hair woes and embrace a worry-free workout session.




The link between sweat, hair, and workout


The link between sweat during your workouts and hair loss is significant. During physical activity, the body's temperature rises, leading to sweating as a natural cooling mechanism. Sweat contains water and salts, which can accumulate in the body including your scalp, causing it to become damp and sometimes malodorous. If left for long periods or even days it creates the perfect environment for infections or hair loss. 

Many people believe that cleaning your hair daily will lead to more hair loss and that is a myth. If you work out and don’t clean your hair it will be more likely that you are damaging your scalp and may not notice the hair loss until you shower and the hair that was already loose will show as if it was caused by the cleaning.


The best indicator that you need to clean your scalp and hair is itchiness. If you have itchy hair you are experiencing inflammation due to all the debris that has accumulated and that is the main cause of hair loss. 

The frequency of washing and the type of hair products used are essential factors in managing sweaty hair. Over-washing may strip the hair of its natural oils (swimmers who don’t use a swimming cap or athletes who wash their hair more than twice a day) while under-washing can lead to scalp issues. Choosing the right hair products, such as chelating shampoos or sulfate-free options, can help cleanse the scalp effectively.


To maintain a healthy scalp and hair, always shower after a workout. In this article you can find more information on why it is important to treat and prevent skin and hair conditions: Showering after a workout.

Understanding the impacts of sweaty hair on your scalp and hair

Sweaty hair can have various impacts on both the scalp and hair, affecting multiple aspects of hair health. The accumulation of sweat on the scalp leads to excessive moisture which can harbor bacteria in the hair.

Impact on scalp health

Excessive sweat on the scalp can lead to several impacts. Sweat can mix with natural oils and hair products, creating an environment for bacteria and yeast growth. This can cause scalp irritation, and itching, and potentially contribute to conditions like dandruff or folliculitis.


Impact on hair health

Sweaty hair can negatively impact hair health by mixing with oils and products, leading to bacterial growth and potential scalp issues. The moisture from sweat can cause hair to become brittle, prone to breakage, and less manageable.

Frequent sweat exposure without proper cleansing can also lead to clogged follicles, hindering healthy hair growth.


Impact on hair types (curly, straight, wavy, coarse)

Sweaty hair affects various types differently. Curly hair might frizz and lose definition due to excess moisture, while straight hair can appear limp and greasy. Wavy hair might experience uneven texture, and coarse hair could become more unruly.

Sweat can lead to product buildup and scalp irritation for all types. Tailoring post-workout care, like using appropriate shampoos and conditioners, is crucial to maintain the unique characteristics and health of each hair type.


Sweaty hair pre-workout hair care


Preparing your hair for a workout is essential to maintaining its health and appearance. Here are some tips that will prevent sweat from messing your hair.


  1. 1) Tie Up Hair: Keep hair off your face and neck with a loose bun, braid, or ponytail to minimize sweat contact. Avoid tight hairstyles that cause a condition called: traction alopecia, a common cause of hair loss in athletes like gymnasts.
  1. 2) Sweatband or Headband: Use a sweat-wicking headband or sweatband to prevent sweat from reaching your hairline.
  1. 3) Lightweight Hair Products pre-workout: Avoid heavy hair products that can trap sweat; opt for lightweight, non-greasy formulas.
  1. 4) Protective Styles: Choose protective hairstyles like a top knot or high ponytail to reduce sweat absorption.
  1. 5) Silk Pillowcase: Sleep on a silk pillowcase to prevent friction and reduce sweat-related hair frizz.
  1. 6) Avoid Tight Hats: Tight hats can trap sweat and lead to scalp irritation; opt for loose-fitting options or wash your caps frequently.

Remember, everyone's hair is different, so adjust your routine based on your hair type and preferences.

Sweaty hair during workout hair care


Caring for your hair during a workout is crucial to prevent damage and maintain its health and appearance. Here are some tips to follow:

  1. - Choose the right hairstyle: Avoid tight hairstyles like ponytails or braids that may cause tension and breakage. Opt for loose styles like a high bun or a loose braid to reduce strain on the hair and scalp.

  1. - Avoid touching your hair: Refrain from touching your hair frequently during exercise, as this can transfer sweat and bacteria, leading to potential scalp issues.

By following these simple tips, you can care for your hair effectively during workouts, ensuring it remains healthy, strong, and looking its best.

Sweaty hair post-workout hair care


Properly caring for your hair after a workout is the most important step. It's crucial to wash hair post-workout with a gentle shampoo to keep the scalp clean and healthy. 

Sweat can lead to a greasy scalp and limp hair, while others may experience dryness and flakiness (caused by sebum and dead skin scalp cells). Excessive sweat can affect scalp health, leading to irritation and inflammation

Additionally, the acidity of sweat can weaken hair strands, making them prone to damage and breakage, impacting overall hair health. 

  1. 1) Rinse with water: After your workout, rinse your hair with water to remove sweat and salt. Try to use cold to warm water to prevent damage to your hair shafts. To learn more about Showering tips read our blog post Showering After Workout - Essential for Skin to learn more about Cold and Hot water.

  1. 2) Use a purifying shampoo: a shampoo for swim and sweat has a specialized formula that works to remove the minerals and other impurities drawn to damaged hair, preventing them from getting in and causing brittleness and breakage. This shampoo was designed to remove sweat and build-ups without damaging your hair and scalp.
  1. 3) Use a conditioner: Apply a conditioner to your hair strands. Make sure you do not apply it to your scalp as conditioner can cause hair loss.
  1. 4) Applying a leave-in conditioner can further protect the hair after your intense workout. Be careful not to apply to the scalp as it will cause hair loss.


After washing, avoid rubbing your hair vigorously with a towel; instead, blot it gently to minimize friction and prevent damage. If possible, let your hair air dry to minimize heat exposure.

Consider using a leave-in conditioner or hair oil to provide extra hydration and protection. Incorporate a deep conditioning treatment once a week to keep your hair healthy and resilient. Following these steps will help maintain your hair's vitality and shine, even after intense workouts.

If you want to know all the details and benefits of a shampoo for swim and sweat, look no further and read our post on Best Shampoo for Swimmers and other Athletes.

How to handle specific hair issues related to workout

Frizziness is another common concern, as sweat can disrupt the hair's natural texture, especially for individuals with curly or wavy hair. Excessive friction from tight hairstyles or frequent washing can also lead to hair breakage and damage.

Moreover, the combination of sweat, heat, and constant washing can strip the hair of its natural oils, leading to dryness and a lack of moisture. This can result in brittle and dull-looking hair.

For those who frequently work out outdoors, exposure to the sun's UV rays can cause hair color fading and damage to the hair's protein structure.

Understanding these issues is vital for implementing proper hair care routines and using suitable products to protect and maintain healthy, vibrant hair while engaging in regular physical activity.

A simple hair care routine can help avoid these hair issues:

  1. 1) Wash hair with a hydrating shampoo designed for athletes and condition your hair ends.
  2. 2) Avoid over-washing.
  3. 3) Use a wide-tooth comb to detangle.
  4. 4) Limit heat styling.
  5. 5) Protect from sun and heat.
  6. 6) Weekly deep conditioning.

Does sweat cause dandruff?


Yes, sweat can indeed contribute to dandruff, both in causing and exacerbating the condition. Dandruff medically known as Seborrheic Dermatitis, is a hair condition characterized by a genetic predisposition to a natural skin yeast. to overgrow. When this yeast is exposed to a humid environment created by your sweat it makes this condition worse or can cause it.

For more information about this condition, you can read this article.

Sweat as we have mentioned extensively causes the blocking of your hair follicles, increases irritation, and therefore makes this condition worse. 

Moreover, during workouts, the combination of sweat and friction from tight hairstyles or headgear can further irritate the scalp, potentially worsening dandruff symptoms.

To manage dandruff caused or exacerbated by sweat, it's essential to practice good scalp hygiene by always washing your hair after a workout, with a shampoo for swim and sweat alternating with a shampoo for anti-dandruff with active ingredients like zinc pyrithione or ketoconazole that reduce inflammation and excess oil production.


Dryness and frizz after workout

Hair can become dry and frizzy after working out due to a combination of factors. Sweat, which is primarily water and salt, can dehydrate the hair, leaving it dry and brittle. Additionally, the salt residue left on the hair after sweat evaporates can disrupt the hair's cuticle, leading to frizz.


Preventing hair breakage during workout

To prevent hair breakage during a workout, opt for gentle hairstyles like loose braids or a high bun to minimize tension on the hair. Avoid tight hairstyles, elastic bands with metal components, and rough accessories that can cause friction and damage. Use snag-free hair ties made of soft fabric or silicone to secure hair.


Does sweat cause hair loss?

There is no direct scientific evidence to suggest that sweating alone causes hair loss. Hair loss is commonly attributed to various factors, such as genetics, hormonal imbalances, age, medical conditions, and certain medications.


Sweating itself is a natural bodily process and does not contribute to hair loss. However, intense physical or emotional stress, strict diets, may trigger a type of hair loss called Telogen Effluvium. This condition causes temporary hair shedding, usually occurring 2-3 months after the stressful event (normal hair cycle). To learn more about this common hair loss condition read this article.


It's essential to differentiate between normal hair shedding and actual hair loss. Normal hair shedding can range from 50 to 100 hairs per day and is a part of the hair growth cycle. If concerned about hair loss, it's best to consult a dermatologist or healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment or management.



Sweaty hair during workouts can lead to scalp issues and affect hair health. Proper hair care, choosing suitable hairstyles, and using sweat-wicking accessories can prevent damage. After exercise, rinsing with water, gentle cleansing with a specialized shampoo, and moisturizing help maintain healthy and vibrant hair.

Avanza Skin’s a shampoo for swim and sweat is a high-quality shampoo that is dermatologist-recommended and contains the specific ingredients to clear away harsh chemicals and sweat and protect, nourish, and strengthen to prevent future damage.

Avanza Skin has products to prevent and treat athletes' skin and hair issues. Find the right products that meet your skin and hair needs - in less than a minute. Take our quiz to find out!