Thing I Will Never Understand: Women Who Work Out with Their Hair Down

Ponytail, pigtails, baldness—literally anything is better than working out with your hair down.

Ladies, we need to have a serious conversation. I’ve been quiet about this long enough and I just can’t stay silent any more. To all you long-haired women who work out with your hair down, I ask: Whyyyy?

Not that I’m judging or anything. I am genuinely curious as to why you choose to do it and, even more, how you can stand it. Purely from observation (because, really, I could never, ever wear my hear down, even if you paid me to), I’m going to point out a few of the things off the bat that would bother me if I wore my hair down during a work out:

1. Hair sticking to my disgustingly sweaty neck.

2. Hair sticking to my disgustingly sweaty forehead.

3. Hair flying into my mouth/up my nose.

4. Hair whipping my eyeballs.

5. Knowing full well that I look like a hot mess.

I’m of the “slick my hair back as tightly as possible with as much hairspray and as many bobby pins as I can muster” camp. I had bangs for a couple of years and would pin those back, too, finishing off the look with a slip-proof headband, just in case. If one of those pesky little hairs happened to fall out mid-workout, I would literally yank it out. That’s right—I would rather be bald than have a hair so much as touch my face.

Another thing: the sweaty neck/hair combo bothers me even when my hair is up. Due to utter personal-grooming laziness, my ponytail, even when done 80s-style on the top of my head, comes midway down my back. That means as I work out and my neck starts to perspire (how ladylike!), the ends of my hair get all wet and start sticking to my neck. I hate it! Sometimes, mid-stride, I redo my ‘do to get it off my neck and put my hair up in a messy bun. Attractive? Not in the slightest. Effective? Absolutely.

This is not a joke: I’ve been baffled by the hair-down-while-working-out phenomenon ever since middle school, when a girl on my basketball team used to play actual games with her hair down. She had thick, wavy hair just past her shoulders and still she wouldn’t put it up. I remember asking her once why she opted for this particular form of torture, and she had no good reason. “I dunno,” she said. “I guess I never wear it up, anyway, so why would I start now?”


Please tell me I’m not alone in my marveling at this. Or, if you’re of the hair-down cohort, please—tell me why you do it. I need some kind of concrete reason to grasp onto, here. Really. Anything’ll work.


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