Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fitness...or Hair?

Today I attended a wedding of one of the ladies from my Woman's Bible Study Group.  I love weddings.  They always make me so happy and excited for the couple uniting in Holy Matrimony.  I'm at the age where everybody seems to  be getting married or announcing engagements, and sometimes it's exhausting - not to mention expensive; but I every single ceremony I feel blessed to have witnessed the couple's union.  Today was no different.

However...I set my hair on flexirods.  For those who don't know what those are, they are the long (usually 12") foam flexible, bendable rods (come in variable sizes) that can be used to curl or spiral your hair. I used them on freshly washed, wet hair and got these results (and for fun I included the outfit...all of which is in a size MEDIUM!!!!):

Well...I loved it!  It took me about 45 minutes or so to rod, 1 hour under the dryer and another couple of hours of airdrying (while I did my nails and feet) to complete.  Then...I removed most of the rods and pinned the curls up into place and slept carefully.  MOST Black women at one point or another in life have slept "carefully" i.e. on your forehead, in a chair, propped up by your hand, and I am no different.  I rotated between arms folded on my forehead with my chest elevated by pillows and keeping my head in the air by holding it with my arm.  Completely uncomfortable, but as you can see the curls remained intact and I felt it was all worth it as I received compliments at the wedding.  Sidebar:  I don't have the tolerance to do "careful" styles very often and best believe after the wedding I piled those bad boys on the top of my hair, slapped a bonnet on and laid down like a normal person!  But on occasion I do return to "careful" sleeping for special occasions like this one.

Anyway...I'm digressing.  After the wedding, I already began thinking of what workouts I would do where I could preserve my beloved curls for at least 3 days!  Before embarking on this journey...this would constitute me to NOT workout until I changed my hair.  Yes...I was one of those Black women who would put hair before fitness.  I'm proud of the fact that I no longer do that as much, but every once in a while that old person who values a hairstyle so much resurfaces.  A HAIRSTYLE, one that can be replicated, redone, recreated as many times as I like will come before WORKING OUT, something that has to be done regularly to be maintained.  How ironic and moreover silly is that???  If you Google "Reasons Black Women Don't Exercise" the #1 reason is hair.  Harvard University even conducted a study that concluded this...its not just an urban legend.

I'm really proud of myself because I forced myself to NOT be that woman, but rather to be a woman who focuses on overall appearance and health...not just hair.  So as much as I didn't want to - I placed a hairnet on my hair to keep the curls gathered and got busy with Jillian Michaels.  Today I will do the same as well as jump some rope.

Who can relate to what I'm saying?  If not hair then what aesthetic thing will you put before working out?  Freshly painted toenails?  A spray tan that you don't want to streak?  What?


  1. First of all you look stunning. You have beautiful hair. I can relate to ehat you are saying. I have not permedmy hair sincethe 90's and was wearing braids, weaves for awhile, last year I finally went all out natural and I love it. When I have aspecial occasion I get my hair pressed and styled.

    I know so many women that don't work out as hard asthey want to because they don't want to sweat out there hair.

  2. Yes, the dreaded hair issue with black women and our health! It was one of my LEADING excuses for avoiding a workout. After a while however, it hit me, as to how simple-minded and silly I was being. I have 4b type hair, I'm talking Nigerian-grade (literally) and any perspiration or rain would ruin my relaxed tresses. But as my high blood pressure rose along with my dress size, I knew I had to do something. I went natural. I had to let all of the superficial worries go and it was the best decision of my life.

    I don't think it's completely impossible to lead an active lifestyle and maintain our hair, it just takes research, practice and the sharing of techniques (as you beautifully displayed). There are far too many resources for 'hair' to remain the leading cause of the women in our commmunity's health descent.

  3. Hmmm, what do I put before working out? Everything!!LOL! I'm super lazy when it comes to exercise-haven't been on my treadmill in over a couple months (actually I did walk on it for 10 minutes-couldn't wait to get off!!).

    Your hair looks fantastic! And I love the outfit!

  4. i found this post from one of madame's tweets and I have to say how CUTE your hair looks! i'm not a natural, i do stretch my relaxers though. and it's been an adventure finding out how to exercise without compromising my styles. my body and health are soooo worth it though.

  5. What a jazzy ensemble. I love skirt and great job on the hair! I can totally relate to the hair issue. I used to put my hair before workin out. But my mom told me either I want to be cute and fat or be healthy with me occasionally lookin tow up from the flo up. I keep my hair long enough to put in a ponytail.

  6. I love your outfit, you look Fab!!! All I do is slick it back & put it in a high bun!!!

  7. Love the hair, how cute! I love flexirods but don't have a lot of time to do them as much as I would like. Yes, I use to be the same way. Not exercising because of my hair. Then I said forget this, I'm tired of being fat. So I got off my butt, put my hair in a ponytail and got moving. If I do wear my hair in a wrap then wrap my hair up in a silk scraf, with a cute bandana over it, and this helps my wrap to last. I do this in the winter time mostly. In the summer, I wear my hair in buns or pony tails because it's so hot. Have you tried to pin your curls up in pin curls at night? This helps keep the curls. You could even do it before you exercise. Also, once the curls start to fall, you could clamp the back up and have a few spirals down on one side in the front. That's a cute style I like to wear too, especially when working out. What ever you do, I'm glad you are still pushing on regardless of your hair! :)

  8. 1st off Hair=HOT and Outfit =FIERCE...
    now that that’s out the way….I 100% can feel what you mean about hair. I usually wear my hair very straight and the thought of sweat bringing out my curl would make me scream. But since I've realized how much better I feel when I get off my ass...I really don’t think twice about it....It’s an after thought. When I’m done with my workout and I look in the mirror I'm like "Damn , now what am I gonna do with this head….lol".
    It just goes to show you how far you've come :-)

  9. Awww, I'm so proud of you. My daughter is one of those white girls that uses her hair as an excuse. I had to pay $160 for her to take a 3 week summer gym class so she won't have to take it during the school year. For her, it was all about the hair. Heaven forbid that her curly hair becomes a frizzy mess during the school day!

    Seriously though, I think women in general have issues with their hair. How often do you hear a guy complaining about a bad hair day?