Whether relaxed or natural; wearing weaves, braids, or locks, when asked about the No. 1 barrier to fitness for Black women, you can expect a large percentage will say "hair." With the growing number of health disparities for Black women worldwide, it is more important than ever to demonstrate ways to get (and keep) Black women moving, unobstructed by the roadblocks we face each day, big or small.
Let's be real: It is a commitment for Black women to stay active and also care for their hair.
RUNGRL’s #MyRunningHair initiative is bringing attention to how we can reduce hair as a barrier to fitness by providing tips and resources for hair care and maintenance while running. We're also celebrating the many women who are already making it work. Our goal is to improve our community’s health and wellness overall, and encourage more women in joining the movement to sprinkle more Black Girl Magic in the streets. We're showing the world what our hair looks like and why that is so beautiful.
A 2013 survey by Wake Forest University School of Medicine found that 50 percent of African American women have had to modify their hairstyles in order to accommodate exercise and nearly 40 percent avoid exercise at times owing to hair-related issues. These are legitimate concerns, yes, but they are also ones that can be overcome.
Since we believe that health and wellness are vital, not just to personal wellbeing, but also to the wellbeing of our communities, we’re calling out our own excuses, in order to push right through them, and prove it can be done.
This is #MyRunningHair.
Throughout this initiative, our #MyRunningHair Ambassadors will share their stories and routines, giving a glimpse into their personal lives and how they manage to stay active and healthy while still maintaining their varied and beautiful hair styles.
Natural Hair - Locs
"I decided to get loc extensions based on my personal style and [fitness] needs. It's been almost two years and I wouldn't change a thing!"
"Transitioning has given me the freedom to run without (mostly) worrying about my hair. I plan my wash days around my workouts rather than the other way around."
"Before embracing the "curly" life, I had weekly standing hair appointments just to maintain my blow out. As I advanced in the sport, I've tried out protective styles and am now venturing into wash-n-go hair."
"I personally prefer to wear weave while running. It has been helpful and efficient to just put my hair in a ponytail or high bun, then take it and down and go on with my day."
Read more about these ladies' hair and fitness journeys on our Ambassadors story.
featured campaign news
Read more on the topics we're tackling around Black women's wellness, our hair, and the many, nuanced concerns that come with maintaining both!