Exercise is a great way to keep our lungs and heart healthy, and of course it is a good weight loss method. It is also helpful when it comes to maintaining a healthy head of hair. Exercise increases blood flow thus nourishing skin cells. Healthy skin cells mean healthy hair cuticles which allow our hair to grow. Exercise does become a problem though for many women who are trying to maintain beautiful looking hair.
It’s certainly no secret that regular exercise is associated with a decreased risk of obesity; that weight gain isn’t just a result of bad eating habits, it is also due to sedentary behavior. Now a study conducted at Wake Forest University of Medicine in North Carolina shows that many African-American women avoid exercise to protect their hair.
Hair care, as well as hair maintenance can be costly for African-American Women. The common styles require infrequent washing and grooming so sweating can ruin their look or force them to have to wash their hair when they would prefer not to. One-third of African-American women say their hair is the reason they don’t exercise and are struggling with weight loss issues.
During the Wake Forest University study 103 women between the ages of 21 and 60 participated in a comprehensive survey. The questions focused on exercise, hair care, and scalp condition. The majority of women said they understood the importance of regular exercise, yet 40 per cent admitted that they avoided exercise a lot of the time due to their hair. Fifty per cent indicated that they had modified their hair at times so that they could exercise.
In recent years the hair dilemma has become even more prevalent due to the fact that hairstyles have changed. For instance, straightening hair has become hugely popular. Stylists say African-American women with course hair have to use hair irons and a lot of chemical products to straighten their hair. It can be an expensive and time consuming process. It also makes the hair more fragile when washed. If the women took part in a regular routine of straighten, exercise, wash; straighten, exercise, wash…imagine how damaged their strands of hair would be.
While the exercise/hair issue may not seem like that big of a deal, the authors of the Wake Forest University study say it does present a major concern for women’s well-being. The U.S Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health states that four out of five African-American women are either overweight or obese. Weight gain puts women at a higher risk of diabetes, hypertension, heart-related problems, as well as a host of other serious health conditions.
There are many weight loss approaches that involve exercises; both moderate and vigorous. Sufficient exercise is described as moderate aerobics for 150 minutes per week or vigorous for 75 minutes per week. The University of Maryland Medical Centre suggests that both men and women exercise at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week to promote a healthy head of hair and a healthy scalp.
Until hair-styles change or hair-products become more advanced, only you can decide what is more important; your hair or your health.