Readers Ask: Dear Lucky About Keeping Hair Damage to A Minimum

Q: I have a pretty intense physical fitness routine (outdoor running, yoga, strength training, etc.), which means a lot of sweat, exposure to the sun and tugging on my hair to get it back into a secure ponytail. Any recommendations for keeping hair damage to a minimum? And preventing that flat-and-limp, sweated-on look?

Illustration by Lauren Friedman

Maddyloo Original Hair Tie, $1, maddyloo.com

A: You kind of have to embrace the sweated-on flatness and limpness. Think of the desperate hordes of women slicking their hair down with anti-frizz serums day and night! You’ve got this look naturally—until you wash your hair—so own it. Also, I often find, grossly but truly, that sweat has a significant volumizing and texturizing effect on my hair. Like those zillion-dollar sea-salt sprays hairstylists love—but free! Solving hair damage is easy, as there’s the cutest solution: These fabric hair ties have enough elastic that they hold a ponytail in place, but they’re wide enough that they (a) don’t pull and (b) don’t leave a dent. Before they invented these things, I had about 60 percent more broken ends than I do now—they’re that amazing. Sun damages hair that’s been colored rather significantly, so hair sun-protection products (look at Pureology, Rene Furterer, Redken, Alterna … there are lots of options) are super worth it. If you don’t color your hair, don’t worry about the sun too much. Compared with heat tools and chemicals, the sun is kind of small potatoes.

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