We’ve all heard the myths about the difficulties of exercising while wearing hair extensions. Key word: myths. Just because you live an active lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice wearing hair extensions! Whether you’re doing intense training, swimming or easy jogs around the block, your hair extensions should not hold you back. While extensions, and Great Lengths in particular, will suit most lifestyles, there are a few essential precautions you need to take to protect your extensions while you keep up your fit life. PRE-WORKOUT Before heading to the gym, apply a thin layer of leave-in conditioner to help keep your extensions free of tangles and in top shape. Be sure to choose a product that is sulfate-free , and always apply only to the hair, ensuring your bonds or tapes are not in contact with the product. Bonded and tape-in extensions are most fragile when wet. This doesn’t rule out swimming however! If you plan on including swimming as a part of your workout routine, be sure to pack a swim cap in your gym bag. Chlorine can leave your hair extensions dry, discoloured and vulnerable to breakage. If you don’t use a swim cap, take extra care to protect your extensions. Before diving into salt or chlorinated water, soak your hair with fresh water and apply a generous amount of conditioner. Combined with the moisturizing effect of conditioner, giving your hair a chance to absorb fresh water will prevent chlorine or salt from absorbing as deeply, resulting in less damage to your hair. Wearing your hair up or in a braid is essential, as free flowing hair tangles much more easily, especially when combined with salt or chlorinated water. During… How You Wear Your Hair Matters! No one wants hair in their face as they work up a sweat, so finding the right hairstyle for your work out is key. Vigorous movement and salty sweat can cause strain on both your bonds and natural hair so the right hairstyle for your work out becomes even more important when it comes to caring for your hair extensions. Top tip- always tie your hair back. Never begin a workout without first pulling your hair up and off your neck and forehead with a scrunchie or metal-free elastic. Doing so will prevent tangling and avoid compromising the bond while you work out, while also protecting your hair from the drying effects of perspiration. Yes, that’s right, the mere act of sweating can be hard on your hair! There’s some science behind this… A pH between 4.0 and 5.5 allows skin and hair to stay healthy. When we perspire, our PH levels rise and can cause hair to become dry, frizzy, brittle and easy to break. Pull those tresses into topknots, buns, or ponytails to keep your extensions off your neck and as dry as possible. You may also choose to wrap your locks to keep them dry. If so, keep hair in place with two separate wraps or scarves: one made of breathable mesh or satin, topped by a simple cotton bandanna that absorbs and wicks away sweat. Whatever method you choose, never pull your hair too tight and avoid tugging at your bonds. Pulling or tugging at your hair can compromise bonds or tapes and affect the longevity and performance of your extensions. Aim for a looser style that will keep hair up and off the neck without pulling at the attachment site. Keeping hair tied a little looser will also let your hair breathe, allowing sweat to evaporate rather than being absorbed. Protect Your Bonds… Post Workout Care After your workout, care must be taken to restore your hair’s PH levels and keep your extensions looking healthy and beautiful. It’s really important to gently wash your extensions with the recommended shampoo and conditioner to remove any perspiration (and chlorine if you’re a swimmer). After washing, we recommend using Great Lengths’ Anti-Tap Solution to further help restore the PH and protect your bonds. The solution can be pre-made and popped into your gym bag for a hair fix on the go. As always, be sure to dry the bonds or tapes immediately, the rest of your hair can be left to air-dry. With the right precaution and care, your extensions should never get in the way of a healthy, active lifestyle. Certified Trainer and Wellness Coach, Nathalie Ferr is living proof. Check out what she had to say about her Great Lengths. PHOTO PROPERTY OF NATHALIA FERR ✨ “My Great Lengths hold up nicely and always look shiny and super fresh. What I love the most is the fact that I can have them down and in an instant pick them up into a ponytail without having to worry about how they look. The keratin bonds blend perfectly with my hair which helps me have that perfect pony.” ✨ “ I do make sure to take extra good care of them by using a Great Lengths brush, only washing twice a week (which means I do love a good dry shampoo… yes, totally OK to use them with the extensions!) and more importantly I am very mindful as to what products I put in my hair.” ✨ “If you are like me and have an active lifestyle and have been considering getting extensions I can guarantee you they will not get in the way of your fit life. They’ll add the effortless glam that you’re looking for. IF YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS ABOUT EXERCISING WITH YOUR EXTENSIONS, YOU CAN ALWAYS ASK ONE OF OUR CERTIFIED GREAT LENGTHS EXPERTS! TO THE FIND THE SALON NEAREST TO YOU.