High-maintenance hair keeps some out of the gym

Not willing to wreck an expensive hairstyle by breaking a sweat at the gym? In a new US survey, 40 percent of African-American women said they skipped the gym to preserve their hair. About a third said that hair issues prevented them from exercising as much as they wanted to.

Sweat and moisture are a particularly hot-button issue for black women, who sometimes invest considerable time and money into transforming naturally curly hair into silky manes. Sweat is a notorious killer of smooth hair.

According to researchers from Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, African-American women are the least likely demographic in the country to meet physical activity guidelines -- that is, at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week.

Dermatologist Dr. Rebecca Hall and her team surveyed 103 African-American women ages 21 to 60, finding that 62 percent of the women had chemically relaxed hair. Many washed their hair every one to two weeks.

Thirty-six percent said they avoided swimming, and 29 percent said they avoided aerobic and gym activities.

Also 32 percent of the women reported scalp problems, such as flaking and itching, and hair breakage that were exacerbated by moisture.

"The high percentage of African-American women with baseline scalp complaints suggests that dermatologists need to consider these symptoms when providing care for African-American women," the researchers wrote.

Their findings were published December 17 in the journal Archives of Dermatology.

Last year, US surgeon general Dr. Regina M. Benjamin spoke at a hair show in Atlanta issuing a warning that women stop skimping on fitness to preserve their hairstyles.

"Oftentimes you get women saying, ‘I can't exercise today because I don't want to sweat my hair back or get my hair wet,' " she told The New York Times. "When you're starting to exercise, you look for reasons not to, and sometimes the hair is one of those reasons."

Access the study: http://archderm.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1485354

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

Most Popular

  • 8 Health Flubs You Make Every Day

    8 Health Flubs You Make Every Day

    Healthy Living - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 4:54 AM PHT
    8 Health Flubs You Make Every Day

    If you blow, pick, or pluck your nose, you're not doing yourself any favors. And that's just one body part! Here are eight health sins you didn't realize you were making. …

  • Do You Have a Bowel Problem?

    Do You Have a Bowel Problem?

    Healthy Living - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 10:34 PM PHT
    Do You Have a Bowel Problem?

    Those sweets are just one category of "fermentable carbohydrates," foods that can wreak havoc on some people's guts (another common irritating class is lactose), causing diarrhea, gas and/or bloating. …

  • 5 Habits You Need for a Lifetime of Great Sleep

    5 Habits You Need for a Lifetime of Great Sleep

    Healthy Living - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 11:33 PM PHT
    5 Habits You Need for a Lifetime of Great Sleep

    Work on developing these habits to sleep soundly every single night. …

  • 15 Things Introverts Love

    15 Things Introverts Love

    Healthy Living - 19 hours ago
    15 Things Introverts Love

    You're all in favor of a long conversation with a friend. But small talk with strangers? Not so much. …

  • AP WAS THERE: Probable cause of AIDS found

    AP WAS THERE: Probable cause of AIDS found

    Associated Press - 23 hours ago
    AP WAS THERE: Probable cause of AIDS found

    WASHINGTON (AP) — EDITOR'S NOTE: In 1981, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the first cases of a rare pneumonia that had sickened five Los Angeles gay men. The AIDS epidemic had begun. …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options
POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options