How to Prevent Your Perm From Sweating Out When You Work Out

To keep your style intact, you'll have to fight sweat.

To keep your style intact, you'll have to fight sweat.

Sweating out your perm during an intense workout brings one of the double-edged swords of exercise to light: you work out to look good, but you look like a hot mess at the end of your workout. Restyling your hair might not be an option if you have a busy schedule, and you could always use the time spent resetting your perm to work in another set or two. With a little planning, however, you can retain your look even after vigorous exercise – the key lies in prevention.

Hydrate properly to keep your hair healthy and shiny, even after exercise. The American Council on Exercise recommends drinking 17 to 20 ounces of water two or three hours prior to working out, 8 ounces of fluid 20 to 30 minutes before your warm-up, another 7 to 10 ounces every 10 to 20 minutes of exercise activity and another 8 ounces within 30 minutes after your routine.

Pin curl your perm before exercise to keep your curls in place for the duration of your workout. Don't remove the pins until your scalp has completely dried afterward. Wear a satin band around your hairline if you want to keep this part of your hair smooth.

Work a small amount of volumizing product or dry shampoo into your hair before exercise. This will encourage curls and create a little lift.

Blow dry your hair after your workout to evaporate perm-limping sweat and reduce – or eliminate – the need to shampoo your hair. Focus on your hairline and the nape of your neck, drying with hot air for three to five minutes. When your hair is almost dry, work a drop of styling cream or serum into it with your fingers to prevent frizz and flyaway hairs.


  • Avoid cotton hats, caps or head scarves during your workout. In addition to causing breakage, these can lock in sweat and cause your perm to go limp. If you opt for headgear, choose satin or silk materials and always leave an opening to encourage air flow.

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About the Author

Dan Ketchum has been a professional writer since 2003, with work appearing online and offline in Word Riot, Bazooka Magazine, Anemone Sidecar, Trails and more. Dan's diverse professional background spans from costume design and screenwriting to mixology, manual labor and video game industry publicity.

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