Running Hair

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Feels like fall!

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My recent workout schedule has looked like this:


Friday – Swim 1000 yards

Saturday – 5 Mile Race

Sunday – Rest

Monday – Writing Marathon (AKA couldn’t tear myself away from the computer!)


So this run was my first after two days off, which normally bodes well for speed and ease.  However, today’s 4 miler felt like such a drag!  I had heavy legs the whole time.  At least I had lots of pretty trees and fog to look at.  Fall is everywhere!

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Just as I was walking out the door, I remembered the grab an extra hair fubby so I could put my hair into a ponytail braid.  All the sudden, my hair has been getting soooo tangled if I just leave it in a ponytail.  You should’ve seen it after Saturday’s race – it was a rat’s nest.  I already have pretty long hair, but maybe it grew an extra centimeter and that pushes it into tangle zone?  Who knows.


For triathlons, I prefer a low braided ponytail.  I can tuck it into my swim cap, put on a bike helmet over it, and pull on a baseball cap for the run.  The braid keeps it from getting too tangled during the lake swim and the transitions.

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For road races, I really like high Princess Leia buns…

… Or low braided pigtails with a visor on top.

Clearly – I like headgear.  Baseball hats, visors, Bondi bands – love ‘em all and rarely run without them (my bangs get in the way).


But my favorite hair trick of all is the Key Scrunchie!  I keep my key on a hair fubby and put it in my hair.  It’s super convenient, never falls out, and I don’t have to worry about it jangling around in my pocket.  And when I get home, I just undo my hair and slip the hair tie back on my keychain.


So – how do you wear your hair for workouts?



  • Carrie @ Fitness and Frozen Grapes October 2, 2012, 2:05 pm

    My hairstyle changes depending on the workout at hand. If I’m just running, then a ponytail will do; swimming, biking, or both calls for one French braid. For a triathlon, I always do two French braids. I’m also a huge visor fan. 🙂

  • Megan October 2, 2012, 2:07 pm

    In a ponytail but it’s long so it falls if I don’t twist the holder several times and my bangs stick to my forehead creating a gross mess. I might steal your braid ideas. I don’t like headgear but maybe that’s the key to the bangs? I tried the rubber hair bands to hold back my bangs but they just fall out and frustrate me.

    • Anna October 2, 2012, 2:39 pm

      I have curls with lots of baby hair and use bobby pins or sometimes I spray my hair down with hairspray if it really doesn`t seem to behave. Have you tried that? Or maybe a comfortable thin headband?

      • Megan October 3, 2012, 9:33 am

        I think bobby pins are the secret. I tried one last night and it worked great! Thanks for the tip :)!

  • Ali October 2, 2012, 2:30 pm

    I HATE head gear! I even dread wearing a hat when it’s 15F out and I’m working out! I usually do a pony tail for whatever I’m doing though I have to use the super-strength bands with plastic because I have very fine hair. If my hair is longer, I might do a knot. Working out is one reason I just won’t get bangs. I’d love them but I don’t think I could deal with them all sweaty! Also – I always know it’s time for a trim when my hair starts getting very tangly. Even just getting the very ends off helps!

  • Michelle @ Eat Move Balance October 2, 2012, 2:31 pm

    Funny–I HAVE to be wearing a hat when I workout. My hair is pulled into a ponytail . . . and I always wear a hat. Inside, outside, whatever. It kind of acts like a sweatband, and if I am outside, it’s great for blocking the wind and/or sun.

  • Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy October 2, 2012, 2:33 pm

    I love running in fall. I think I run further because I go out of my way to run over the crunchy leaves 🙂

  • Army Amy* October 2, 2012, 2:33 pm

    I like to rock a low pony with a hat.*

  • Anna October 2, 2012, 2:38 pm

    I always put my key on my shoe laces. I just asked bloggers how they wear their hair. One trick that I learned was a high ponytail which you then braid, I quite like that. Especially because my curly hair is really messy in the mornings and a ponytail alone often doesn`t look nice at all.

  • Amber K October 2, 2012, 2:42 pm

    Something simple, either a bun or a ponytail. But then I don’t usually run, but my hair tends to stay up either way.

  • Angela @ Happy Fit Mama October 2, 2012, 2:43 pm

    Running – always ponytail with a headband. Unless I have a hat on, then it’s braids. Cycling – braids. I can’t imagine how some people can wear their hair down while working out. I have to have all my hair off my face and neck!

  • Kristen L October 2, 2012, 2:48 pm

    I just wrote a post about running hair too! Mine is not super long right now, so it’s pretty good in a ponytail. I really like wearing visor though to keep the shorter pieces in front from falling in my face. I’ve never tried braids — maybe I’ll give those a shot. I’ve also heard B.I.C Bands are super awesome to keep hair back out of your face!

  • Courtney @ Journey of a Dreamer October 2, 2012, 2:52 pm

    I have short hair so I have to wear a headband. I do a lot of stuff with weights thanks to crossfit- so hats don’t work too well.

  • Ellen @ Wannabe Health Nut October 2, 2012, 2:57 pm

    Clever idea! I’m usually a baseball cap girl, but every since I love my NY Yankees one (not a fan, just like the look of those worn-in gray caps, ha!) I have been running without one. I have short hair, so I usually twist the front shorter pieces back and secure with a bobby pin and then do a low lil pony. 🙂

  • Kristy @ Kristy's Health Revolution October 2, 2012, 2:58 pm

    The ponytail holder key trick is PERFECT. I can’t believe I never thought of it! Thanks! (also, I’ve never heard of the term ‘hair fubby’, haha)

    • Breanne October 2, 2012, 4:13 pm

      I was going to say BOTH of those things!

      I’ve always done key in the shoe lace, but I have to try the ponytail (which I’m mostly a high pony girl, sometimes a braid or bun (those dance days trained me)).

  • Amanda K. October 2, 2012, 3:06 pm

    my hair gets tangly, too, so i french braid it and then put one of those elastic hair bands on to keep flyaways out of my face.

    i tie my key in my shoelace – i keep my hair up until i shower, it’s such a sweaty mess to take it down immediately!

  • Katie H. October 2, 2012, 3:12 pm

    GENIUS idea about putting the key on your hairband! I hate when I accidentally put on running shorts that don’t have a hidden little pocket. What an excellent solution!

  • Katie @ Soulshine and Sassafras October 2, 2012, 3:14 pm

    Your workout hair is so cute! I just throw mine up in a messy bun and call it a day.

  • Rebecca @ Blueberry Smiles October 2, 2012, 3:15 pm

    The key scrunchie is a great idea!!

  • wendi October 2, 2012, 3:30 pm

    Hi Caitlin,

    I just saw this on facebook and thought it was truly awesome. You should check it out.

  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More October 2, 2012, 3:34 pm

    Oh my goodness – that is GENIUS!!! I’m totally using that key trick from here on out. I always stick my key in my running shorts pocket but I find myself always making sure it didn’t fall out. I’m crazy paranoid. ha!

    And I generally put my hair in a pony tail or bun when I workout with a headband. Though lately my headbands keep falling out. I think they’re at the point of needing to be replaced. I also like to wear my hair in braids.

  • Amy October 2, 2012, 3:41 pm

    Love the key scrunchie idea! I totally just Pin-ed It!

  • Beks October 2, 2012, 3:42 pm

    That key think is genius!

  • Laura @ RunningJunkie123 October 2, 2012, 3:43 pm

    I used to have to wear my hair in a high pony tail or bun and it had to be realllllly tight. Like 2 hair ties tight. I hated bounce.

    Now I’m bald (maybe I tied them just a BIT too tight. lol) so I always wear a hat when I workout. I do it not only to (partially) hide my baldness but because if you don’t have hair swear POURS. It’s serious. Even with the hat on it pours off the brim. I had no idea how much my head sweat before this because my hair always absorbed it.

  • Grace @ Grace Dishes October 2, 2012, 3:50 pm

    I LOVE THE IDEA OF THE KEY SCRUNCHIE! I’m totally stealing that idea. Super great tip!

    I think you look great in all your hairstyles. For me, I like it in a ponytail so it doesn’t get in the way.

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats October 2, 2012, 3:51 pm

    I have long curly hair but it seems to be just fine in a pony tail! If it’s windy though I’ll put it up in a bun, there’s nothing pleasant about running down Chicago’s lake front with my sweaty hair hitting me in the face!

  • Elyse October 2, 2012, 4:05 pm

    Love this post! I used to always just do a ponytail for running and I have pretty long hair, but this summer it started to drive me nuts! I saw Olympic volleyball players Misty May and Kerri Walsh wearing the ponytail braid, I decided to try it and haven’t looked back since! Also must be wearing a mesh baseball cap for sun protection/heat/because it feels weird if I don’t!

  • Allie October 2, 2012, 4:08 pm

    I’ve been having the tangling issue, too. As my long runs got longer and longer during marathon training, it would take me longer and longer to brush out all the tangles after my post-long-run shower. One time it took me 15 minutes! Crazy. I’ve started doing it up in a tight bun. Now my hair requires: 3 clippies (2 for my bangs, one for flyaways under the ponytail), 2 skinny hair ties (for the pony) and one thick hair tie (keeps the bun in place better). It’s a lot!

  • Steph October 2, 2012, 4:32 pm

    If your hair is getting really tangled then it’s time for a haircut! Especially with the change in weather, your hair is likely more dry than usual, and a lot of split ends leads to a lot of tangles. 🙂

  • Lisa October 2, 2012, 4:40 pm

    I just do a ponytail, but if my bangs are too short to reach, I go for the bang pouf.

    And I keep my keys in between the two sports bras I require. 😀

  • FitBritt@MyOwnBalance October 2, 2012, 4:48 pm

    I usually just throw my hair into a pony, which tends to come out. Its really long, thin and fine! For my first tri I wore a bun because it is usually the most comfortable to fit into a swim cap but I struggled to get my helmet on over my bun during the transition (note to first time triathletes, practice hairdo for ALL THREE EVENTS before race day)! A bun also works well for spin class since I tend to get really sweaty and long hair + sweaty back = no fun!

    Maybe I’ll try the pony braid for my next tri!

  • Natalie @ Free Range Human October 2, 2012, 5:24 pm

    It’s always in a thrown up bun on top of my head that comes out three minutes into my workout. Clearly this is not a very efficient system!

  • Hillary October 2, 2012, 5:50 pm

    I have super thick, curly hair, so a high bun works best for me! Simple and no tangles.

  • Annette@FitnessPerks October 2, 2012, 6:31 pm

    For teaching BodyPump I usually have it in a high bun (so that when I lie down on the bench, it doesn’t hurt). For Zumba. a lower ponytail or bun–so my hair fits in & doesn’t fly all over. So annoying! Hah.

    Love the key trick idea!

  • Lauren @ The Homeostatic Mindset October 2, 2012, 6:31 pm

    I LOVE how you call them hair fubbies!!! Such a cute name for them 🙂

  • Abby October 2, 2012, 7:06 pm

    Has your hair been shredding extra? When my hair did the post partum shed around 4 months pp it was a tangled mess!

  • Anne October 2, 2012, 7:39 pm

    Gahhh if you find a good hair solution please let me know!!!!

    I have been trying for year but not been able to figure it out.

    When I braid my pony tail it actually tangles even WORSE becuase it all jostles to the bottom and then hits my sweaty back and get even more tangled!

  • Karen @ Runner Girl Eats October 2, 2012, 8:05 pm

    I’ve never had a problem with my hair getting tangled in a ponytail until recently. Its a disgusting mess at the end of every run so I’ve started doing the pony braid and so far so good. Love the key idea! I just tie mine on my shorts string or shoe lace.

  • Stephanie October 2, 2012, 8:10 pm

    Low pony (so it doesn’t swing back and forth too much) with an additional elastic halfway down my hair to keep it from tangling. For races I’ll use 2 elastics–one about 1/3 of the way down and another about 2/3 of the way down. Makes me feel sexy and powerful because it ends up looking very Lara Croft.

  • Ashley October 2, 2012, 8:45 pm

    I LOVE the key hair tie. Great idea.

  • Lindsay @ Fuel My Family October 2, 2012, 9:01 pm

    My hair is usually really long too and it seriously is like one day its not tangly and the next, that little bit it grew overnight, is the last drop int he bucket and its a tangled mess when i run! I ususally get fed up and cut my hair short. This happens every couple years.

  • Leatitia October 2, 2012, 9:26 pm

    Thanks so much for the key in the hair trick! I lost my car key somewhere along my 5km route this morning and I had to walk it all over again to look for it. I was Very lucky and found it at the end of the 5k, right in front of my front door…

    Neither to say, I need a new way to carry my key. My iPhone case is not ideal. I take my phone out of the case and forget there’s a key in it. So, thanks for the idea!!

  • Kristy October 2, 2012, 10:43 pm

    Born & raised in Miami, I’m surprised that you don’t call your hair tie a “liga”. I’m a pony tail with head gear girl. Hat if the suns out, headband if it’s shady or late. As long as my hair is out of my face.. Im ok. I have to figure something else out though because my long hair gets stuck to my back & it drives me nuts. I can’t do a braid on myself and a bun seems so bouncy.

  • Claire Zulkey October 2, 2012, 11:04 pm

    Just did my first post-natal runs this week! I didn’t enjoy being pg in late summer but getting back into running in the fall is a treat. Anyway getting my hair up is a production thanks to these long bangs I have so it’s sort of a mess of a ponytail plus clips and an elastic hairband that I often forget I even have on around my neck so I accidentally end up wearing it as a necklace half the time.

  • Lea @ Greens and Coffee Beans October 2, 2012, 11:26 pm

    My hair gets horribly tangled whenever I go running too! Like borderline dreadlocks tangled. I have long, thick hair but with fine individual strands which is just a recipe for tangle city. Braids and ballet buns have been my new best friends when it comes to super sweaty or bouncy workouts.

  • Louise October 3, 2012, 9:28 am

    Post-baby shedding equalled dreadlock style tangling for me too. A shoulder length chop has almost sorted it out.

  • Ali @ Around the VeggieTable October 3, 2012, 10:13 am

    I chopped off my hair recently so it’s about chin length. It’s too short for a ponytail. I can do a half ponytail but then the parts that are hanging down get all sweaty and nasty. So I prefer to do two tiny little pigtails, even though it makes me look like I’m 14.

  • Laura October 3, 2012, 10:31 am

    I attach my key to my dogs leash, where the metal hook is to attach to her collar. It works great for me and I have motication to not ever lose her! 🙂

  • Courtney October 3, 2012, 12:01 pm

    I struggle with my hair while running all the time. I love your idea of tying the key into your hair band.

  • Katie October 3, 2012, 12:42 pm

    I tend to donate my hair every few years. So right now I’m rocking a bob and need to wear a hat to keep my hair from getting in my eyes. Once it gets a little longer I’ll do a handband and binder with a low pony. Once my hair is almost to the point of being able to donate I put in a low bun, otherwise my hair swishing side to side gets too annoying during my run!

  • Lisa October 3, 2012, 1:21 pm

    Ponytail. Always. I need it controlled! I’m currently growing my hair out (until I get sick of it and chop it off again) but longer hair is a huge pain with swimming!

  • Amanda October 3, 2012, 3:08 pm

    I’m very low-key about it, just as long as it looks decent. I usually wear a high ponytail with my bangs pinned back. For longer runs, I’ll take two high pigtails, then join them together in a low bun. Love the key idea though! I wonder if that would work for my car key, haha.

  • Jillian @ Reshape Your Life October 6, 2012, 7:03 pm

    I usually twist my bangs back and pin them then make a mid/high messy bun that’s really tight. It keeps my bangs out of my face and the hair off my neck, which is my biggest pet peeve!

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