Chic and Sporty: The Best Workout Hairstyles

Your priority when working out is performance, but that doesn’t mean your hair can’t look great while doing so. Try some of these best workout hairstyles.

Let’s face it: when you head for the gym or sports field, you generally scrape your hair up into a messy ponytail and forget about it. When you’re red-faced and sweating, your appearance is probably not high on your priorities.

However, it is possible to look fashionable when you work out or, at the very least, style your hair in a trendy but practical way to keep it off your face and neck, while looking good and feeling confident.

The most important part of styling your hair for sport is that it is practical. Hair needs to be smoothed down, avoid fly-aways and include plenty of grips and possibly hair spray to fix it in place. Here’s how to do just that with some of the best workout hairstyles.

The Tight Bun


Often referred to as the ballerina bun, this hairstyle is sleek and sophisticated but, more importantly, super practical for sportswomen. Simply use a smoothing brush to smooth back all your hair to the middle of the back of your head and position it in the center. Tie a ponytail with a hair bobble, roll the hair tightly and wrap it around into a bun.

Make sure it's wrapped as tightly as possible and avoid flyaways by adding some hair serum or gel to smooth down the stray hairs or layers. Secure it with a tight hair bobble and a second hair tie (for back up!), and use bun grips to secure it in place. Finish off this style with strong fixing spray.

If you want to match your hairstyle to your sports kit, add a hair band or use a colored hair tie! The best thing about this hairstyle is that it ensures all your hair is off your sweaty neck and secured tightly so that you can run and jump around without it falling out of place.

High Ponytail


A swinging ponytail is a fun, sporty hairstyle. It sways from side to side as you jump around and adds to that energy you have flowing through you! Similarly to the bun, use a smoothing brush to scrape your hair back tightly into a high ponytail. Less secure than the bun, the ponytail will swing as you exercise, but your hair will be kept off your face and neck.



Braids are one of the best hairstyles for sporty people, especially if you can spend a bit of time to get the hairstyle just right. If you know how to do a French braid, this is even better.

The style is secure to your head and fashionable at the same time! As you plait the hair, simply add sections from each side—this is a French braid!

Use hair spray to fix the style and add grips if necessary (especially to clip back a side fringe). You can play around with this look and do two braids, one braid, a fishtail or two braids leading into a ponytail or bun. There’re a lot of possibilities and all of them keep the hair away from your face when exercising.

Deep Side Parting


Simply changing your parting can drastically change your look! If you are opting for a simple low ponytail or generally scraping your hair back and tying up, why not opt for a deep side parting rather than your usual parting for a bit of a new look? There’s no harm in switching things up from time to time and experimenting can be fun!


The main thing to consider is if the hairstyle you choose will satisfactorily keep hair away from your eyes, face, neck and shoulders. Hair in your face when playing sport or exercising can be annoying or even dangerous. Hair on your neck and shoulders can get sweaty and stick to your skin, leaving you feeling uncomfortable.

When you try your hairstyle, make sure you jump around a bit to test out the style, and make sure it is practical and secure. If bits fall out, you might need to re-consider the hairstyle altogether, give it another try or get more grips. It needs to be able to stay in place during your exercise session, so consider extra grips than what you’d normally wear and a stronger hair spray to usual.

Trendy Hair


Sporty can equal trendy! Feel free to experiment with your hairstyles by adding colorful grips, bows, hair ties and headbands.

Material hairbands or sweatbands are a great way to keep fringes and sweat away from your face and you can easily match the color or pattern to your sports kit. If you are wearing a black kit with a splash of color, incorporating that color into your headband or hair tie can look really effective, for example.

You don’t have to look scruffy when playing sport. While how you look might not be your number one priority when you are gasping for breath or trying to beat an opponent in a team sport, there are ways to make your hair look great while still being sturdy.

Are you sporty? How do you wear your hair when playing sport or working out? Do you simply tie it back with no hassle or do you love to match your hair accessories with your sport kit and style your hair in different ways? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

About the author

Rachel A.

Welsh Journalism graduate and full-time writer Rachel has a love of words! A workaholic with champagne desire on a lemonade budget, Rachel is most at home with her laptop on her knee and a cup of tea close by.

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