We all know that gym is not a runway, and you should focus on shaping your body and keeping it healthy and fit, rather than showing off latest fashion trends. But, it doesn’t mean that you should not try to look pretty without any makeup or extravagant clothing. In fact, you can still show your sense of style through the sportswear you pick and other important details like your hairstyle. To save you the extra effort, here are the top 40 best sporty hairstyles you should wear for workouts.
1. Spiral Cascading Ponytail
The most popular hairstyle you see in the gym or in the park, where you usually workout, is the ponytail. On one hand, it’s so comfortable, while on the other it’s also very standard. So, spice up your workout ponytail by adding a one-sided braid to the construction. Spread your ponytail hair and start braiding from the top and gradually increase the distance between the braid and the hair band. Remember to keep the braid loose so it can curl up at the end. If it’s too firm, you will get a heavy baggage on your head that looks nothing like a curl.
2. Boxer Braid Cage for Extra Curly Hair + Balayage
We know and acknowledge the struggle people with curly hair go through. And although workout hairstyles should never be an issue for this type of hair, unlike straightening, here’s a fun way to turn your day at the gym into another fashion event. Try out permanent or temporary balayage hairstyles. Use your imagination, especially if you like bright colors. If not, have a look at our guide and pick a hairstyle that appeals to you the most. Then, organize your rebellious hair into badass boxer braids.
3. Boxer Braid Armageddon
Do you know why boxer braids are one of the most versatile hairstyles for the gym? Because they keep the entire hair out of your face and stick to your head for the most part, unlike regular braids and ponytails that keep dangling in the back as you jump or run. So, here’s a great quadro-braid in boxer style. Don’t feel bad if your braids don’t look as thick as these… a small hint: use hair extensions.
4. The PonyBraid
If you don’t mind a more complicated hairstyle, try this one. Start with a braid on the front, right above your forehead, then assemble your entire hair and the front braid into a ponytail. Then, keep braiding the tail. For a particularly fancy effect, you can wrap a piece of hair around the hair band, but that might make you hair-conscious all day if you plan a tough workout.
5. Schoolgirl Braids
There are some of us who make entire preparations for the gym, and others, who have only 15 minutes to get out of the house. For the latter, here’s a simple workout hairstyle that looks cute and sporty at the same time. Rocking two side braids is never hard, especially if you have a color detail somewhere around them.
6. Dutch Braid for Layered Hair
Layered hair never looks good in a ponytail. Try a simple Dutch braid instead. Depending on your hair type, you can add some hair clips to make sure the design doesn’t fall off. At the end, finish the hairstyle with a ponytail that will keep the braid strong and in place.
7. Segmented Ponytail
Are you an anti-braid person? We understand it. And here’s an alternative for you. Segmented ponytails are not only great sporty hairstyles, but they’ve also appeared on Red Carpets. They are great for thick and thin hair. You can keep it slick or you can pancake some hair in between the bands to make the tail look more luxurious. Secret tip: the more hair you pancake and the puffier it becomes, the less heavy your hair will be. So, if you’re not going after revenge on someone, make it nice and fancy.
8. Double the Side Braid
This is not just a side braid; it’s double the side braid! If you want to cover more hair on your head, but don’t want the braids to be too big, split them up. Combine the two braids into a single one at the end.
9. Pancaked Dutch Braid + Messy
Here’s a bit of truth; no matter how slick your hair looks in the beginning, you’re always going to end up with a messy after-workout style at the end. If your gym hair looks just as clean-cut as it did in the morning, then, girl, you definitely didn’t put your soul into today’s workout. Should we let your trainer know? So, why not try the messy Dutch hair that is finished with a ponytail and slightly pancaked on the top? Good idea, we know!
10. Ponytail Split + Single Braid
Now, you might not go to the gym with this hairstyle, but you might want to take the morning run wearing this. Very simple in the front, and a surprise in the back! Split your hair into three parts, and braid the middle section. Then unite all the three into a simple ponytail. And you’re done!
11. Side Braids Merge into Ponytail
This beautiful hairstyle that will take only 5 minutes but can accompany you to a formal ball, is a nice way of spicing up the gym ponytail. Keep your hair messy so there is some volume inside, then work your way to the back of your head with side braids, and finally, merge the braids with the rest of the hair in a mid-level ponytail.
12. Pancake Braid + High Ponytail
If you have a round face shape or a small forehead and would like to change a few details, try this hairstyle. It’s great for workout time and lifts your hair on the top with a short pancaked braid.
13. Segmented Ponytail + Dutch Braid Attitude
Remember the segmented ponytail? If you like the hairstyle, but wouldn’t want it dangling in the back, show some Dutch braid attitude and stick it to your head. The only disadvantage is that you can’t pancake it, as you’ll most likely mess up the rest of the construction. If you never needed it to look full, lose no time and go for it.
14. French Braid Updo
Only an updo can top a ponytail or a braid when it comes to comfortable sporty hairstyles for the gym. Start with a beautiful French braid on the top and work it towards either side of your head. Then, put it in an updo with the rest of the hair just before reaching the top of your hair. You can keep it slick and organized, or pancaked and messy.
15. Level Up on the Messiness
Not a fan of cuteness in our previous hairstyle? You can easily get rid of it by increasing the messiness in your braid and the bun. Don’t pay attention to pieces of hair that couldn’t make the bun, they will not move a lot as you work out.
16. French Braid + Braid Bun
This hairstyle looks especially beautiful on long hair. Start with a very brief French braid on the top and once you reach the center of your head, break free from the rest of the hair and keep braiding. Then, put your loose hair in a bun, and wrap it with the braid you just created. Remember that you don’t have to braid till the end, there are many braided hair bands (that look exactly like a hair braid) you can finish this hairstyle with.
17. Bun + Braid Multiplied by Messiness
Don’t feel like wearing an overexposed braid but still don’t want a plain bun? Here’s a quick solution! Braid a small piece of hair, keep it loose and messy, wrap it around the bun, and tuck parts of it in. The curls and layers will be visible, but the braid itself will be hidden.
18. Kitty Cat Buns
Would you rather look cute than sexy in the gym? Well, this hairstyle is ideal for you then. Start by parting your hair in halves and putting them in high ponytails on both sides of your hair. Then, tease the hair to make it fluffy (if it’s naturally thin), wrap the ponytail around itself and fix with bobby pins. Make it messy, and fix it with fingers until you’re happy with the results. Most importantly, make sure to give it a few test jumps, just to see if it will fall off. If it does, more bobby pins!
19. Rope Braid
A rope braid is always more unique than a standard one, so if you’re the kind of a person who avoids clichés and goes after the original, this hairstyle might be your best match. It looks great on any hair length and color!
20. Split Ponytail. Mini Version
Remember the ponytail hairstyle split with a braid in the middle? If not, refer back to the 10th point of our list. Well, it’s the same logic here, only this hairstyle is great for short hair, as the braid is much smaller. This style is right of the runway, so feel free to make the running track your own catwalk.
21. “Hair Crush”
Cleverly named “Hair Crush” by the creators, this hairstyle is a storm of freshness, and that’s mainly due to the vibrant blue color. Did you think this is a braid? Surprise! It’s actually a series of ponytail saltos. Start with the first ponytail on the top, then flip it around. Take the hair again, and make another ponytail, repeat the flip… you can do this endlessly.
22. Fishtail Braid + Messy Bun
Don’t you love the bun + braid combos? They are so feminine and comfortable. Our next workout hairstyle is all about the messy bun and the top fishtail braid. The fishtail braid looks more complicated, but it actually doesn’t require any special skills, so just go for it!
23. The Braid IS the Bun
Start braiding your hair from the top, getting rid of all the hair noise before your eyes. Then, gently wrap the braid around itself and make a bun! Feel free to pancake it as much as you want. Make sure to have a few bobby pins in stock for fixation, and you’re ready for the gym!
24. Rope Bun Wrapped with a Braid
This workout hairstyle gives you more texture and diversity in a single look and is really easy to pull off. Separate a piece of hair from the rest and start braiding it. Let it fall on your side and await its fate. Take the rest of the hair and twist. Don’t pull it away from you, in fact, leave a soft grip so that the twisted hair naturally forms a rope. Fix it in place with a hair band, and only then wrap the braid around it. Do the final fixes with bobby pins.
25. Fluffy Dutch Braid
If you have heavy highlights, we do recommend you to try this braid. It starts with a slightly pancaked Dutch braid, which you should twist and fix at the end. Now, the key to get this same effect is using your fingers to separate the hair and even to comb it right before starting to work on it. Finally, use hair extensions, if your hair is simply not thick enough.
26. Ballerina Braid Bun
This hairstyle is a mix of a Dutch or inverted braid on the sides, a firm bun, and a braid wrap around it. It’s very comfortable if you like your hair tight, but if you get headaches from wearing your hair in tight ponytails, you might want to skip to our next hairstyle.
27. Alien Fashion and a Combo Mix
Go all in with three different types of braids and a super-detailed wrapping experience. The construction consists of regular side braids, neighbored with rope braids, and a massive Dutch braid on the top. We have a feeling you will need some human resources for this look.
28. Elvish Scissors
I like to call this hairstyle “Elvish Scissors,” because that’s where it probably originated, deep in the forests of Thranduil (Welcome, geeky ladies!). Think two inverted side braids and another pair of fishtail braids that come combined into one at the end. A warning from us, if a regular braid allows you to hit one person at a time, this one can work on three people at once! I hope they don’t cancel your membership to the gym.
29. Hair Knot + Headband
Are you craving to bring the retro back? Here’s some help. Rock this simple and messy hair knot and the hair scarf for your next workout session. It speaks of playfulness, so focus on your workout, rather than looks, and comfort, of course!
30. Simplicity is the Key
Finally, if you’re really into your workout, and don’t want to spend even 15 minutes on your hair for it, here’s the simplest option. Put your hair in a ponytail, wrap the hair band with a strip of hair, make a cute knot and enjoy your day! Most importantly, stay healthy and fit!
31. Four Strand Temple Braid
Sweeping hair away from falling into the face is not a unique choice, so making it a four-strand braid is a great way to spice things up! Add a high ponytail, and this is one of the best sport hairstyles because it is practical, but it also looks super cute – and what’s more energizing than looking adorable?
32. Tight Dutch Braid Trio and Bun
I suspect that the difference between cornrows and Dutch braids is simply a question of size. So this Olympic runner has two side cornrows, and one thick Dutch braid that adds volume to the top of the head. To really prevent any strands, not from the front or the back, the hair was swept back into a tight bun, which is a perfect workout hairstyle for anyone who has a very cramped gym.
33. Fishtail Crown Wrap Around with Messy Top Knot
There is absolutely no reason why sporty hairstyles can’t be feminine and soft. This wrap around braid is a little thicker because it’s a fishtail, which gives the appearance of volume, while still keeping hair away from the face. The messy top knot is a playful touch.
34. Dutch to Ponytail Braid Transformation
This lush Dutch braid is thick and romantic – perfect to totally wow the other gym goers. It is certainly one of the more astounding and attention grabbing sporty hairstyles. It features a wrap around Dutch braid that becomes a regular braid at the nape of the neck.
35. Lazy Gym Top Knot with Headband
Suffice it to say, some of these workout hairstyles would probably take the same amount of time to create as your workout. When practicality is more important than cuteness, a quick topknot suffices, and you can use a non-slip headband to keep strands from falling into your eyes.
36. Upside Down Dutch Braid with Top Knot
While ponytails really are excellent workout updos, some of us get easily distracted by the long tail hitting against our shoulders. That’s when a top knot is the better choice. This take is super clean, thanks to a Dutch braid that starts at the base of the neck, and moves up into a top knot.
37. Sextuple Dutch Braids
If your preference lies with ultra tight sporty hairstyles that have absolutely no risk of falling apart, you definitely want to consider some Dutch braids. The more hair you have, the more braids you should create, and 6 braids are certainly the right number for someone with a lot of thick hair. One word of warning – this sporty hairstyle can cause headaches.
38. Adorable Double Top Knot
Are single top knots too mainstream? I hear ya. Play it up and have some fun with a double top knot! Unlike a bun, this is a quicker and messier style that will really keep the hair away from interrupting your exercise regimen.
39. Dutch Fishtail Pull Back
Who said that you have to quit being a mermaid, just because you’re jogging on two legs?! Channel a bit of that oceany goodness with a Dutch fishtail. In this case, instead of keeping the fishtail all the way down, once the hair reaches the nape of the neck it turns into a regular ponytail, with a single strand of hair wrapped around the base to camouflage the hair band.
40. Lush Pull Through Braid
The pull through braid is also known as a faux braid, and it has the same effect as a Dutch braid, but with half the effort! It does an exquisite job keeping the hair neat, so it is one of the easier but still effective workout hairstyles. Of course, if you keep the braid as volumized as it is in this picture, it is somewhat likelier to fall apart, so you might want a tighter take on this sporty hairstyle.
Photos courtesy of Twist Me Pretty, Instagram