One of my earliest concerns when I began wearing hair was how I would manage to wear hair and be active. The idea of wearing a wig while working out was daunting. I didn’t want to have finally found a solution for my hair loss, only for that very solution to prevent me from living my life to the fullest.
I experimented and played around with my wigs a lot, trying to find the most comfortable solution. It is entirely possible to work out wearing any wig (or topper), but after a few months of experimentation, I decided to invest in a human hair sports wig.
What is a sports wig?
A sports wig is a wig that is designed to be worn in a ponytail or a bun. The wefts are sewn in a circular pattern that lets you gather the hair up smoothly without worrying about any of the cap peeking through.
A sports wig needs to be worn with a headband. Some come with the headband attached, while others (such as mine, pictured below) do not. Generally these pieces should not be worn down, due to the way the cap is sewn (a bandfall is a wig with the same front construction—i.e. needing to be worn with a headband—but can be worn down).
I bought my sports wig and it is one of the best wig purchases I’ve made to date. I have worn it to the gym, hiking, traveling, running errands, and lounging around at home. It is comfortable, secure (even in the wind), and easy to wear. I have worn it in ponytails, buns, and even in a french braid.
My personal sports wig comes in a curly hair pattern that is fairly close to my own, naturally curly hair and recreates the feeling of a ponytail swishing behind me!
A human hair sports wig is an investment, and only one I would recommend if it suits your budget and lifestyle. As a more affordable alternative, some brands sell synthetic sports/gym wigs. I have never used one, but before purchasing my sports wig, I wore a synthetic wig in a ponytail to work out, to avoid adding wear and tear to my more expensive wigs.
Sweating in your more expensive hair or the hair you wear daily will not ruin or damage it. It may, however, cause the cap/hair to become dirty more quickly, resulting in the need for more frequent washing (and in the case of human hair, restyling). This will add wear and tear to your pieces over time, so if you work out regularly, you may consider it worth the investment to have a separate piece (human hair or synthetic) to sweat in.
One tip for exercising in a regular wig (either human hair or synthetic) is to wear a headband. A headband will help keep the wig secure on your head and can disguise the hairline if you want to wear your wig in a ponytail.
Note that if you have your own hair, and you are wearing a wig in a ponytail or a sports wig, your hair may peak out from around the perimeter of your wig. If you intend to wear a piece up, look for one that matches your hair color or has roots that match.
Exercise in Toppers
It is entirely possible to work out in your topper. If you are worried about keeping it secure or blending, consider wearing a headband. As with wigs, sweating in your topper might mean you need to wash and restyle it more frequently.
If you work out regularly, you might find it useful to keep a separate “active” piece, such as a smaller cap that can go into a ponytail more easily. Synthetic toppers are also a more affordable option that you may find useful as an activewear piece.
It bears saying: you don’t have to wear hair to work out. The women out there who work out without alternative hair on absolutely rock it. If you’re not sure about wearing hair working out, but aren’t comfortable without it, you could consider wearing a hat. I’ve seen plenty of women at my gym work out in baseball caps. Do whatever makes you feel the most comfortable!
If you have any questions about wearing hair while exercising or sports wigs in general, I’m happy to answer them!
You can find me on Instagram @fauxringlets.