I’m Sew In Love : Evaluating 1 Option for Black Women Who Workout & Worry About Their Hair

Watch out now, this post is almost as long as that whopper of a title!

I think if I had to choose my favorite post since launching this blog, the post “Hair Care 101: Permission to Be A Black Woman and Workout” would be a close tie for 1st place.

I thought I’d get the year started with a little reinforcement: my method to this fitness madness!

I’m Sew In Love  Evaluating 1 Option for Black Women Who Workout & Worry About Their Hair

Seeing as how I just happen to be African American, I am very passionate about encouraging other African American women to workout.  Why do you ask am I singling out black women?


I said it before.  The number 1 excuse a sista will give you for not working out is “It’s going to mess up my hair”.

We spend a lot of time and money on our hair! Just check out all these hair dos that responded to my Facebook post!

I'm Sew In Love


I am very disturbed by this common excuse even though I TOTALLY understand the issue.  I wrote the original hair post with the intention of letting women know that their hair war is a genuine concern that several women are fighting together on a daily basis.  As shallow as it may sound to the person who doesn’t have to deal with it, I wanted a place for women to find options and support.

My original hair post has done so VERY consistently over the last year.

People have their different ways of dealing with African American hair and exercise.  Today the subject is Why I Love My Sew-In!


First, I’ll share with you my system.


Monday – Friday, I go hard in the gym. Friday after I teach, I go get my hair done.  I look like this…

I'm Sew In Love

For the weekend.  Then sadly, I say goodbye to the fresh curls.

This is the sacrifice I make, but I enjoy my weekends and nice hair dos.

I am not saying that my hair starts to look bad. I am just saying, it’s not as curly and flowing.  I am OK with that.


I use the Save Your Do Gynwrap, which I outlined that process in a previous post to maintain upkeep as best possible.

I'm Sew In Love - Save Your Do Gymwrap

I get my hair re-curled on the following Friday!


Wearing a sew-in is not inexpensive by a long shot and it is quite time consuming. The process of getting my sew in done consists of several steps.

Step 1 – Get the old hair taken out! (1 – 2 hours)

Step 2 – Get a relaxer. (Yes I still get a relaxer because I leave quite a bit of my hair out in the top to give more of an illusion of all of this being my hair 😉 ) Anywho, my hair wouldn’t last 2 weeks with workouts and being natural. (30 minutes)

Step 3 – Get the relaxer rinsed out and my hair shampooed an conditioned. (1 hour)

Step 4 – Sit under the dryer for a few then get blowed out the rest of the way. (30 minutes)

I'm Sew In Love - Sitting Under the Dryer

Step 5 – Get MY hair braided! That’s right, most of MY hair under the sew in is braided down. (1& 1/2 – 2 hours)

I'm Sew In Love - Braids

 Step 6 – Get my hair (weave) sewn in. (2- 3 hours)

I'm Sew In Love - Sew In

Step 7– After the hair is sewn in, it has to be clipped and styled! (40 minutes)

I'm Sew In Love - Styled

Step 8 – Pose for the camera now click click click, said pose for the camera now click click click 😉 !

I'm Sew In Love - Hairstyle

Guess what, I do this every 12 weeks! I usually break it up into 2 days! It was a lot easier when I had 7 days off as an overnight shift pharmacist. Now I sometimes have to take a day off!



When I go to get it done for up keep, I have to sit under the dryer for almost 2 hours to make sure the hair that’s braided underneath gets all the way dry.



I sacrifice 4 hours every other Friday to get my hair done and about 8 to 10 hours every new sew-in because it works for me.


Before I was an instructor, I looked a hot mess at the gym with all kinds of pins and scarves on my head.  I was totally comfortable with that (man or no man, lol).  I mean business when it comes to exercise.

When I became an instructor, I tried wearing head bands, a few pins, a number of things! Nothing made me comfortable AND maintained my hair.

I'm Sew In Love - Old Hair


However, I couldn’t fathom being in front of classes teaching a diverse crowd who didn’t know a lick about nor care what I had to go through with managing my hair.  I didn’t expect the world to understand why I was teaching them with distracting hair gear.  At least, this is how I see it.

Now I can wear a nice neat ponytail most days! This picture just happen to be the day after Christmas when I was trying to manage my do since my beautician took off after Christmas.

I'm Sew In Love - Workout


I can wear this sew in and re-curl the edges as many times as I want even though I don’t do it that much.


So let’s summarize for those trying to make a decision….



  • It looks fabulous, you can hang with the stars 🙂
  • You can re-curl it after workouts if you want to
  • You can pull it up in a nice loose presentable pony tail to workout



  • It cost a whole lot of duckies
  • It takes a long time to get done
  • The braids will itch for a long time after a good sweaty workout
  • The hair tangles in general but really bad if you don’t have the ponytail high enough and sweat in the hair


It may seem like more cons but the value of the pros far outweigh them in my opinion!


A whole other issue is what kind of hair to use! Ok, so that’ll be coming in a future post!

Thanks for hanging in there for this post! Let me hear YOUR thoughts or questions in the comments!


Yours in Healthy, Active, & Prosperous Lifestyles,


Rx Fitness Lady wants to know…

  • How do you currently wear your hair to the gym or at home when working out?
  • What other pros or cons can you add to wearing a sew-in?
  • If you’re not an African American, does this dilemma shock you?

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Rx Fitness Lady

Greetings, I'm Joi, a Pharmacist with a passion for fitness & a community leader. I teach BODYCOMBAT, BODYPUMP, Tabata Boot Camp, & serve as a mentor to young girls. My goal is to inspire people to live healthy, active, & prosperous lifestyles through practical blog posts deliveries. You can find me on Facebook and Instagram. You can view more post and subscribe to stay tuned to latest updates at Rx Fitness Lady.

14 thoughts on “I’m Sew In Love : Evaluating 1 Option for Black Women Who Workout & Worry About Their Hair

  1. Thank you for sharing because this is my excuse “my hair”. Working in a profession where womem don’t look like you is so hard and growing up with your hair always being long and pretty is even harder. But as I age and put on weight I know the only way to stay healthy is to exercise.

  2. Now you know we need to know the info of what hair is the best lol. I was the queen of sew ins for a while that’s all I wore but I missed my hair so I haven’t had one in a while. If I get a sew in I normally do something curly or some straw sets or something.
    Kita recently posted…French Toast in the CrockpotMy Profile

  3. OMG! I am (was) so clueless!. I love this post and love your candor even more. I’ve never really worn sew ins. I think I had a sew in track one time. Before going natural, I’d spend 3-4 hrs in a salon just for a relaxer re-touch. I could barely find time to maintain it.

    Your hair always look so great. I’ve considered getting a sew in before but never realized the time and effort involved…until now.

    I wear a ponytail and head band to the gym.

    Great post.
    Hope recently posted…When are you at your best?My Profile

  4. I had no idea you had a sew in! And I did wonder how you did all the working out you do and preserve your hair. I definitely workout around my hair. I do it all myself and with a consistent workout, I only get 4 days out of it and this is with light sweats. If I have the swest rolling down the crack of my butt kinda sweat that was an excellent workout but I’ve got to wash my hair and sometimes it doesn’t seem worth it. I am still growing mine out from short – never considered a sew in. Since I’ve always done my own hair, getting it done isn’t in the budget. But anyway, I think by summer I’ll be able to pull it together into a some kinda ponytail and get some better workouts in. I could push it past 4 days if I could atleast pull it back but I can’t yet. Most of my exercising is at home, inside or out I have on a doorag which I won’t wear if I go to the gym. I bought one of the sweatbands you recommended – the cheaper one from Sally’s. If I go to the gym I wear that to atleast push my hair back.
    Kenya G. Johnson recently posted…I chucked my FitBit for Apple pastures…My Profile

  5. I started wearing crochet braid styles this summer, and I must say, they are very convenient for working out & very low maintenance. I would just pull it up in a high bun/puff (depending on the length I was wearing at the time), put my sweat/bondi band on, then take down, shake & go afterward.

  6. Ok,I’m in awe of the time you spend on your hair. In my younger marathon days I washed my hair every day because of my long sweaty runs and workouts.However,I never spent hours in a chair. I bow to your commitment.

  7. This was interesting and useful for me as a facial surgeon with patients who are interested in improving their looks as surgery does not do everything.

    I had a hair issue when I was training to swim a triathlon. The chlorine was terrible. I would wear a cap and use conditioners, etc, but really, nothing helped much.

  8. I’ve been winging it with my hair in the gym lately, lol. You know I’m queen of wearing wigs, so I usually just put the hair in a low bun-ish looking style or take it off completely and wear a scarf tied in a low bun. When I wore my crotchet braids last month, I was looking crazy in the gym with my bonnet on! We have to deal with so much with our hair…sweet Lord!
    Sherelle (@CaramelRell) recently posted…10 Questions TagMy Profile

  9. I have to say when i was relaxed, I was definitely #TeamCantWorkoutCuzOfMyHair, but since going natural, that problem is out the door. i just wash and go after my workouts. I did also use the “save your do wrap” when i was relaxed and still using it now to keep my edges tight. i have a lot of hair and being under the dryer when i was relaxed was of the driving forces behind my wanting to go natural. i dreaded going to the salon. thanks for this post 🙂
    Cassandre recently posted…Monday Musings: Remembering HaitiMy Profile

  10. You just let it all hang out on this one Miss Joi! Glad about it. I try to enjoy my fresh do for a few days before I sweat the roots out. Lol.

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