What No One Tells You About Exercising With Locs

How to Make Your Retwist Last Longer - CurlyNuGrowth.com

When you get a fresh retwist you’re likely to workout just as much as a woman that just got a relaxer— hardly ever! I know you’re probably thinking “why would I put all this time and effort into my locs to just sweat it out”? While this is a fair question, and the most obvious answer is for your health, looking good while you get fit is important too. Thankfully, you don’t have to sacrifice your loc maintenance for your fitness goals.

How to Make Your Retwist Last Longer When You Exercise - CURLYNUGROWTH.com

How to Make Your Retwist Last Longer

When you workout, I mean really workout, you’ll sweat which will cause your hair to swell and then before you know it poof— your nu growth has gone wild. The secret to making your retwist last longer is compression styles or interlocking.

Interlocking is a technique using a tools or fingers that allows your nu growth to be retightened to your scalp and last for weeks.

Compression styles are for locs that are maintained with palm rolling and are used to keep your locs together while preventing your roots from unraveling.

Please be aware that if you maintain your locs with palm rolling you should NOT constantly switch back and forth between interlocking because it can cause weakness and inconsistencies in your locs.

RELATED ARTICLE: How to Switch Between Interlocking & Palm Rolling Without Thinning Your Locs

What No One Tells You About Exercising With Locs - CurlyNuGrowth.com

The most common compression styles are rope twists, braids, and pipe cleaner curls. Each of these styles, when done correctly, will prevent your roots from swelling, control frizz and encourage your hair to lock— all while allowing you to exercise as much as you’d like. Another added benefit of compression styles is that they’ll transition into a second style after you take it down. For example, if you rope twist your locs immediately after retwisting and then take out the style 1-2 weeks later, you’ll have beautiful waves in your locs (also known as a twist out)! Your twist out will also last through workouts because your hair has been compressed together with the compression style— was that an “aha moment”?!

If your hair is not long enough to put into a compression style after you retwist or you do not want to interlock, you want to you control your locs with a satin fitness cap. The snug fit of the satin fitness cap will prevent your locs from moving excessively and help prevent your roots from unraveling. As you can see putting a little pressure on your locs while you workout will make your retwist last longer and give you more styling options.

I challenge you to retwist your locs, try a compression style, and workout at least twice next week. Go!

Let me know which style you’re going to try first in the comments!

P.S.— Scalp health is just as important as styling when working out so be on the lookout for the next article on cleansing your scalp after a workout.

Working out regularly is good for your hair growth! Find out everything you need to know about working out with your locs.

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Jocelyn Reneé

Jocelyn Reneé is a Licensed Cosmetologist, Loctician and Textured Hair Educator. She was born and raised in the Washington DC area and is a graduate of the Aveda Institute Cosmetology Science program. With over 14 years in the Hair Care Industry, from Salon Assistant to Natural Hair Blogger to Professional; Jocelyn is passionate about cultivating healthy hair.

Blog Comments

I agree, most of my male clients with locs work out and the twists and plaits are def the go to style for the gym, it’s also very versatile for both men and women, they absolutely love it. Thank you for sharing.

Yes! Let’s talk about it lol two-strand twists are my go to style for this very reason and since i’ve been trying to go longer between retwists, but styles definitely help keeping the hair when working out. No more sacrificing health for beauty lol

[…] RELATED ARTICLE: How to Make Your Retwist Last Longer While Working Out […]

I just had my locs retwisted (they’re palm rolled) and then had the pipe cleaner curls done. After air drying, I would like to be able to work out but am afraid that the curls will start to loosen. I just pulled out the pipe cleaners and want to leave it curly like that without loosening them for 1 – 2 wks. (I sweat a lot when working out). I am not sure what you mean by “compression styles”. Is the pipe cleaner curl one of the compression styles?

A pipe cleaner set with the pipe cleaners still in is a compression style. Once the pipe cleaners are no longer installed it will no longer compress the roots and stay in place while working out.

[…] refresher to cleanse and hydrate the hair. If that was a loaded statement, head over to the “secrets no one told you about working out with locs” article for more […]

My name is Amelia. I am in the military and work out a lot. I recently started trying to loc my hair. I interloc them and rope twist them. It’s been a week and it’s like I’m back to square one. Ughhh I wish I could post a pic. This style did not last long at all. Any tips to help me maintain them longer and stay fit

I retwisted by locs almost three weeks ago and two strand twisted them at the same time for my maintenance to look fresh longer. I was aiming to let the two strand twists on until my next retwist (I retwist every 4 to 5 weeks), but I started to get worried my locs would fuse together, so I took my twists out. Was I wrong? Can I leave my two strand twists for 4 or even 5 weeks without fearing they will bond together?

Hey Jocelyn! So, I have starter locs. I just entered my third week with them yesterday. And I really wanna get back to going to the gym. Is my best bet to just get a satin cap. I started with comb coils and I’m scared they’ll unravel.

By the way, I love your blogs. Are you Instagram?

I just got my hair dreaded 3 days ago and they’re really short is it too early to go back to the gym because I sweat easy and they are even locked yet

Can I use the moisturizer spray with Locs oil that I have already purchased?

Please comment on how to maintain locs for swimmers? I swim 3 times a week..I have a swimming cap but some water gets in at the back, but the rest of my hair is pretty much dry.. how do I protect the few locs that get water from chlorine? Yet I find rinsing every 3 days a bit much

I started my boyfriend locs and he’s a month away from a whole year. He’s a cook and has to be around heat all the time and wear hats. The locs in the front are getting a little frizzy and he sweats a lot. What do we need to do to about the frizz and his sweating??

You definitely want to be sure that you’re using an astringent moisturizer, such as PURE SCALP, often to keep the scalp healthy and you may want to trying maintaining with interlocking or the crochet technique to keep those front locs healthy.

Is a cotton bandana acceptable to use while working out? To absorb the sweat and keep retwist maintained?


Thank you so much for all of the amazing advice that you provide! I started my loc journey on 1/11/21 and I exercise daily, so I decided to put my starter locs into rope twists after retwisting them. How long can I keep these twists in?

Congratulations on starting your new journey! With starter locs, you don’t want to keep a compression style in too long because it can impede on the locking process. To help combat any issues she want to Groom your locks fully dry them and then put in the rope twists and leave them in for no more than 2 weeks.

My locks are 2 yrs old. How can I get my hair to look less frizzy after washing it.

I truly recommend you to embrace the frizz as it is apart of the journey! Also grooming techniques like Loc Smything and/or Interlocking will help to control the new growth.

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