Survey notes opps from women avoiding the gym due to hair dilemmas

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

A survey shows that many black American women are avoiding the gym because it may mess with their hair, suggesting that there are hair care and styling opportunities for innovative product designers targeting this segment of the population.

The questionnaire quizzed 103 black women and discovered that they are likely to avoid a visit to the gym because of this issue, with nearly 40 percent of the women surveyed stating that they would avoid exercising to preserve their hair style.

The questionnaire was conducted by Rebecca Hall, MD, and her team at the Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, whereby the 40-item survey featured women between the ages of 21 to 60 years old.

Avoiding exercise to keep the hair style

The study focused on the women’s physical activity and their routine, asking them about the frequency and type of exercise, their reasons for doing this routine, and their reasons for avoiding physical activity.

The results showed that 39 of the participants, or 38 percent of those surveyed, said that they avoided exercise because of concerns about their hair.

All of the respondents said that the main issue was concern that exercise would cause them to sweat, in turn affecting and ultimately leading to the loss of their hair style.

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Chemically straightened hair is high maintenance

The study findings also point to the fact that almost two thirds of women surveyed had their hair chemically straightened and that 42 percent of those surveyed admitted to spending more than 60 minutes each week maintaining their hair. Likewise, half said that they had considered modifying their hairstyle for exercise.


The questionnaire results and study, which was published in the peer reviewed Journal of Dermatology, also points to the fact that the issue of hair care maintenance and exercise is not a consideration for other ethnic groups.

Although the survey results underline the more serious issue that black women may be avoiding out on crucial exercise to maintain their health, it also points to the fact that hair care players and ingredients manufacturers could contribute to a more positive outcome by developing products that tackle this problem.

Related topics: Market Trends

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