I can't go to the gym – I've done my hair! 40% of black women admit avoiding exercise to keep their styles intact
Two out of five women admitted they often avoided the gym so they wouldn't mess up their hair dosThese women were almost three times
less likely to meet the recommended physical activity guidelines
16:32 GMT, 19 December 2012
Going for a drink after work, feeling tired and forgetting your trainers are just some of the common reasons for avoiding the gym.
Now scientists have found haircare is another major barrier to working out.
A study of women from North Carolina revealed 40 per cent admitted to avoiding exercise because they didn't want to ruin their hair-dos.
Gym bunny: In a study nearly 40% of black women admitted to avoiding the gym to preserve their hair dos
Research leader Dr Amy McMichael, from Wake Forest University, said she had struggled to go to the gym without ruining her hairstyle.
'As an African-American woman, I have
that problem, and my friends have that problem. So I wondered if my
patients had that problem, she said.
To find out if women were putting hair
above their health, the team surveyed 103 black women
who came to the dermatology clinic at Wake Forest University in October
They found that more than half of the
women were exercising for less than 75 minutes per week – the U.S
Government recommends 150 minutes. One in four admitted to doing no
exercise at all.
Those who avoided exercise because of their hair were almost three times less likely to meet recommended physical activity guidelines
Those who avoided exercise because of their hair were almost three times
less likely to meet the recommended physical activity guidelines.
McMichael, who published the findings in the Archives of Dermatology on Monday, said hair care can be tedious and costly for African-American women.
Hair straightening costs around $40 in Harlem, New York, and is often part of a weekly routine. Women may not want to wash their hair more than once a week to keep their hairstyle, and may avoid sweating as a result.
The survey only looked at black women so it is not yet known if the issue is shared by all women.
Salon owner Rochelle Mosley said some women scheduled their appointments around their gym visits, but she also tries to find a hairstyle that will work with physical activity.
'If you don't have a healthy body then you aren't going to have any hair to fix,' she said.