3 Protective Hairstyles to Wear While Playing Sports


Michelle Ho, Staff Writer

There is a huge variety of hairstyles, but it can be quite difficult to find a hairstyle that can keep your hair in place while playing sports and protect your hair from damage. Student athletes, who wear their hair up every day during practice, should consider these three protective hairstyles that are neat and sport-friendly. Loose braids, low ponytails, and French braids are all simple, cute, and secure hairstyles that will help keep your hair healthy.

The first hairstyle you can consider is a loose braid. It’s about as simple as it seems since braids are naturally able to protect all of your hair, preventing tangles and sun damage. Braids can even boost hair growth as they prevent the ends from splitting and breaking off, allowing your hair to grow longer. To create a loose braid, simply section your hair into three even parts, and cross the section on the right over the section in the middle. Repeat on the left side, crossing the left over the middle. Once you reach the end of your hair, tie off the end with a hair tie. These benefits reach their peak when the braid is loose and simple and doesn’t pull on the roots of your hair. Braids that are too tight can cause damage to your hair, so make sure that your braids are loose enough to prevent this.

“Though I only recently started wearing braids, during [tennis] practice, it’s been really beneficial for me!” said freshman Mallory Wu, clearly a fan of wearing the protective and stylish hairstyle. “I felt like the tight hairstyles and pulled-back ponytails and buns were really hurting my scalp and hairline, so I wanted to switch it up with braids. They allow me to keep all my hair out of my face while not pulling at my scalp and they’re very comfortable to play with!”

Another simple and common hairstyle is the low ponytail. This option is substantially better than a high ponytail, as a high ponytail will need to be pulled tighter to the scalp which can cause tension in your hair follicles. A low ponytail will be closer to the nape of your neck, reducing the pull of gravity on your hair. Using a hair tie, you can simply tie your hair back near the nape of 

your neck. If you want to make your ponytail a little cuter, pulling your low ponytail just above the back of your neck can give you a more elevated and voluminous look while still keeping the benefits of a low ponytail.

“Low ponytails are good because it’s more convenient,” explained freshman Cadye Wang, who sports a low ponytail every day as a regular style and as a way to put up her hair when she plays golf. “During sports, it reduces the risk of you being blinded by your hair which makes it harder for you to play [and] during the hot weather, it also makes it a little less hot on your neck.” 

Last but certainly not least, a French braid is a more elaborate and stylish way to wear your hair during sports. The braid starts at the crown of your head, taking strands from each side of your head to incorporate into your braided sections to give a stylish but secure hairstyle that will keep hair away from your face. A French braid is especially useful for those with bangs, as it can help keep them in place at the top of your head and out of your face. By pulling your hair in on each side of your head, this braid can help distribute the tension from the braid evenly. To start this braid, take a section of hair at the top of your head and section it into three even strands. While braiding the edge sections over the middle section, add a small section of hair onto the side you will be braiding over the middle section. This will give you a sleek and pulled-back appearance while keeping your hair healthy and out of your face.

“I wear this [French braid] hairstyle because it looks really nice, keeps my hair out of my face, and doesn’t flail around like a ponytail would,” said AHS freshman Tiffany Zhang, who wears the hairstyle daily during her P.E. period.

The occasional tight hairstyle won’t damage your hair, but repeated daily use can put stress on your hair. These three hairstyles are great alternatives to wearing tight, pulled-back ponytails and high buns every day. Familiarizing yourself with the consequences of tight hairstyles will help you be more aware of your hair’s health and allow athletic students to prevent damage to their scalp and hair follicles.


Photo by Tamara Bellis