15 Stylish and Functional Workout Hairstyles for Natural Hair

Published February 9th, 2024 by Synergisalonadmin

Finding the perfect workout hairstyle for natural hair can be challenging. You want something that not only looks great but also keeps your hair secure and comfortable during physical activity. Look no further!  We've curated 15 stylish and practical workout hairstyles tailored specifically for natural hair. So read on to see our top hairstyles and don’t forget to save your faves.

Sleek Bun With Middle Parting

Tired of hair getting in the way during intense workouts? Say hello to the sleek bun with a middle parting. This hairstyle is perfect for those rigorous circuit sessions or high-intensity CrossFit workouts. 

Tip:  Experience the perfect lightweight hold with Refine Mousse!  to create your perfect workout hairstyle.


Image credit: @tamekasmall

The TWA (AKA the teeny weenie afro) is adorable both in the gym and on the streets. Just remember to keep your hair moisturized to maintain its cuteness. 

 Tip: The Synergi Reset Leave-in Conditioner delivers intense moisture to thirsty tresses so you can say goodbye to dry hair!

Bandana & Bun

We're huge advocates for workout hairstyles and hair accessories! This bandana not only adds a stylish touch but also effectively absorbs sweat from your hairline, keeping your edges clean and tidy. 

 Two-strand Twists Bun

Two-strand twists are a great protective hairstyle but if you’re trying to get your ohm they can be distracting. This neatly wrapped bun will help you concentrate on your meditation rather than your strands. 

Pigtail Locs

Image credit: @tinuke_oyediran

We love these locs styled into pigtails – it’s a fab, nineties-inspired hairstyle for showcasing off your hair. So if you’re a skater or dancer, you might want to consider adding this style to your repertoire to show off your locs when you spin and turn. 

Box Braids Updo

If box braids are more your thing then this compact updo will be perfect for your workout sessions. Just remember that box braids still need to be washed, especially if you’ve been working out. You can learn how to wash your braids without frizz by watching our tutorial. 

Classic Puff

Short on time and need a hairstyle to withstand your bounce class? The answer is the classic puff. All you need is a curly-friendly hair band to hold the puff in place. 


Image credit: @_fran.collins

If in doubt, cover your hair with your favourite sporty baseball cap! You can even sneak a headscarf underneath depending on your hairstyle, or get a cap that are are satin lined.


The pineapple is the easiest and low manipulation hairstyle around. It's perfect for quick workouts, sprints and more. It doesn't need any fancy hair styling skills or if you find braids and plaits too fiddly this style is for you. 

Afrocenchix Practical & Pretty Workout Hairstyles For Natural Hair:  Side profile of a black woman running on a road

Image credit: @adrienne_ldn

Remember to keep your pineapple high to help limit the amount of contact your hair has with your clothes. We don't want unnecessary friction and breakage going on! 

Afrocenchix Practical & Pretty Workout Hairstyles For Natural Hair: Black woman with Active wear tying shoe her laces

Image credit: @ellelinton

Tip: Please remember, moisturised hair is less likely to break! 

Fulani-inspired Braids

Ultimate hold paired with ultimate style! We just love the idea of rocking Fulani-inspired braids to our next barre, pilates or yoga class. Because of flat braiding technique, it's nice and close to the scalp, which mean the hairstyle won't be bothersome or uncomfortable if you decide to do an impromptu headstand!  

Afrocenchix Practical & Pretty Workout Hairstyles For Natural Hair: Young Black woman doing yoga with Fulani Braids

Image credit: @MissSanchiaLege 

Head Wrap/ Headscarf

Head scarfs are perfect no matter the season or the activity. When you're having a bad hair day and just want a run or do a class to realise those endorphins, wrap a scarf around your head and you're good to go.

Just braid or twist your hair so that your head wrap doesn't look too lumpy or bumpy. Or use your cute head wrap to spice up your workout updo! 

Afrocenchix Practical & Pretty Workout Hairstyles For Natural Hair: black woman on a pole wearing African print bikini with a headwrap

Image credit: @kelechnekoff


If your workouts are reactive, high speed or explosive, then cornrows are for you.  

This hairstyle will withstand almost anything you throw at it. So that means you can actually concentrate on your workout and not your hair! 

Afrocenchix Practical & Pretty Workout Hairstyles For Natural Hair: Black woman running with cornrows bun in urban background

Image credit: @vinnynarelle / @carlosm.k

Space Buns

Want to give your workout look a bit of a retro 90s vibe? Then we can't recommend space buns enough. Whether you wear them high or low – we love this hairstyle for dance or Zumba classes. 

Afrocenchix Practical & Pretty Workout Hairstyles For Natural Hair: Light skinned young woman smiling  with space buns

Image credit: @laurennaomi_

High Bun

Protective, pretty and practical – the high bun ticks all the boxes for us! Keep your ends neatly tucked away while you do your exercise and trust us, your hair will thank you for this later! 

Afrocenchix Practical & Pretty Workout Hairstyles For Natural Hair: Standing black woman with high bun in workout clothes

Image credit: @ebonyflowyoga

Plaited Pigtails

Want to look pretty while doing your pilates class? We love this plaited pigtails hairstyle. It's super easy to do and once you take out the plaits you'll have a great braid out – nice! 

afroismassive IG pretty plaited pigtails workout hairstyles for natural hair and afro hair

Image credit: @afroismassive

Short Hair 

The best thing about short hair? It doesn't get in your way when you're working out! We suggest grabbing a cute headband keep your hair well and truly out of your face. 

Afrocenchix Practical & Pretty Workout Hairstyles For Natural Hair: girl running black woman with short hair running across a crossing

Image credit: @randomgirlrunning

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