Gym Hair: Long or Short?

When I started going to the gym every morning in February, I had very long hair. I’d thought for a long time about chopping it all off, but the thing really stopping me was my gym routine. I knew cutting it short would actually require more work and time than longer hair and that I would have to prepare for the cut by adding a straightener to my gym bag.

For a long time, I didn’t cut it simply because I wasn’t sure how to transport a hot straightener around my bag without burning a hole somewhere! After searching a long time online to try and find some kind of heat resistant cover or bag, I had the bright idea to just go to the grocery and buy a silicon baking mitt and flip it inside out to store the straightener. It works just great and the next night I chopped my hair off!

I was a little surprised how many of the regulars at the gym exclaimed how nice short hair is and how much faster it would be than long hair. Personally, this is just not the case. This length of short hair definitely requires a lot more time and effort on my part!

Short Hair:


  • Short enough that it is possible to wash my hair at the gym and blow dry it.
  • No more showering at night just to wash my hair and let it dry in the evening.  Uses less water at home and overall at the gym with the timed showers. Lets me stretch the use of my bath towel at home out further. (We are not a one-use towel kind of family!)
  • My hair doesn’t get caught under my gym bag or purse anymore! This used to be a small problem with long hair. I would sweep it to one side as I put my bulky purse or gym bag on one shoulder, but for the other shoulder I would inevitably get some of my hair painfully caught under the straps. Every. Day.


  • Harder to keep hair sweat-free while working out = needing to shower and shampoo a bit more often, especially after runs.
  • Harder to keep hair dry while showering on days that I don’t wash it. I have to blow dry parts of it and re-iron almost every day, whether I washed it or not.
  • Blow drying a whole head of hair takes SO much more time than not doing it at all. If I got some of my hair wet in the past, I used to blow dry a bit at the neck and my bangs when I had them and that was about it.
  • Straightening this short style takes a lot more time than straightening my hair at home once or twice during the week with long hair.

Long Hair:


  • I can tie it all out of my way pretty easily, even with bangs, which required clippies. The main problem with short hair is that it’s impossible to tie up the back at the base of the neck where the hairs are very short. Keeps the hair cleaner and sweat-free when I’m not washing!
  • Minimal to no blow drying required because the hair is drier overall. This saves so much time!
  • No straightening at the gym. Also, such a time saver.


  • Hair is too long and too much of it to have time to realistically shampoo and blow dry it at the gym. This did not really bother me much though, to be honest.
  • Extra showering at home specifically to wash the hair. Kind of a waste of water and I would have to plan when to do it between social events so it had enough time to dry before bed.
  • Hair gets caught under gym bag. But this is a general problem of long hair. Always gets caught under things, like the husband…!

Anyway, I really liked having long hair and knew that overall, it would save me time at the gym if I kept it long. I am really enjoying the new short do because it’s exciting to have short hair again after years, but the long hair was also really pretty and some days I miss how easy it was to pull it all out of the way, particularly on days where I’m caught running out of time with a half-straightened head of hair and running to catch the train.

With long hair, I would sometimes come to the gym 20 minutes later a couple days a week, but now I pretty much need to get up at 6:15 every day and alter my routine a bit to fit the shampooing in. Some days it means doing less eye makeup, but it still works out alright.

Does your hair length impact your exercise routine?

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