How to Keep Hair Back When Running

Woman running on embankment, low angle view

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While other sports need special gear, running requires little but a comfortable and supportive pair of athletic shoes. Still, runners with longer hair may want to add something to keep their hair from obscuring their vision or sticking to their faces. Even short hair can be a nuisance while you're running, so finding ways to secure it lets you focus on your run.

Go with Ponytails

Long or medium-length hair lends itself to ponytails. A ponytail sweeps all your hair into a single fall down your back. For very long hair, make a high ponytail so most of the tail lies against your head, not your back. You'll stay cooler with your hair atop your head and off the nape of your neck. Thick hair sometimes requires more than one band. Scoop your hair from the tops of your ears upward into one ponytail; make a second ponytail under the top one where the holder will remain hidden. Keep your ponytail loose enough for comfort. An overly tight ponytail could put you at risk of traction alopecia -- hair loss -- if you wear it daily.

Headband Solution

Headbands are an excellent solution if you have long bangs, dreadlocks or microbraids. These bands of elasticized fabric keep hair away from your skin at your forehead, temples and nape while wicking perspiration from your scalp to cool you. Oils from hair can cause acne, so pushing bangs away from your forehead when you exercise can lead to clearer skin. Headbands are also gentle to fine or fragile hair. Wear a headband by itself or with ponytails, clips or braids. Choose a headband that has enough stretch to stay in place as you run.

Wear a Cap

Visors and caps look sporty and keep the sun from your face if you're running during the daytime. One of the few solutions that work as well for men as for women, baseball caps and visors adjust to fit almost any head size. With longer hair, snap-back caps allow room for a ponytail to flow through the open back above the adjustable strap. Caps are no substitute for sunscreen, though; if you're outside during the day, wear sun protection on all exposed skin.

Clip It Back

Small clips and barrettes tack down any stray bits of hair that other styles don't hold in place. Layered hair may not cooperate with a ponytail, so clip back the pieces that aren't quite long enough to fit into a ponytail holder. Bare metal clips can be tough on hair, so choose coated metal or plastic to ensure comfort and reduce hair breakage.