Can Bodybuilders Have Long Hair?

  • By: Dave Moffat
  • Date: June 21, 2023
Can Bodybuilders Have Long Hair?

In the realm of bodybuilding, personal style choices, including hair length, can impact performance, comfort, and hygiene.

Long hair in bodybuilding is a topic that sparks debate among athletes, with some embracing it for self-expression and others questioning its practicality.

This article will delve into the relationship between long hair and bodybuilding, examining its influence on training and performance, as well as addressing concerns related to comfort and hygiene.

Join us as we explore this fascinating aspect of the bodybuilding world and uncover the implications of sporting long locks in the gym.

Pros and Cons of Long Hair in Bodybuilding


  • Reduced Chafing from Weights or Resistance Machines

One of the lesser-known benefits of having long hair in bodybuilding is its ability to act as a protective layer between the skin and weights or resistance machines.

This barrier can help reduce chafing and discomfort during workouts, particularly when performing exercises that involve placing weights on the shoulders or upper back.

By cushioning the contact points, long hair can provide an added level of comfort for athletes, allowing them to focus on their performance.

  • Personal Preference and Self-expression

Bodybuilding is a sport that often emphasizes individuality, and having long hair allows athletes to express their unique personality and style. Embracing long locks can contribute to increased confidence, motivation, and a sense of identity in the gym.

For some bodybuilders, this self-expression is a crucial aspect of their training journey, enabling them to stand out among their peers and feel true to themselves.


  • Hair Getting in the Way During Lifting Exercises

A significant drawback of having long hair in bodybuilding is the potential interference it can cause during workouts. Loose strands can obstruct vision, impede movement, and create distractions, ultimately affecting focus and performance.

Moreover, there’s the risk of long hair becoming tangled or caught in gym equipment, posing a safety hazard. Athletes need to be mindful of these challenges and take appropriate measures to secure their hair during training sessions.

  • Increased Maintenance and Care

Maintaining long hair can be time-consuming and demanding, especially for busy bodybuilders who already dedicate significant time to their training regimen. Proper hair care requires regular washing, conditioning, and grooming to prevent damage and maintain a healthy appearance.

Athletes with long hair need to invest in hair accessories, such as hair ties, headbands, or hats, to keep their locks secure and out of the way during workouts. The added effort and expense of managing long hair can be a disadvantage for some individuals.

Practical Aspects of Having Long Hair

Best Ways to Wear Long Hair During Workouts

  • Hair Ties, Headbands, or Hats

One of the primary concerns for bodybuilders with long hair is keeping it secure and out of the way during workouts. Hair ties, headbands, and hats can be effective solutions for managing long locks while exercising. Hair ties can be used to create a simple ponytail or a more elaborate braid, depending on the athlete’s preference. Headbands can help keep hair away from the face, while hats can offer additional protection for the scalp and hair.

  • Braids or Buns

Braids and buns are other practical hairstyles for bodybuilders with long hair. These styles not only keep hair secure but also distribute the weight of the hair evenly, reducing strain on the scalp and neck. French braids, Dutch braids, or fishtail braids can provide a stylish yet functional option for training sessions. Similarly, a well-secured bun can ensure that hair remains contained and does not interfere with exercises.

Hygiene Measures for Long Hair

  • Regular Washing and Conditioning

Proper hygiene is essential for maintaining healthy long hair, particularly for athletes who sweat frequently during their workouts. Regular washing and conditioning can help prevent product buildup, oiliness, and odors, keeping hair fresh and manageable. It’s important to choose appropriate hair care products that cater to individual hair types and specific needs.

  • Keeping Hair Away from the Face to Prevent Acne

For bodybuilders prone to acne or skin irritations, keeping hair away from the face during workouts is crucial. Hair can transfer oils, sweat, and bacteria to the skin, leading to breakouts or inflammation. By using hair ties, headbands, or hats to keep hair off the face, athletes can minimize the risk of developing acne or skin irritations.

Hairstyles for Competitions

  • Sleek Ponytails or Buns

During bodybuilding competitions, presentation is key. Sleek ponytails or buns can be an excellent choice for athletes with long hair, as these styles provide a polished and professional appearance. Ensuring that the hair is neatly secured and styled can enhance the overall presentation and highlight the competitor’s physique.

  • Creative Braids or Updos

For those looking to make a statement at competitions, creative braids or updos can offer a unique and eye-catching option. These hairstyles not only showcase the athlete’s personality but also demonstrate attention to detail and commitment to their overall presentation.

By experimenting with different braiding techniques or updo styles, bodybuilders can find the perfect look to complement their physique and stand out on stage.

Psychological Factors of Long Hair in Bodybuilding

  • Impact on Self-perception and Performance

The presence of long hair in bodybuilding can have a significant impact on an athlete’s self-perception and performance. Hair length and style can play a crucial role in shaping an individual’s self-image, either boosting their confidence or creating insecurities.

  • Confidence Boost or Distraction?

Having long hair in bodybuilding can either boost an athlete’s confidence or serve as a distraction. For some, long hair represents their unique personality and style, positively impacting their self-perception and motivation during workouts. However, for others, the constant need to manage their hair during exercises can be a source of frustration and hinder their performance.

  • Perception of Femininity or Masculinity

Long hair in bodybuilding can also affect how athletes perceive their femininity or masculinity. Traditional gender norms may influence individuals to associate short hair with strength and masculinity, potentially causing those with long hair to feel self-conscious or question their place within the sport. Recognizing and overcoming these internal perceptions can help athletes embrace their style and focus on their performance.

  • Societal Expectations and Stereotypes

Society often imposes expectations and stereotypes on bodybuilders, with traditional views associating short hair with the sport. Long-haired athletes may feel stigmatized or misunderstood by their peers and the general public as a result of these stereotypes, which can add to their stress levels.

  • Challenging Norms and Embracing Individuality

Despite societal expectations and stereotypes, bodybuilders with long hair must challenge these norms and embrace their individuality. By doing so, they can foster a strong sense of self-confidence and personal identity, allowing them to excel in their sport and redefine what it means to be a bodybuilder.


In conclusion, the relationship between long hair and bodybuilding ultimately boils down to personal choice. As we’ve discussed throughout this article, there are both pros and cons to having long hair in the sport.

The key is to make decisions based on comfort, practicality, and preference, ensuring that your hair doesn’t hinder your progress or performance.

Remember, every individual is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. Embracing your style and making choices that align with your goals and lifestyle will allow you to excel in bodybuilding, regardless of your hair length.

Long hair should not be seen as a limiting factor but rather as an opportunity for self-expression and individuality within the sport.

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Hi, I'm Dave Moffat the founder and Chief Editor of and certified International Personal Trainer and Certified Nutritionist. My passion has always been bodybuilding but with 15 years' experience in weight loss programs too, it's hard not to mention all that when you're working at your fitness level fullest (I hope). When Im not in the gym or spending time away from my family i often think about what advice would help others achieve theirs goals just like these inspired mine.