Can Bodybuilders Have Long Hair?

  • By: Dave Moffat
  • Date: December 16, 2023
Can Bodybuilders Have Long Hair?

In bodybuilding, even things like how long you keep your hair can affect how well you do, how comfortable you are, and how clean you stay.

Some bodybuilders like to keep their hair long as a way to show their personality, but others wonder if it’s really practical.

We’re going to look into how having long hair affects bodybuilding. We’ll talk about how it can change your training and performance, and we’ll also discuss whether it’s comfortable and hygienic.

Come along as we learn more about this interesting part of bodybuilding and what it means to have long hair in the gym.

Pros and Cons of Long Hair in Bodybuilding


  • Reduced Chafing from Weights or Resistance Machines

One cool thing about having long hair in bodybuilding that not many people know about is that it can act like a shield between your skin and the weights or machines you use.

This can help stop your skin from getting rubbed the wrong way and feeling uncomfortable during workouts. It’s especially useful when you’re doing exercises that put weights on your shoulders or upper back.

Long hair can soften these touch points, making workouts more comfortable for athletes. This allows them to concentrate better on their performance.

  • Personal Preference and Self-expression

Bodybuilding is a sport where being yourself is important. Having long hair lets athletes show off their personal style and personality. Having long hair can make them feel more confident, motivated, and like they belong in the gym.

For some bodybuilders, showing who they are through their look is a really important part of their training. It helps them stand out from the crowd and feel like they’re being true to themselves.


  • Hair Getting in the Way During Lifting Exercises

One big downside of having long hair in bodybuilding is that it can get in the way during workouts. Loose hair can block your view, mess with your movements, and distract you, which can hurt your focus and how well you do.

Plus, there’s a chance that long hair could get twisted or stuck in gym equipment, which could be dangerous. Athletes need to remember these problems and make sure to tie up their hair when they’re training.

  • Increased Maintenance and Care

Taking care of long hair can take a lot of time and work, especially for busy bodybuilders who already spend a lot of time on their workouts. To keep hair looking good and healthy, you need to wash, condition, and comb it regularly.

Athletes with long hair also need to buy things like hair ties, headbands, or hats to keep their hair tied up and out of the way when they’re working out. For some people, the extra time and money it takes to manage long hair can be a downside.

Practical Aspects of Having Long Hair

Best Ways to Wear Long Hair During Workouts

  • Hair Ties, Headbands, or Hats
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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 be stylish and functional 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. This is particularly true for athletes who sweat frequently during workouts. Regular washing and conditioning can help prevent product buildup, oiliness, and odors. It keeps 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

In bodybuilding contests, how you look is really important. For athletes with long hair, neat ponytails or buns can be a great choice because they look tidy and professional. Making sure your hair is tied up neatly and styled well can make you look even better overall and help show off your muscles.

  • Creative Braids or Updos

For those who want to stand out at contests, cool braids or fancy updos can be a fun and noticeable choice. These hairstyles can show off the athlete’s personality and prove they care about how they look.

Bodybuilders can find the perfect hairstyle by trying different braids or updos. The right style will complement their muscles and make them pop on stage. This is from the article “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. It can boost their confidence or create insecurities.

  • Confidence Boost or Distraction?

In bodybuilding, having long hair can either make an athlete feel more confident or cause them trouble. For some, long hair shows their unique personality and style. It makes them feel good about themselves and helps them stay motivated during workouts. But for others, always having to deal with their hair during exercises can be annoying and get in the way of their performance.

  • Perception of Femininity or Masculinity
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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. This may potentially cause 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. It can also help them focus on their performance.

  • Societal Expectations and Stereotypes

Society often imposes expectations and stereotypes on bodybuilders. Traditional views associate short hair with the sport. Athletes with long hair may feel stigmatized or misunderstood by their peers and the general public due to these stereotypes. This can add to their stress levels.

  • Challenging Norms and Embracing Individuality

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


To wrap it all up, whether long hair and bodybuilding go together really comes down to what you prefer. Like we’ve talked about in this article, there are good and bad parts to having long hair in the sport.

The most important thing is to make choices based on what’s comfortable, practical, and what you like. Make sure your hair doesn’t get in the way of your progress or performance.

Keep in mind, everyone is different, and what works for one person might not work for another. Being true to your style and making choices that match your goals and how you live your life will help you do well in bodybuilding. It doesn’t matter how long your hair is.

Long hair shouldn’t be seen as something that holds you back, but rather as a chance to show off who you are and be unique in the sport.

Dave Moffat

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.