The Editors
Updated on December 31, 2020

When you decide to commit to a workout regimen, you have to take many things into consideration, and if you’re a woman, one of those things happens to be how to wear your hair. You want a hairstyle that is efficient, won’t interfere with your workout, and still cute. Sporty hairstyles have come a long way from the banal half ponytails or buns of the past and now look good enough to be worn even outside of the gym.

Sporty Hairstyles for Girls on the Go

The following athletic hairstyles feature a variety of styling techniques, including braids, twists, buns and ponytails, all of which are versatile enough for the most strenuous of workout routines. If you need a little inspiration for your next fitness hairstyle, perhaps these cute easy ‘dos (and more complicated ones) will do the trick. Now get busy and get to styling, ladies!

1. Long Ponytail with Multiple Braids

It can be challenging for long hair to find a hairstyle that keeps all of your hair secure without falling out of place. While not as quick or simple as some of the other gym hairstyles, the multiple braids that make up this ponytail are still worth of a try.

2. Twisted Fauxhawk and Low Pony

Edgy, modern and guaranteed to make jaws drop, this workout hairstyle was made for long hair. Divide your hair into three sections. Make a twist with the central one and use the side sections as a background for your fauxhawk twist.

3. Sleek Dutch Braids into Small Buns

Here’s another great way to style your gym hair. First, plait two similar side dutch braids. Each end of the braid fix with an elastic and form two tight pigtails. The ideal sporty hairstyle, especially for the second-day hair!

4. Braided Bun

A bun is a classic hairstyle for women, but this version is an updated look that belongs also to the sporty hairstyles category. Featuring two side braids placed into a ponytail and then ultimately formed into a bun, this look is definitely a conversation starter.

two braids and a low braided bun updo

Instagram/ @yiyayellow

5. Upside Down Braids with High Chignon

This hairstyle will look great on medium length hair. Create two upside down braids and tie your hair into a high ponytail. Then poof it and fix into voluminous chignon. If you wear long bangs, it is also possible to poof and fix them on the crown.

6. Two Braids and “Y” Fishtail

Who says that you can only have only one French braid? This workout hairstyle is great for jogging, competitions or any other fitness routine you can think out. There are actually four braids here, two that begin at the top of the head and connected together, and two larger ones parallel braids along the sides of the back.

7. Athletic Fishtail Plaits

Low pigtails are an essential sporty girl hairstyle, and this braided version is also ‘90s inspired. Whether you choose to go with French plaits, waterfall braids, or just double twist the sections, leave the bottom half of your hair undone for a casual vibe next time you go running.

Two Braids With Ponytails For Long Hair

Instagram / @missysueblog

8. Messy Topknot

A sports hairstyle like the messy topknot is a go-to for many girls because of how convenient it is. If you’re going to or from the gym, running errands, or just hanging out with friends, here is your ‘do when in doubt.

Messy Casual Bun

Instagram / @twistmepretty

9. Four Strand Braid

Here you see a really pretty way to get hair out of your face, while looking feminine at the gym. 3D braids appear intricate and athletic. Finish off the hairdo with some shine spray and you are ready to set records. Check our 4-strand braid tutorial and more pictures.

Long Layered Braids

Instagram / @braidsbyjordan

10. Workout Bandana Bun

Hairdos with bandanas and hair scarves are the best sporty hairstyles for short hair, and these are currently gaining so much popularity! Offering a great pop of color, and elevating workout outfits, select one and throw your hair into a messy bun or pony. It’s a fun way to spend minimal time while getting extra style points.

Messy Pony With A Head Scarf

Instagram / @kayleymelissa

11. Gym Space Buns

Unsure what style to choose for your next workout? Here’s a fantastic option — space buns. They are hip and youthful, and keep hair off your back, free from gym sweat and frizz free, too!

Pigtail Buns Updo

Instagram / @n.starck

12. Sporty Fishtail Mohawk

For those who have not yet been introduced to the hawk braid, here is an edgy ’do to try out next. To achieve this style, divide hair into 3 sections— fishtail the center piece, and cornrow the sides. Voila!

Messy Braided Mohawk

Instagram / @game_of_braids

13. Dutch Updo

Dutch braids are a perfect hairstyle for sporty girls who want to look feminine when doing lower impact workouts like yoga and aerobics. Though they mostly have an ethereal feel, the ‘do still bears a hint of an athletic touch.

Crown Braid Updo

Instagram / @tressesbytress

14. Swirl Hairdo

Braids for sports don’t have to be boring or typical! There’s so much going on with this ‘do — take a side pony, the classic sporty girl style, up a notch by incorporating swirled French braids and a fishtail.

Triple Side Braid Hairstyle

Instagram / @sadiejcre8s

15. Crown Braid with Low Buns

Two sporty braids that lead into buns can give a variety of effects, depending on the height of the buns and the finish of the updo. For instance, this low style is more hipster and edgy and less girly and sweet. There are options for every personality!

16. Gym Cornrows

Sporty braids are a fabulous gym hairstyle! Bigger cornrows are easier to achieve than thin braids. Don’t worry about exposing grown out roots — they are even more athletic this way.

Braided Sporty Hairstyle

Instagram / @hairbyjaxx

17. Two Twists and Bun Updo

Don’t fret about hair length with this sports braids updo. Pancaked braids or twists can be done as long as you don’t have too many layers, and hair is long enough to create any kind of bun at the bottom.

18. Running Pony with Headband

Running can’t compromise your hair game with a messy pony like this one. If workout headbands aren’t your thing, DIY with your own hair! With addition of a thin braided headband, high ponytails become much more fashionable. For this style, hair needs to be long enough to be wrapped around your head.

Messy Ponytail With Fishtail Headband

Instagram / @braidstudio

19. Thick Boho Braid

A hairdo like this is both sporty and boho. Pancaking is a fabulous technique for voluminous braids! The hairstyle details are shown off best on multi-toned hair.

20. Hidden Braid

Here’s an original style you don’t see every day! A hidden plait is a cute sporty hairstyle that’s easy to recreate even without any particular hair styling skills. As long as you can French braid and section hair with precision, you’ll cope with this challenge.

21. Cornrows

Cornrows are an ancient African hair grooming style that has been popular since about 500 BC. They require skilled hands, and are so beautiful for all hair lengths, types and textures. Cornrows also look gorgeous in updos!

Ponytail With Cornrows

Instagram / @kiakhameleon

22. Athletic Double Braids

Dutch braids and fishtails meet in the middle for an intricate-looking yet casual style. You can also combine other types of braids such as French and rope plaits or waterfall and five-strand ones to customize your pigtails.

Pigtail Braids

Instagram / @game_of_braids

23. Edgy Updo

The clean, put together updo shows an edgy sporty hairstyle for the gym and athletic events. Create height at the crown of your head with a Mohawk braid or a twist, and roll hair at the nape of your neck. Leave some strands out for a wispy finish.

Braided Updo With A Low Bun

Instagram / @goldplaited_

24. Mid-Length Athletic Pigtails

What’s more of a grunge staple style than two pigtails? Since lob haircuts have been uber trendy lately, here is a cute way to style that length for the gym! Part hair in the middle and braid each side for a ‘00s throwback look.

25. Braids on Braids Updo

This is sure to impress at a gymnastics competition! Let us help you solve this puzzle: there’s a half of crown Dutch braid going along the left side of the head and a hawk braid that runs down the centre and turns to the right to finish the circle of the crown. Hair chalk definitely adds interest points.

Crown And Hawk Braid Updo

Instagram / @goldplaited_

26. Messy Low Bun

If you’re not a high ponytail or braid type of gal, a textured low bun is probably the best hairstyle for sports for you. This will get hair off your back and out of your way, so nothing holds you back from being a threat to opponents.

Casual Low Bun Updo

Instagram / @theprettyparlour

27. Flat Braid

This cute workout hair look proves that sporty hairstyles don’t have to be boring or dated. They can be quite complicated-looking, but the idea of the flat braid that is implemented here can be simplified if you make a regular half pony without those additional braid elements above.

28. Long Ponytail with Wrap Around Braid

This is one of the cutest athletic hairstyles for long hair, and it is sure to make heads turn and jaws drop. A pony twined with a braid looks much more interesting than a simple pony. Plus it keeps the long strands within the pony from tangling, as you are running or exercising.

29. Messy Twisted Updo.

Sporty hairstyles for girls can be unique and intricate, as evidenced by this photo. This messy, twisted updo is both modern and edgy, while allowing you to get through practically any fitness routine with your hair still intact.

30. Braid and Swirl Bun

When working out, sometimes you may desire simple hair ideas that you can still wear after your workout is over, like this cute, braided swirl bun. The hair is placed into a loose French braid and then fashioned into a bun with a fascinating swirl design.

31. Low Twisted Ponytail

Some hairstyles always work and are appropriate for pretty much any activity. A ponytail is one of them. Ideal for long hair and quick to create, this low, twisted ponytail is chic and it’s also a great way to keep your hair out of your face when you’re working out.

32. Messy Bun with Headband

When you simply don’t have time or energy to do a lot to your hair before working out, perhaps fuss-free sporty hairstyles like this one are an appealing way to go. This effortlessly messy bun is accentuated and accessorized with a cute headband that is sure to complement a variety of sporty outfits.

33. Neat and Slick Cornrows

Cornrows are one of the oldest and most simple ways to wear your hair when working out. Flattering for long hair, medium length or even shorter hair, cornrows are one of the most popular athletic hairstyles around.

34. Middle Ponytail with Braided Side

Impossibly cute and stylish, this middle ponytail with a braided side is everything you want in modern gym hairstyles. A loose braid and a tousled pony is a winning combo for a workout and not only.

messy pony with a side braid hairstyle for gym

Instagram/ @kellgrace

35. Mini Buns

Girly and incredibly cute are the best ways to describe this quick workout hair idea. To create it, all you have to do is to pull your hair into ponytails on each side of your head and then form them into two small mini buns. The result is a pretty and polished look.

36. Fishtail Braid Ponytail

An alternative to the typical gymnastics hairstyles, this long, fishtailed ponytail is good for competitions and also for jogging. Simply pull your hair into a middle ponytail and then create a fishtail braid.

37. French Braid Updo

Why not to spice up the classic French braid and get if off of your neck while you’re working out? That is what this French braid updo is perfect for. To recreate it, just French braid your hair and then tuck it under to hide the tail.

38. Twisted Side Ponytails

Eternally girly and workout-proof, these simple, twisted side ponytails are sure to take you back to your childhood days. Pull your hair into two ponytails high on each side of your head and then twist each pony loosely until you get to the ends and secure them with elastic bands.

39. Quick Sporty Updo

Going to the gym with the same hairstyle is boring, isn`t it? This simple hairstyle will definitely diversify your workout. Plait a side braid, then make a low ponytail, but don`t pull out your strands fully: leave them in the form of a low loop. Wrap those free ends around the elastic, and be ready to reach new heights!

40. Low Bun with Thick Braids

Well-placed, thick braids can do wonders for an otherwise understated hairstyle. This low bun is given a boost thanks to three cute braids that feed into the bun. What gives this hairstyle additional personality is the effortless, messy feel.

The listed looks show that sports hairstyles can be practically anything you like as long as they don’t interfere with your fitness routine. The goal is to choose a hairstyle that is equally functional and stylish as you are embarking on your workout journey.

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