Running Hairstyles: The 6 Most Practical Hairstyles For Running

How you wear your hair when you run isn’t just about making a fashion statement but can affect your overall comfort and performance.

If you have hair swirling around your face, sticking to your back and shoulders, or getting in your eyes, it could make for a frustrating training session or, even worse, a race! 

Knowing how to properly secure your hair will help you run at your best and have fun with your style all at the same time. 

Of course, everyone’s hair is different, and numerous factors affect which types of workout running hairstyles will work for you depending on your texture, length, and cut.

This guide will give you some running hairstyles that will be practical yet fun for your next run and some cute running hairstyles and ideas you can play around with. 

A person holding their ponytail.

Let’s get to our list! 

6 Practical Running Hairstyles For Your Next Run

In the list of our top running hairstyles, we will start with the most straightforward and quickest fix for those mornings you need to run out the door, to a bit more complicated yet beautiful styles for when you have a bit more time.

#1: Low Ponytail 

A person putting in a low ponytail.

The low ponytail is one of the most practical, secure, and simplest running hairstyles out there. It can be thrown together in seconds and will keep the hair out of your face for your running session. 

All you need is a ponytail holder! 

Brush back your hair and secure it just above the nape of your neck with your ponytail holder.

You may be asking: why specifically a low ponytail and not a high ponytail? 

The reason a low ponytail is best is that if you place the ponytail higher on your head, there is a chance that it will slip down during your run, especially if you have fine hair. A low ponytail is easier to keep in place, as it is already at or near the nape of your neck, so it doesn’t have anywhere to go.

If you do want to wear your hair in a high ponytail for the cute swingin’ look or to sweep back your bangs or flyaways from your face, you sure can do so. However, make sure the ponytail holder is wrapped tightly so it won’t start to fall on your third lap around the track.

#2: Braided Ponytail 

Braided hair in a cap.

With this one of our cute running hairstyles, you will secure your ponytail at the desired height and then braid it until the end, securing it with a small ponytail holder.

Be sure you wrap that end elastic tight enough, or before you know it, your hair will be flapping in the wind and the ponytail holder back a few miles on the road behind you!

#3: Jasmine Ponytail 

A Jasmine braid.

A regular ponytail looks great as your hair swings about as you go, but for some, such as those with fine hair that tangles easily, this ponytail may not cut it.

When you begin to sweat, some types of hair, such as fine hair, will start to tangle, depending on the length of the run (and the length of your hair), and perhaps end up in a nest of knots by the time you finish. 

Unfortunately, after a long, hot, sweaty race, some runners have had to cut the massive mess of knots from their ponytails! 

If this sounds familiar and your hair tends to knot easily, we have a few solutions for you to adjust your ponytail to keep you tangle-free. 

This is my go-to ponytail for almost every one of my runs because I know I won’t spend an hour trying to take the knots out afterward. The Jasmine ponytail pulls your hair back and out of your face, and it does not allow the hair to tangle because of the numerous elastics that run the ponytail length. 

Colorful hair elastics.

Secure your hair into a low ponytail.

Now, wrap different ponytail holders along the length of your ponytail as frequently as you’d like. If your hair tangles easily, put them closer together, such as every inch or two.

That way, you don’t allow your hair to tangle between the ponytail holders; they will keep the hair straight and firmly in place.

This one of our cute running hairstyles can be fun because you can fill your ponytail with colorful ponytail holders that match your running outfit that day. 

Put in as many or as few as you’d like, and have fun with it! 

#4: Low Tight Bun 

A person with a low bun hairstyle.

Even though our hairstyles for running up to this point will keep the hair out of your face, they won’t keep the hair off your back if you have medium or long hair. This can become uncomfortable during a challenging speed workout or race. 

You’ll want to be focused on your running and not have to worry about your ponytail slapping you in the back or shoulders as you go. 

Also, suppose you are running a trail race and using a running vest. In that case, a longer ponytail can get wrapped around the different straps and elastics attached to the vest, which can have an outcome similar to the knotted ponytail.

You really don’t want to have to cut your ponytail out of your running vest!  

In these cases, we need to pull up all of our hair so that it is out of the way, out of our face, off our back, and give it no chance to tangle around any pack.

A person trail running uphill.

This is our low bun. A low bun works best if you do a lot of intense running, as it is secure and won’t fall down or out. 

Begin with a low ponytail, then wrap your hair tightly around the base, holding it in place with another ponytail holder.

You may even need to use two ponytail holders to secure it and ensure it won’t loosen or pieces won’t fall out while running. 

Before twisting your hair into the bun, you could add extra ponytail holders to the length of the ponytail, as in the Jasmine style, or braid it to secure your hair even more. 

#5: French Braid

A french braid.

Now, if you have thicker, heavier hair that doesn’t tend to knot up, other than being very lucky, you have many more options, such as braids. Of course, these will take longer to assemble, but you will look elegant out there! 

A french braid begins with braiding the hair from the top of your head and adding more pieces from the sides as you braid down the back. It gives a beautiful cascading look. 

Begin by taking a small section of hair from the top of your head and sectioning it into three equal parts, like any traditional braid. Begin a conventional braid by crossing right over center and left over center. 

After the first row or two of traditional braiding:

  1. Begin to bring in other pieces of hair each time you are going to cross over on each side.
  2. Continue to do this until your hair is worked into the braid.
  3. When you reach the nape of your neck, all your hair should be worked in.
  4. Proceed to braid the rest of your hair traditionally until the end, and secure it with a ponytail holder.

As you add pieces, pull them tight so they stay in place and don’t fall out while you run.

This one of our running hairstyles will take longer but will look beautiful! Well worth it if you have the time and skill. 

There are a couple of different variations of the French braid you can also use:

#6: Half French Braid To Ponytail

A person on a track smiling.

You can also do the first half of the French braid, which starts at the top of your head and works its way down to the nape of your neck, and then secure it with a ponytail holder. Cutting the braid off at the neck will hold the hair in place better than loosely braiding it all the way down. 

You can leave the ends in a loose ponytail, braid it, or secure it in a bun if you want it off your neck and shoulders. 

Tips For Running Hairstyles

If you have bangs or flyaways, you’ll need to get those out of your face so you can run at your best without worrying about hair getting in your way. You can do this by:

  • Securing your bangs back with a sports headband. These come in many different styles, colors, and patterns and are sport-specific, so they have a plastic-like tread on the underside, so they do not slide off while you run or begin to sweat.
  • Secure the loose hair back with bobby pins. Bobby pins are always a great quick fix to keep hair in place and out of your way. Pull back your bangs, or give some extra tightness to your bun.
  • Slick your hair back with gel, mousse, Argan oil, or other favorite products that will tame your tresses. 
Barrettes in blonde hair.

What if you have very short hair? Running hairstyles for short hair can involve really fun accessories to keep your hair back.

Sports headbands are an excellent solution for running hairstyles for short hair, especially if your hair is so short that it will not even fit back in a ponytail. Another running hairstyle for short hair could be to put it back into a cap or secure it with a visor, so it stays out of your face. 

Buff headbands are also a great solution that can double as an ear warmer! They come in all sorts of fun colors and patterns, and there are a ton of different ways you can arrange them in your hair or incorporate them into our other running hairstyles mentioned previously.

What if you want to wear a hat or visor? If you have longer hair, the best way to go is to pull your ponytail through the opening in the back or use specialty hats with a designated place just for your ponytail; take a look here!

Now, have some fun with these workout running hairstyles. You can add accessories like sparkly barrettes, fun-colored ponytail holders, scrunchies, and headbands of different colors, textures, and patterns to jazz up your look. 

It’s fun to switch it up and run in style! 

If you want to check out some of the best running caps on the market, see this article!

A person trail running.
Photo of author
Katelyn is an experienced ultra-marathoner and outdoor enthusiast with a passion for the trails. In the running community, she is known for her ear-to-ear smile, even under the toughest racing conditions. She is a UESCA-certified running coach and loves sharing her knowledge and experience to help people reach their goals and become the best runners they can be. Her biggest passion is to motivate others to hit the trails or road alongside her, have a blast, and run for fun!

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