Hair Care Practices as a Barrier to Physical Activity in African American Women | Dermatology | JAMA Dermatology | JAMA Network
[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
March 2013

Hair Care Practices as a Barrier to Physical Activity in African American Women

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Dermatology (Drs Hall and McMichael) and Public Health Sciences (Ms Swett), Wake Forest University School of Medicine, the Gramercy Research Group (Dr Whitt-Glover), and the Shalom Project (Ms Loftin-Bell), Winston-Salem, North Carolina; and the Department of Dermatology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (Dr Francis).

JAMA Dermatol. 2013;149(3):310-314. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.1946

Objective To characterize the influence of hairstyle maintenance on exercise behavior in African American women.

Design A 40-item survey with questions concerning hair care practices, physical activity, and the relationship between the two.

Setting University-affiliated dermatology department at an academic medical center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Participants A total of 123 African American women from 21 to 60 years of age were surveyed; 103 women completed the questionnaire.

Main Outcome Measures The statistical significance of relationships between hair care practices and physical activity was determined.

Results Fifty percent of African American women surveyed have modified their hairstyle to accommodate exercise and nearly 40% (37.9%) avoid exercise at times owing to hair-related issues. Respondents who exercised less owing to hair concerns were 2.9 times less likely to exercise more than 150 min/wk (95% CI, 0.9-9.4; P = .08).

Conclusion Dermatologists can discuss hair management strategies during exercise that facilitate routinely performing exercise.