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In my freshman year, I came to Colorado with thick wavy hair that went down to my waist. Growing up in a humid city like New York, it gave my hair all the moisture it needed. I didn’t have to worry about all the other things that influenced hair strength and growth like diet and hair treatments.  When I got to Colorado, my unbalanced diet and ignorance of dryness made my hair split and break. By the end of freshman year, my hair lost inches off of it from breaking. 

I started to try every hair mask I could hoping it would help, but it didn’t. 

I hardly exercised, and my diet was minimal. 

Fast forward to three years later. I decided to make a change in my life, and try out hot yoga. After my first class, I was addicted. The cleansing feeling of working hard for an hour of my day, sweating out toxins, and having completely uninterrupted me-time was unmatched. I quickly got an unlimited membership and started going five days a week. 

The more I started going, the more I started to notice how certain foods made me feel before and after a workout and, having put in an hour of hard work every day, I didn’t want to let it go to waste by eating unhealthy foods. 

After about a month, I started to notice my hair looked healthier. It had more shine, felt thicker and wasn’t falling out as much. Plus, I felt better than I ever had. 

The heat of the room plus the oils my scalp produced from sweating was making my hair strong again. Oily hair is never something you want, but letting your body put natural oils into your hair, even if you wash it right after the class, helps maintain your hair’s strength. If I went to a class at night, I’d come home and rinse my body off but not wash my hair until the morning and my own natural oils gave life back to my hair. 

This, accompanied by my new diet filled with protein, veggies and a LOT of smoothies, helped my hair get back on track, and that was the last thing I expected to happen when I started hot yoga. It pushed me to make all these other life changes without making them feel like a chore. I didn’t have to create a restricted diet, in fact, it was the opposite. My body craved more food, and I started gaining healthy weight and muscle and got stronger in every aspect. 

If you are thinking about giving hot yoga a try, this is my current favorite sports bra from Gap.com

If hot yoga isn’t your thing, I totally get it but think about how you like to exercise. The things hot yoga did for me are possible with any kind of workout. So just try to find something you find fun or make you feel great about yourself, and the shiny hair and glowing skin will follow. 

Morgan Keegan

CU Boulder '20