From Sweaty to Work Ready: Pro Tips For Post-Workout Grooming

by Amy Schlinger
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From Sweaty to Work Ready: Pro Tips For Post-Workout Grooming

Squeezing in a workout can be challenging enough, but going from sweating bullets to looking like nothing ever happened takes finesse — and a no-nonsense strategy — when you’re time strapped.

Whether you’re working out before work or it’s a post-work, pre-happy hour sweat session, these tips from top stylists, grooming experts and trainers will help you make the most of whatever time you have to get ready.


I like to buy travel-size wipes, baby powder, dry shampoo, deodorant, hair spray, etc. so it doesn’t take up too much space in my bag.”

– Amanda Butler, trainer, The Fhitting Room

“I love products that can be used for more than one purpose, like lip and cheek stains.”

– Liz Barnet, personal trainer, New York City

“Try not to wear makeup to workout. It’s not going to do you any favors, as you will end up having to redo it anyway. Plus, your skin needs to breathe and release toxins during the workout. In the end, you may find you actually need less makeup after.”

– Jenn Seracuse, instructor, Flex Studios

“A regular ponytail, bun or a braid are the easiest options after the gym. The sweat can act as your natural salt spray.”

– George Papanikolas, celebrity stylist, Matrix


“The best hairstyle that won’t give away that you didn’t wash your hair would be a topknot or ballerina bun. These can be messy with lot’s of texture so it’s an easy look to get away with.”

– Papanikolas

“Prep the hair with dry shampoo before your workout. This way, the oil is being absorbed and counteracted while you work out. Then follow up with additional texture spray or more dry shampoo after and blow dry the dampness away with your hands and maybe a brush around the hairline.”

– Judy McGuinness, stylist, Mizu Salon

“To save time during your post-workout primping, be sure to remove all makeup before your workout. Not only is this much better for your skin, but you won’t be struggling to remove smeared mascara.”

– Barnet

“Figure out your outfit ahead of time. A great outfit trick is bringing things you can layer on top of black workout leggings to make it look more like ‘real clothes.’ That way, people think I got ’dressed’ when in reality I just paired some nicer athleisurely shoes with a real coat and some type of fun top or blazer that you would wear out.

– Lisa Niren, instructor, CYCLEBAR


“Wearing a sweatband during your workout is a great choice if you tend to sweat a lot so it can absorb the moisture.”

– Papanikolas

“Drinking cold water will help reduce body heat to help fight off that red, flushed look on your face post workout.”

– Butler

“Brush through your hair and lightly tease the hairline. This will create volume and alleviate some of the oil and sweat. From there, either put on a headband or comb back into a sleek low ponytail.”

– McGuinness

“Wear sweat-proof, waterproof mascara. I love to have it on to look more awake for my early morning classes. And it stays on, even if I shower, so I don’t have to redo it.”

– Nicole Sweet, founder, Fitness + Foolishness  


“If you blow out the bangs and face frame, and tie back the rest, this is an easy quick fix. Spray a dry shampoo in the root area, and brush through to absorb excess oils. One important note: Do not spray dry shampoo on wet hair, it does not absorb moisture and can become very messy and unsightly.”

– Papanikolas

I always pack individually-wrapped body and face wipes. A quick swipe leaves me not only feeling fresh, but actually fresh since I can clean off any surface sweat. In a pinch, baby wipes can do the trick, but there are several companies that make products specifically for this reason. Although the individually-wrapped ones can get a little pricy, it prevents them from drying out, and I don’t have to schlep around more products than necessary.”

– Barnet


“If I have a bit more time and access to a shower, I’ll hop in to wash off my body and face. Washing, drying and styling your hair is really what takes up the most effort, so by cutting out those steps, you save a lot of time. Try spraying a freshening or volumizing mist on your part and hairline before flipping your hair over for a quick blow dry to boost volume. Braids and sleek ponytails require even less clean up.”

– Barnet

“I have mastered the five-minute shower. One place I will never skimp on, however, is hydration. My skin is super dry, so taking the time to moisturize right out of the shower is non-negotiable.”

– Seracuse

“Wash your hair in the shower with a cleansing conditioner. This eliminates a step but leaves your hair still feeling clean and soft. If you have waves/curls, throw in a curl cream and diffuse to take advantage of your natural texture. If you have straighter hair, run serum through the ends of your hair and roughly blow dry with a big paddle brush. This will give you volume and smoothness in the most efficient way!”

– McGuinness

“Spray a blow dry spray on damp hair, which has drying agents to speed up your blow dry while taming frizz for a fast blow dry. Then rough dry almost completely before taking large sections with a round brush to give a polished finish.”

– Papanikolas

About the Author

Amy Schlinger

Amy is a New York-based fitness and health writer and editor whose work has appeared in SELF, Men’s Fitness, Shape, Muscle & Fitness HERS, Pilates Style, Max Sports & Fitness and more. Check her out at


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