Accidental Ombre Hair: The Effects of Triathlon Training On My Formerly Fantastic Hair


“If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?” Lily Tomlin

Let me begin by saying that I love getting my hair done in a professional salon. I love the sound of those sharp little scissors snipping away at my undesirable split ends. I love the way freshly washed and product-infused hair smells when the hair dryer heats it up. I love that the concept of conversational TMI ceases to exist once your fanny hits the chair and that you and your stylist can solve all of life’s problems in the amount of time it takes for your shiny new hair color to develop. I love the free coffee.

Sadly, all love stories have hiccups and I must report that mine is no different. My favorite and one of the best stylists in Nashville, Glory at Suite One Salon, probably thinks I broke up with her. I haven’t had my hair done by anyone other than myself in months. The last time I ran into Glory was at a Bonnie Raitt show at The Ryman and I was cursing myself for deciding not to wear a hat, which would have been the perfect cover for my unfortunate follicular hatchet job.

Why the change in routine? The last time I had my hair done by a professional was in March or early April. I honestly can’t remember the exact date. I do remember having a swim session the next day and getting out of the pool and thinking to myself, “ You just spent $160 dollars getting your hair done and now you’re in a chlorinated pool undoing all of the great work your stylist did.”  I made the decision to do my hair at home until the training season is over and then go back to the salon.

Please do not mistake my concern for my hair as vanity. As the amazing Gwen Stefani once sang, “I’m just a girl and I’d rather not be.” I feel you, Gwen. I’m just a girl and I’d rather not be worrying about my hair, but we live in a world where over-chlorinated, split-ended, green hair won’t bring you anything but down. Thank you, Ms. Crow, for that one.

I take the necessary precautions before jumping into the pool. I wet my hair, slather it with anti-chlorine, leave-in conditioner and throw on a swim cap. After the swim, I wash it with swimmers shampoo and conditioner. But I’m also always out in the sun running or biking, my ponytail whipping back and forth and around, worsening the split end situation. (Here’s the part where I admit to the occasional interim $8 Great Clips trim.)

I have noticed a definite difference in my hair since I began my triathlon training and it’s not for the better. This is where the accidental ombre hair comes in, or as I have decided to call it, hombre hair; not as in the Spanish word for man, but as in a home dye job resulting in multi-colored hair that, if you squint, could resemble the presently popular ombre hair style, but in the back, actually just looks like one big hot calico mess.

It seems that it may not be the training so much as the home hair maintenance that is responsible for my current situation. What to do? I decided that today I’m going to make an appointment at the salon, sheepishly crawl my way back into the chair for a tress assessment and beg the forgiveness of my hair stylist. I see a chin-length bob in my future.

(Photo Source: Dreamstime.com)

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13 Comments on “Accidental Ombre Hair: The Effects of Triathlon Training On My Formerly Fantastic Hair

  1. Too funny. I totally agree and my hair has been awful ever since as well. It truly is not a beautiful sport either. Who really thinks they look great after coming out of water and swimming. Then all the bugs hitting you as they die on the bike as you sweat and then the dirt from the road or trail on the run. We are definitely pretty gross.

    • It’s really not the most attractive thing, huh? Running out of the water with a swim cap, red-faced and breathing heavy. I was horrified by the pictures of me running in from the swim. They will never see the light of day. Ever. 🙂

  2. After a month or two of training i got rid of my big bushy beard and took my hair down to 1/8 inch buzz cut. Chlorine and frequent showers were a nightmare. Guess I am lucky I am a guy and I can get away with very little hair. It will all be good.

  3. I’m convinced my split ends are 1/2 heat styling, 1/2 getting tangled as a result of my longish ponytail getting soaked in sweat during my workouts. You spend all this money to make your hair look good, and you looking/feeling good ruins it …
    On a side note … when I lived in Nashville I went to a girl named Ashley at Breon (in Donelson). Not sure if she’s still there, but she did GREAT color.

  4. I hear you, girl. It’s impossible for hair to look cute after swimming, biking, and running. Since I have curly hair, I do two French braids for races, which looks OK … until I whip off my goggles and swim cap! At least everyone else is covered in mixture of sweat and dirt and smells like lake, so we’re in good company. 😉

    • I love the look, but I don’t have enough hair to do two French braids! Wish I did. I have really fine hair and it tends to get damaged easily with all of this swimming, biking and running. 🙂

  5. Oh ponytail damage! I’m a martial arts instructor so I really need my hair out of my face but I can’t bring myself to cut it short so it’s all about the ponytail marks and the split ends. sigh.

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