The Water’s Cold: Dive In Protecting Your Hair While Swimming


When it’s hot outside, the water feels so refreshing. Too bad many of us don’t fully enjoy the water because of our hair. But with a little extra effort, you can do more than just wade in the water.

Chlorine and other chemicals that sanitize and protect you in the pool also dry your skin and hair. The more you’re in the water, the more your hair will feel hard and brittle. So, try to find a pool with less acidic treatments. Here are other ways to enjoy the water this summer without wrecking your hair:

  • Protect your hair. Before your swim, apply a conditioner like Cholesterol, or a protective oil such as coconut to reduce explore to chlorine in the pool or salt from beach water. You can also apply a sunblock/sunscreen with UV/UB protection designed for your hair at a beauty retailer or online. When you’re not in the water, cover your head if you’re planning to be out in the sun a long time.

  • Wear a swim cap. Always wear a swim cap to reduce exposure to the chlorine. Most caps will not eliminate all exposure but they can reduce it. The tight spandex or rubber may lead to breakage, so either wet your hair or apply conditioner before the cap. Also, try a band around your head before putting on the cap to help catch the water that seeps underneath. If you wear a weave or braids that don’t fit under a swim cap, you’ll need to clean your scalp more often. Visit the salon or cleanse at home by watering down your shampoo and gently rubbing between braids, then rinse until suds are gone.

  • Rinse after each swim. Take time to rinse or shampoo your hair immediately after you’re done to reduce chlorine damage. (If you can’t shampoo, rinse). Keep the water running at least 3-5 minutes to open the cuticle and release the residual chlorine. Use a cleansing shampoo for the first lather and a moisturizing shampoo for the second lather. Always use a conditioner after sun and swim exposure. You should also see your stylist more often for a detox.

  • Choose color wisely. Vivid colors are hot now, but they will fade fast in the water. Each time you swim, the water hits the cuticle and releases some color just like a new pair of jeans fades after a few washes. Consider another color option or be prepared to refresh your color more often.

  • Style for summer. If you or your child to swim a lot, consider wearing a wet-n-go or a protective style such as twists or braids that are easy to maintain. These will minimize the effects of chlorine and salt on the hair and allow you to better manage your summer look. Even if your hair is in braids, you still need to shampoo or rinse immediately after each dip in the pool.

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