View Full Version : Summer preparations - advice appreciated! :)

March 30th, 2014, 10:56 PM
I was hoping I could get a few tips for my summer hair care. I'm willing to try just about anything and I'll try to keep this as short as possible but I thought it would be best to explain. :)

From the begining of June until the end of August I run a summer camp program with school aged children at the preschool I work at now. We go on walking field trips every day, sometimes twice a day. For example, we may walk to a park in the morning, back to the center for lunch, and then to the pool after lunch, and then back to the center at 3. We swim EVERY SINGLE DAY M-F rain or shine, the only exception is thunderstorms. The pool alone is a 3mi walk round trip. I LOVE this job and I live for the kids, the heat and the sun, the excersize I get and especially swimming. Seriously dispite the difficulties and responsibilities I like to pretend it's a paid vacation haha. After work and on weekends I may swim also, and weekends I love going to cedar point and soak city!!

I know now the pool (and soak city) must have a lot of chlorine because my co-teacher and I lost 3 swimsuits last year due to fading and disintegrating. :o my hair lightened up a lot last year, which to be honest I like, but I want to protect my hair from damage (splits and frying) as much as possible. Last year I rinsed before and after every swim, and only towards the end of summer (August) afterwards I either CO-washed or washed with that chlorine shampoo and conditioner, depending on how my scalp felt. I always loaded up on conditioner, and it always air dried down on my walk back. In July I started wearing it in a single braid to swim. Before that I just left it loose or in a pony tail (with not-LHC-friendly hair ties if I'm honest)

In Sept I had to take several inches off of damage. I hope to help that this year. But I've also been taking better care of my hair his school year, thanks to you guys here at LHC!

i usually shampoo with suave naturals either every 2 or 3 days and condition. Sometimes I overnight coconut oil on days I know I'm going to wash. I use a smidge of coconut oil as a leave in sometimes, my hair seems to do well with coconut oil. Once in a while I'll use a real coney conditioner on the length of my hair (never the scalp, though itchy itchy). My hair seems to like honey, I only do it once a month, though. My hair has also been henna-cassiaed with nightshades strawberry blonde mix. I am wondering how his is going to be effected by the swimming. I do the roots as needed and gloss the length when I do the roots. I have a nice wide tooth comb, I'm much more gentle with it, I have a tangle teezer and a BBB but I don't use them THAT much. I use sleep braids now and I'm considering a sleep bonnet (I don't actually sleep on my pillows). I don't use updos that much, but a couple times a week. I really plan on doing updos ALL SUMMER though lol. Getting my hair off of my neck in the heat is always a bonus.

Anything i I take or use I have to carry in my bag, and it's hard to protect my bag from the heat. Last year I used travel sized bottles and I refilled them everyday. I was thinking about getting like a dropper for coconut oil and refilling every morning? I don't want it to get rancid or something... Any kind of treatment, salve or should I try a hat or something? Sunscreen for hair? lol

Any ideas or tips would be greatly appreciated :)


March 31st, 2014, 12:49 AM
I'll watch this thread for chlorine tips... I need some!

If you're bringing coconut oil in your bag, though, I recommend refined coconut oil, rather than virgin. I put some in an old contacts case and carry it with me just about everywhere, in the Florida heat, and I've never had it go rancid.

March 31st, 2014, 06:06 AM
If you're going to be in chlorine everyday, you're going to need to wash your hair everyday. Unless of course you're not getting your hair wet. I know shampooing can be drying but if your conditioner has EDTA (I believe) in it, then you can condition your hair and that will take care of the chlorine. I work as a swimming instructor/lifeguard so I'm currently in the water 5 times a week, and I put oil in my hair before going in. I know some pools have regulations and what not but usually they only care about people lotioning or conditioning their hair because that leaves a film. Hope these tips helped!

March 31st, 2014, 06:57 AM
As G1ll said, oiling your hair before swimming can help protect it from the chlorine. You will need to wash more often, but just do some extra deep treatments to keep it from drying out. You could always wear a swim cap, too.

I also suggest a big ol' hat for when you are walking/hiking. A wide brimmed sun hat would work best to protect your hair, face, and shoulders, but if you can tuck your hair up under a ball cap that would work too. I like to wear a wide brimmed hat with my hair either in a low bun or one or two braids. It gets it off the back of the neck, and the hat does help keep you a bit cooler. HTH!

March 31st, 2014, 12:45 PM
Thanks for the quick replies :)

GoldenSilk THANK YOU for the contacts case idea for the oil! That's perfect, just the kind of stuff I was hoping to learn from others :D that will be easy to carry, and that's always an issue (my bag is always sooo heavy after swimming with the wet towl)

G1ll thank you, I will definitely do that, and be sure to stock up on good shampoo/conditioner for summer. It's definitely encouraging to see a lifeguard on here (with really nice hair) so I don't freak out about it so much lol.

Squiggy I thought about the hat idea. Thanks for your advice :) I was thinking about making hats or visors with the kids, so we're all protected a little bit. That way we've all got something to wear!

I was also wondering, what's the general consensus with micro-fiber type towels & hair?

If I was worried about (if I have any pre existing) splits, would a trim right before summer be really beneficial or do you think it really doesn't matter?

Sorry for so many questions lol

March 31st, 2014, 12:53 PM
Have you thought about a swim cap to protect your hair? The other thing I can think of is don't forget to stay hydrated with all that exercise in the hot sun. I bet you'll be in great shape by the fall!

March 31st, 2014, 01:29 PM
I second the swim cap idea! I swam competitively six days a week for 14 years, I'm the queen of chlorine exposure. :p I found that using one of the cloth ones, the lycra caps, first and then using a silicone cap protected my hair the best. The silicone caps alone could occasionally pull my hair. And obviously wash as quickly as possible after swimming.

April 1st, 2014, 12:36 PM
I would rinse hair with water, apply conditioner, then put a swim cap on for swimming. Getting the hair wet then giving a layer of protection from the chlorine will keep hair nice.
You could continue to cowash it out after swimming but I would add a chelating shampoo at least once a week. I use Ultra Swim which for me is not harsh at all, their formula is nice actually, and another type which is sulfate free to give hair a break.

I always feel dorky wearing a swim cap but it is so worth it. It will also be good for the kids to see good pool habits from you.

As far as just day to day, hats and bandanas are always perfect for outdoorsy activities.

April 2nd, 2014, 05:17 AM
Thanks :) I'll try the swim cap.

It's been a long rough winter. I can't wait until summer!!

May 4th, 2014, 10:36 AM
I've always worried about pre-oiling my hair before I go swimming. I imagine leaving a sheen of oil behind. Tea bag in hot water anyone? Does this happen?

May 7th, 2014, 04:42 AM
You've gotten some good haircare advice already. On the bathing suit front, see if you can get a polyester one rather than lycra (look at ones for racers from brands like Speedo and TYR). They last much longer; I got one near the start of my grade 12 year, and it lasted through a year of teaching lessons for a few hours a week, several months on my school's swim team, and then a summer teaching/guarding every day. It was still in good condition by the time I left for uni.

ETA: I also find COing with a conditioner with EDTA is the best way to get pool water out of your hair. COing never worked for me as a grease-removal method, but doing it on days when my hair didn't otherwise need washed worked great.

chen bao jun
May 7th, 2014, 06:41 AM
I heard, but having tried, the trick of rinsing your hair with club soda after chlorine swimming.

May 7th, 2014, 01:13 PM
Looks like you are doing great with the coconut oil routine. And already got some good advice from the others, but my favorite is the sun hat! I had a job like yours for years as summer camp counselor and the hat was the best investment.