View Full Version : Swimming + long hair = a whole new world of possibilities

Lady Verity
September 25th, 2008, 06:54 AM
Forgive me if this is in the wrong forum.

My boyfriend and I are about to take up weekly swimming in a chlorinated pool. We both have long hair, and the local pool has a rule that long hair should be tied back at all times in the water. Does anyone here swim regularly and can recommend a good updo to minimise damage? What other precautions should we take to make sure our hair isn't being damaged by the chemicals in the water?

Also, I'm blonde and chlorine makes me go green. Is there any way to combat this? And what does going green actually do to the hair? I dread to think.

September 25th, 2008, 07:22 AM
I would wear a swimcap if at all possible. Yeah, they're a little dorky looking, but chlorine destroys my hair.
The best updo for fitting under a swimcap for me is 1 or 2 braids, folded and pinned to my head.

September 25th, 2008, 07:37 AM
When I swim, I just put my hair in one long braid down the back. I'm not a fan of swim caps. I've found that even if I'm already wearing a braid that day, detangling and re-doing the braid is a good idea because it makes it easier to detangle after I'm done swimming.

When you shower before hitting the pool, soak your hair really well. The hair will absorb that water, and then not want to soak up the heavily chlorinated water from the pool.

After you get out of the pool, make sure to wash and condition your hair ASAP. Something about chlorine makes my hair want to mat, so I'm in the habit of running the conditioner over the length of my hair and then detangling with a good wide-tooth comb to work the conditioner in. This makes it much easier to get the tangles out.

One last thing - unless you enjoy walking around nude, remember to grab *two* towels before you hit the after-swim shower!

ole gray mare
September 25th, 2008, 08:36 AM
I wear a swim cap. It has a thirty minute attention span, and I swim for 40-45 minutes or so, so for the last ten I have to keep messing with it, which is super annoying. I put my hair in a high bun and just squeeze the whole thing over my head. It's tight, but it works pretty well. My nape hairs get wet, as well as some around my hairline, but that's all.

Yes, the cap looks dorky. But I'm not there to look at myself so I don't really care.

BTW, my hair is silver and loves to absorb everything, so I worry about the chlorine, but so far so good and I've been swimming twice weekly for about a month now.

I also use a bluing shampoo and conditioner every couple of weeks and that would work for blonde hair too.

September 25th, 2008, 08:59 AM
I just started swimming again myself and got a silicone swim cap, which, unfortunately, seems like it is too small for my head (huge head plus BSL hair) and kept sliding off.

Before swimming I got my hair wet, but not wet enough, and also put a 'coney' conditioner (Dove) in it. In retrospect this was probably not the best idea - I should have just gotten it wet. I washed it afterwards when I showered afterwards, and it felt fine, though my skin still felt chlorine-y.

If your hair is bleached a pool will turn it green, but there are 'swimmers shampoos' to help with this. My dark blonde hair on its own hasn't gone green from pools yet, though I am always wary.

For me a swim cap makes sense because otherwise my hair is all over the place, but I was the only person yesterday under the age of 60 wearing one. Still, I got hit on, so it can't be THAT ugly! :D

September 25th, 2008, 10:01 AM
I would definitely recommend a swim cap. I resisted at first when I was on swim team in high school, but I converted to using one after my hair would get tangled around my arms! I grab my wet hair at the nape of my neck and twist it and flip my head upside down the the tail is hanging off the top of my head. I put the cap on from the back and then tuck the tail along the edge of the cap. Make sure you towel dry the cap afterward and if you put baby powder in the cap it will last longer. Good luck with swimming!

Lady Verity
September 27th, 2008, 04:41 AM
Aah, I hadn't considered a swimming cap. I used to have to wear them for school swimming lessons, and they invariably tore out the little fine hairs from the nape of my neck. I would have thought rubber caps were damaging. I guess I'm wrong, though, if so many LHCers use them!

ole_grey_mare, the bluing shampoo idea is great! Lush do one called Daddyo for grey and light blonde hair, and I'd always wanted to give it a go.

Thank you all for your help and advice! :)

September 27th, 2008, 04:48 AM
I find a normal bun where you twist the hair as you do the bun is much better for detangling than a braid, personally. In a braid if I get my hair wet the only way to detangle it is by conditioning it, but if I get my hair wet in a bun I can just rinse it with fresh water and it is fine.