View Full Version : Swim hair?

June 14th, 2011, 01:05 PM
Summer is here! And that means more swimming, more heat, more damaged hair. I've been using argan oil in my hair, which I've heard is a natural sunblock for hair, so I'm not too worried when it comes to the hot sun.

What I'm really worried about is chlorine and salt. I know the best thing I can do is put a swim cap on, but, I don't know, I just can't wrap my head around the idea. I don't care how others think, but I'm just way too vain to cover my hair. This is no way an offense to those who wear swim caps. If anything I admire you for just doing it.

So what is the best alternative to swim caps? What is the best way I can protect my hair without having to bring the swim cap?

June 14th, 2011, 01:23 PM
Many people put oil or conditioner in their hair before going into the water to protect it from chlorine, but as a lifeguard and swim instructor I would recommend you don't do that. There is a reason people take showers before getting into the pool-oils, natural or not, clog up the pool drainage system and make the water overall very murky and gross. It can also mess with the chemical balance of the pool.
If you refuse to wear a swim cap, which I understand if you go swimming for recreational purposes, the best thing you can do that won't harm the pool water is to wet your hair with non-chlorinated water beforehand, and to rinse your hair with swimmers shampoo and regular conditioner afterwards. I also put oil in my hair afterwards, sometimes argan, sometimes jojoba. Wetting your hair beforehand prevents chlorine from destroying your hair somewhat, and rinsing afterwards washes away any that did happen to infiltrate your hair. With my experience with salt water, I would say washing afterwards is also important.

There are a lot of swimming/hair threads, if you search for them you'll get a variety of different answers. :)

June 14th, 2011, 01:27 PM
When I've gone to the beach or swimming in a pool I've usually drowned my hair in leave-in conditioner and whipped it into a braid like an hour before going to the pool/beach/where ever. That always tends to save my hair from damage, although to be honest it gets a little gross at the beach--very gunky feeling if I try to take it down while I'm there. As best as I can, I leave it braided until I get home to the shower and then CO wash like usual, maybe even adding a little sulfate-free shampoo.

If a basic braid doesn't suit you, try a fishtail. I did a messy one and my friends couldn't stop commenting on it when we hit the beach two weeks ago. They're so easy and yet so summery looking.

June 14th, 2011, 01:27 PM
From now on I'm going to start using oil in my hair (or my hair cream) and soaking my hair is pure water before jumping in the pool. The lake might be harder because there's not much pure water there except the drinking water we take... But at the very least I get my hair soaking wet with pure water. And make sure to wash hair afterwards and use an oil or cream or leave in or all three. lol I usually make up for the damage by being extra good to my hair afterwards.

June 14th, 2011, 01:28 PM
I don't like to wear a swim cap either. To protect the hair I usually don't swim with it loose so I put it in a bun. I also try to wash it soon after the swim to get any chlorine or salt water out of it. I'll usually do a heavy conditioning to help remoisturize it as well. I've also heard of oiling the hair right before a swim.

June 15th, 2011, 12:33 PM
If anyone has experience with this it's me :) I am in high school and on the swim team. Believe me, a swim cap won't keep your hair from getting wet once you go under water. I reccomend soaking your hair in the shower or sink before you swim that way your hair won't soak up the chlorine. after you swim, make sure to rinse your hair super well, thats all you need to do.

June 16th, 2011, 07:07 AM
bath full of coconutoil/oliveoil.
i also just found out this page : http://curlychic.com/8-tips-to-protecting-your-naturally-curlyhair-while-swimming/

June 16th, 2011, 09:20 AM
Not that my hair is exactly the picture of health (read~ naturally curly/wavy, colored like 14 times in the last 4 months, blowdried straight on a regular basis), but I am a pool manager/swim linstructor as well and I swim nearly 2 miles a day. All I have to say is, pool chemical balance or not, I ALWAYS coat my hair in a good conitioner and then french braid before I get in. Then I rinse really really well in the shower afterward, then layer on a protein-rich condish and a moisturizing condish. I clip it up full of conditioner and leave for at least an hour before i rinse it out. This routine seems to work for me, and I ahve grown out over 5 inches in less than 8 months. Good luck! :)