View Full Version : Swimming...

June 22nd, 2008, 03:37 PM
Well I desperately need to loose weight and as I am currently motivated I am seriously considering going swimming. I dont have a silicone swimming cap and cant afford to order from online atm. Should I risk a normal one bought from the baths themselves? If so any tips for getting it on my head?

I will probably oil heavily with coconut oil before going in the pool. Then clarify afterwards and then wash normally (Shampoobar followed by ACV rinse)

Any tips or advice?

June 22nd, 2008, 04:04 PM
Some people wear normal latex swim caps to great success, and until a few years ago that was really all there was available to normal consumers. You might as well try one bought there, but look around. There may even be silicone ones available at the baths -- they're getting quite common here in the US.

Wet your hair down with fresh water before you do anything else. That way it won't absorb as much pool water. Coconut oil might be iffy with latex (since oil isn't recommended with other applications for latex [wink, wink, nudge, nudge]) if you want to keep the cap for a long time.

The best way I know to get a swim cap on your head is to get someone else to do it. In that case, you can hold the front of the cap at your forehead and bend over, while they stretch it over your head to your neck with two hands. A lifeguard might be a good person to ask for help, as they're likely to have experience with caps, but you can be bold and ask anyone. If you have to do it yourself, it's usually easiest to reverse the process, catching the back of the cap at the nape of your neck, then stretching it to your forehead. Tuck in escaped hair afterward.

June 23rd, 2008, 04:34 AM
Thanks :) I will try a normal latex one then. Maybe they will have silicone ones but not likely. I can only try though!! :)

Caldonia Sun
June 23rd, 2008, 06:39 AM
I never had much success with latex caps keeping my hair dry. So now, I just wet first, oil heavily and bun. I rinse in the showers at the pool and then wash when I get home.

June 23rd, 2008, 09:25 AM
I used to do water aerobics and even though the cap did not keep my hair dry it kept the chlorinated water from moving around and rinsing the oil off my hair. I have used coconut oil and cholesterol, both with success. The tricks I found. Oil your hair AND the inside of the cap so you hair does not catch on it. Find a cap with strings to tie under your chin. And to put it on, either by yourself or with help, turn it inside out and fill it up to the stretching point with water. Hold it on top of you head and quckly pull down. It is wet and awkward but does not pull on your hair as much.

June 23rd, 2008, 09:26 AM
Oh, and you might try Aveda Shampure if you can find it. That was what I had the best luck in washing the chlorine gently out of my hair. I never like it otherwise, but fresh out of the pool, my hair really likes it.

June 23rd, 2008, 11:06 AM
I would go with Silicon. Its not worth the damage that the others can do.

June 23rd, 2008, 11:32 AM
I never had much success with latex caps keeping my hair dry.

Caps aren't made to keep hair dry, they're made to keep hair out of your mouth and eyes while swimming.

While on the varisty swimteam I loved my silicone cap since they tear less than latex ones, but for meets we had to wear the team latex caps.

I suggest putting baby powder in the cap before putting it on for the first time, it'll help it slide over your hair a bit more easily. If you do a search on swim caps, there is another recent thread explaining how to get them on.

heidi w.
June 23rd, 2008, 04:02 PM
I have a link about swim caps and hair care, but apparently the server is down on maintenance. I hope it won't last long. I'll look again later this week to see I can find it for you. I found the old bubble style swim cap for something like $13 for two. I have tried the more modern latex (or is it silicone) swim caps.

Frankly, the bubble caps work the best keeping the bulk of the hair dry.

All caps have seepage though, typically around the hair line.

The more modern, thin, latex (or silicone? -- actually I think they're "lycra") caps are intended to just contain hair, yet they do very little for keeping it dry, I found. The whole head pretty much got wet. (Think a weird kind of stacked head of hair as I bundled up calf length hair in there, so it looked like a stretched thing. :scared: giant blue head! LOL) I think the containment of hair is twofold (1) the pool people don't like floating hair bits in the water and pumps (2) many serious swimmers like speed, and a smoother head is a little more like a bullet in the water, and it keeps hair out of eyes and mouth and all, and avoids tangles for those with any length.

One time I was at the gym and an elderly woman was putting on her lycra cap and in pulling it down it simply tore and split. (That's how thin these caps are.) I happened to have a new one, a second that I had no intention of using, so I gave it to her so she could swim that day.

To my knowledge clarifying doesn't necessarily remove chlorine that has made its way into the cortex of one's hair. Clarifying is for removing what's on the surface of strands, on top of the cuticle layer. Therefore, it may not be necessary to do this procedure each and every time you swim.

Swimming does tend to make for dry hair because of the chlorine. Capping helps significantly, especially with the right cap. Wetting the hair before swimming means the hair is already swelled with water and as much as it can handle, and this is not a bad idea to try. (That's the theory anyway.)

The bubble cap only seeped at the hairline all round (I did swim face down in water and backstroke.) a little bit. But the rest of the head remained pretty dry because this type of cap is quite thick. As the website explained, the seepage on this style of cap is a somewhat new phenomena because the snaps for the chin strap (which I don't use) were inside set along the edge of the cap. In days of yore, this was not the case, so the seal was a lot better. But these older caps may be impossible to come by except perhaps on eBay (there are those who collect swim caps!). You might find a Buy It Now for pennies.

There are shampoos intended for those who swim a lot, and you might look into that. These are expensive. Usually labeled swimmer's shampoo. They tend to be a little drying but they work. They are more like a chelate (as opposed to clarifying) shampoo treating the cortex a bit more.

I don't also know that ACV Rinse is necessary each time you swim either. The ACV Rinse as you likely already know is not a clarifying act (for anything already dried on the hair although it can remove what was placed on the strands when the hair just got wet, but I don't believe chlorine is one of the agents removed, per se).

Your description of your plan for hair care sounds good in that you plan to cap, wash the hair to do your best to remove chlorine, but the one detail missing that I think is VITAL when planning to swim a lot is CONDITIONING the hair. Perhaps you plan on this and just forgot to mention it. Each time you wash your hair, each time you swim, condition to offset the drying tendency of chlorine. Washing is important to so that as much chlorine as possible can be removed.

The risk factor to your hair in swimming is the exposure to chlorine, therefore inciting the need to wash frequently. These 2 things alone can cause dryness. Then you planned on clarifying somehow each time, which is a drying action to the hair if not accompanied by strong conditioning. This would then (I am speaking of without conditioning) a very drying scenario (for review, swim (chlorine), clarify hair wash, then ACV Rinse). You may end up believing the ACV Rinse is problematic, if you don't condition. But it's not. It's the whole of it combined.

SO I would recommend yes, cap -- best with "bubble" cap. (OH, I tried a variety of plastics under the cap and the cap just kinda slid up more, so that didn't work out, and one needs a very thick, tough plastic (more like a visquine, sp? versus a plastic bag from the grocery store to carry goods in, or a produce plastic bag) to make this idea more effective, I suspect.

Then hair wash using perhaps a swimmer's shampoo, and CONDITION heavily. Once per week I would add a heavy conditioning session, and think about oiling the hair length if you usually do that.

When you cap the hair, pile the hair high on top of the head, not the back of the head, more in the crown area (which is located at the back end of the top of the head, right around the curve of the top of the head), and this lump will remain fairly dry. Don't just stuff and pile; try to be neat about it to avoid tangles. It will remain more dry the thicker the cap, too. Spending the money when you have it for a thicker cap is very, very worth it.

I hope these suggestions help you out. I love swimming but with all this hair, it becomes a little less fun in chlorinated water. But I have succeeded in the past swimmingly! :p

This is the cap I'm speaking of and highly recommend. Bubble Cap
Note the price (it's cheaper than in a shop locally, I bet -- meaning even comparing to a latex or lycra or whatever cap you would find local to you), and even with shipping. I bought 2 in case I lost one, or it tore or something. Things always hapen and I like to plan for the eventualities of life. Then I don't have to panic if my one and only screws up somehow, or worse, I screw up somehow.

This is a lycra cap and not the style I recommend.

heidi w.

June 24th, 2008, 11:39 AM
Heidi, for the record, lycra is fabric, latex is the thinnest type, think of a balloon, and silicone is similar to latex, but a bit thicker.

So the last link you have is to a silicone cap, as it says, not a lycra one. Hope this helps you.

June 24th, 2008, 01:06 PM
I've always heard (and personally found) that the easiest way to keep chlorine out of the hair is to take a shower before you get in the pool and get the hair totally wet. Once the hair has absorbed all that water, it won't pick up too much chlorine from the pool. I've only used a swim cap a few times; I really hated them. Now I always go for one long braid down the back.

Many, if not most, public pools will NOT thank you for putting oil or conditioner in your hair right before you jump in - in fact, they will state explicitly in the rules that you are not to do such a thing. Think about it - do you want to swim around in mystery gunk from other peoples' hair?

June 24th, 2008, 01:56 PM
Before swimming, wet it in the shower and put a coating of a thin conditioner on it. Then bun your hair, if long enough the figure-8 bun works best, a bit higher than usual. The water and conditioner will hold it in place long enough to get your cap on. The silicone caps do work the best. You don't need a helper, just a little practice. Once my hair is ready and I have rinsed the cap in the shower also, you can pull your cap on. Cover the bun first and then stretch the cap and slide it over the rest of the head. The figure 8 bun also works nicely to keep your goggle straps from slipping.

UltraSwim Shampoo and Conditioner work wonders. Like Heidi said, you don't want to clarify, you want to de-chlorinate. I don't find it drying at all. After years of coaching it always amazes me that little blonds will think it's fun to let their hair turn green all summer, but moms suddenly want it fixed before school starts in the fall. What I have found works well is simply getting a bottle of aquarium drops. A few drops in a bucket of water, soak your hair, and the chlorine dissipates. When I have spent too much time in the pool and my hair, skin, car, bed, etc. all start smelling like chlorine, I will take a bath with the aquarium dropps added in.

Hope that helps.

Caldonia Sun
June 24th, 2008, 02:21 PM
I Think about it - do you want to swim around in mystery gunk from other peoples' hair?

I compare it to others who slather on tanning oils.

June 24th, 2008, 02:25 PM
Thanks for the advice. I never thought of a bubble cap- I had one as a kid but it would never stay on my head. Thinking back I was only 5 so I guess it was mostly likely adult size- hence the not staying on! LOL!!! I'll have to try trial and error I think!!

June 24th, 2008, 02:34 PM
I swim a few mornings a week and discovered that the latex and silicone caps BOTH caused damage to the hairs at the nape of my neck. Bad, bad swim caps. I tried a lycra one...same thing. Broken hairs. My solution now is cumbersome, but it keeps my hair contained and my goggles from having major slippage.

I thoroughly wet my hair in the shower, slather on a good, thick conditioner then cover my head with a buff. THEN I put on a lycra swim cap over the buff (so the cap doesn't touch my hair. Goggles over the top, and it works great. No more breakage.

I make sure I get all the conditioner out of my hair after swimming, and then condition again, and oil the length while it's all still pretty wet. So far, so good.

June 24th, 2008, 04:21 PM
What is a buff?

June 24th, 2008, 06:04 PM
where I go swimming a lady just wears her hair up in a baseball cap. I just rinse my hair before and shampoo with 'Swim' shampoo from boots, though I dont really get my hair wet.

June 24th, 2008, 06:52 PM
This is a buff: http://www.buffwear.com/

I can't believe I hadn't thought of wearing it at the pool! Thanks Islandgrrl!

heidi w.
June 27th, 2008, 08:09 AM
I get the lycra and silicone confused. It's easy to do. All I know is they're both rather thin, and they both do not keep hair from getting wet. I have all style of caps, and the bubble cap I describe and linked an image of does a fairly reasonable job of keeping the bulk of my hair dry.

heidi w.