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View Full Version : Dealing with your hair in extreme conditions (pool/beach/lake...)



j4zzin
March 13th, 2008, 02:22 PM
With summer around the corner, I think this thread would be a good idea for those active long-haired folks out there who spend their summer months outdoors.

What do you do with your hair when you're going to be in extreme conditions? How do you deal with the sun, salt, chlorine, dirt, sand, scum, sweat, and wind associated with summer activities? What preventative measures do you take, and how do you treat your hair after exposure to the elements?

Neon Gloss
March 13th, 2008, 02:53 PM
This may not be too helpful, but I'll mention it anyway: I believe that wearing your hair up is key. It just seems to make sense to me. The sweat running down your back won't get all over your hair, the wind won't blow it everywhere (don't you hate when it sticks to your lips?), and sand has a lesser chance of getting in your hair--that is, if your hair drags all over the place.

And don't forget about hats... As horrid as some may look, it's important to wear hats when you're always in the sun. I believe that there is some sort of sunscreen for your hair, and I don't doubt it!

I know people who keep their hair in a bun when they're in the pool so that their hair won't get sucked in the filter. :P

As for salt and chlorine, well... I'm not sure.

lora410
March 13th, 2008, 02:56 PM
Neon gloss hit right on all the great points. Also I think if I go swimming I am going to coat it with oil and then throw it in a bun. that way the oil will act as a waterproofing against chlorine and salt or at least slow it down from getting to my hair.

OhioLisa
March 13th, 2008, 02:59 PM
Before you plan on going swimming, you should coat your hair in oil (I use coconut) or conditioner. That way, you will minimize the amount of harsh water your hair will absorb. Then just bun it and swim away! :) Actually, it's almost like a hot oil treatment when you look at it that way. In the evening, I always wash mine, but some CO to get everything out. Just keep it moistened with good things and keep it contained, and you should be good to go.

Just to add, I did this pretty much every day last summer (including washing it out every night) and my hair didn't suffer any negative effects.

suicides_eve
March 13th, 2008, 03:03 PM
some hair products now contain a sun block to help against the uva/uvb rays i see them mostly this time of year advertised on tv an magazines.

i personally always wore a dark colored bandana or my cowboy hat(:cheese: yes they are still in style around here)

Kirin
March 13th, 2008, 03:07 PM
Though oiling or thick leave in's are in theory a great idea for swimming, if that swimming is in a pool, the pool owner will not like it. Oils, leave in conditioners, even hairsprays and gels can wreak utter havoc on pool systems.

For a pool the only thing i can recommend thats good for your hair, and the pool, is keeping it up and out of the water. Not always practical though

domonic_uk
March 13th, 2008, 03:14 PM
I started swimming in hampstead ponds to avoid the chlorine in the swimming baths, a bit extreme I know. all though it is quite funny to share it with ducks. They normally keep away from you but once a duck swam to me I have brown hair similar to them so it must have thought I was one of them until it realized I wasn't and swam away.

Anje
March 13th, 2008, 03:18 PM
Chlorine is one of the reasons why I prefer swimming in lakes to pools. (The other is that pools tend to be WAY overheated for my taste, where anything over about 78F is too warm to swim in.) Hair up and if necessary, greased, is a great way to keep it happy through the summer.

Incidentally, sweat and most other day-to-day grime rinse right out with water. So no need to shampoo more just because you're out enjoying the weather and getting sweaty.

alys
March 13th, 2008, 03:51 PM
I live on the beach and have to take extra care during the 8 months of summer we have here. Before going in any water, I wet my hair, (dampen is more appropriate), and coat it with conditioner. After an hour or so on the boat or on the beach, I find a shower, (or bottle of water), and start the process over again. I also try very hard never to put my head in chlorine. Yuck. There was a period years that I DID NOT do this during my outdoor activities and my hair was like straw. It really makes a difference to saturate your hair with fresh clean water and conditioner...even if you dont have condish just wetting the hair with fresh water makes a difference.

Lixie
March 13th, 2008, 04:15 PM
Consider putting your hair up and covering it with a scarf if you're going to the beach. I've found that getting sand in you hair make tangles much, much harder to get out.

Gemma
March 14th, 2008, 07:11 AM
Now that my hair is long enough to fuss over, I'm planning on oiling my hair before going anywhere near water, and wearing headscarves and hats when I'm in direct sunlight.

I also really like to pack a bottle or two of shampoo/conditioner designed to remove chlorine. I used to swim a lot, and these really do work for stripping your hair of that nastiness.

I'll probably deep condition once a week, too, to keep my hair happy.

ilovelonghair
March 14th, 2008, 09:51 AM
I only swim in the sea or in lakes, we have a tea tree lake and the oil in the lake is actually good for your hair!
When I swim in the sea I try not to wet my hair, or I put in condishener to protect it.

enfys
March 14th, 2008, 05:13 PM
Will anyone mock me if I say I put off learning to swim because of the chlorine? I also have a dyed pink streak in my hair, so I get really scared at the thought of chlorine. I know chemical dyes are terrible, but if anyone can give me tips on how to prtect that as well as my normal hair that'd be ace. And if I don't drown you can say you helped save a life!

khyricat
March 14th, 2008, 09:11 PM
I wear it up and keep it well moistened/misted, and when in the sun wear a hat to cover it.

auntdaisy
March 15th, 2008, 01:31 PM
Though oiling or thick leave in's are in theory a great idea for swimming, if that swimming is in a pool, the pool owner will not like it. Oils, leave in conditioners, even hairsprays and gels can wreak utter havoc on pool systems.

For a pool the only thing i can recommend thats good for your hair, and the pool, is keeping it up and out of the water. Not always practical though

We have a pool, and I cannot imagine my husband's reaction to excessive oil in the pool from me protecting my hair....still looking for a better option.

rubyredslippers
March 16th, 2008, 03:41 AM
I might be getting a summer job where daily chlorine is an issue, and this is very interesting to me. I don't want to hinder my growth or damage my hair . . .

I remember my grandma using bathing caps, always. What about these caps? How damaging are they?

Anlbe
March 16th, 2008, 04:46 AM
I've used Vitapointe Conditioner to protect my hair in the sea and pool since I was a child, my mother always insisted. It's not really greasy and I find that under a cap can be used in private pools (the oil slick effect is not generally appreciated!)

As for chlorine my body really dislikes it. If I bathe more than one a week in pools with medium to high levels of chlorine I sting all over and get excema behind my ears and on the back of my neck - ick ick ick.

florenonite
March 16th, 2008, 05:38 AM
I've used Vitapointe Conditioner to protect my hair in the sea and pool since I was a child, my mother always insisted. It's not really greasy and I find that under a cap can be used in private pools (the oil slick effect is not generally appreciated!)

As for chlorine my body really dislikes it. If I bathe more than one a week in pools with medium to high levels of chlorine I sting all over and get excema behind my ears and on the back of my neck - ick ick ick.

This happens to me (though not as badly) ... and I worked at a pool last summer.

Anlbe
March 16th, 2008, 05:46 AM
Poor you, and it always such a dampner on what is otherwise a very fun experience - especially if one's with friends or family.

addikted
March 16th, 2008, 07:36 AM
When I know I will be spending a long time in the sun, I use a product called Voile Protecteur by Kerastase. Its pretty pricy at $34 for 100ml but it claims to provide UV protection for my hair.

As for the beach and swimming, as I am not a big fan of it, if I do get in the water, I try to keep my head above the water. Yeah, I know, sound totally daft. Oh yes, I also heavily oil it and put my hair in a swim cap so none of it gets wet.

Jeep Girl
March 16th, 2008, 08:05 AM
oooooh! I am going to be faced with this in a month or so. My DH wants to go jeeping & camping at Cape Lookout National Seashore. There aren't any facilities or fresh water available except maybe at either end of the seashore, so we will have to bring our own fresh water - most of which will go to drinking and cooking. Haircare is definitely on the bottom of the priority list. I am digging out my Buffs and hair elastics. I am thinking braids or "biker" ponies (a pony with elastics spaced every inch or so). I am still pondering how to detangle my sand/dust filled hair each morning since I won't be able to do it in a shower. (I like the coat your hair with conditioner idea, but I think after a couple of days it will be rather muddy and gummy).

KiwiLiz
March 16th, 2008, 08:15 AM
I don't swim in pools much, but when I used to at school (bleh) we all had to wear swimming caps (my school had a strict dress code, we HAD to swim for P.E but we we're absolutely not allowed to have wet hair, and they didn't seem to understand that swimming caps don't keep your hair completely dry *rolls eyes*) they did keep most of my hair dry. If I still swam in chlorinated pools I'd probably oil my hair and then maybe put it in a cap (not a sexy look, just as well I don't swim much!)

When I'm at the beach or swimming in fresh water I just put it in a tight french braid to stop it from tangling, only undo that when I'm about to take and shower and then I condition the hell out it.

I'm not really an outdoor person, but it gets pretty hot here -40 degrees C tomorrow, you can't help but get very sweaty... so I always keep my hair up on hot days, or if I know I'm going to be doing something that will work up a sweat, I don't know that sweat is bad for your hair... but I guess it might flake when it dries in your hair? It just feels better off my neck and back any way.

Beesweet
March 16th, 2008, 10:57 PM
We surf. Daughters and I SOAK hair in coconut oil, then braid, then cover with bandana.

Keep the hair up, slathered, and then wash out salt water asap. All is well.

MadPirateBippy
March 17th, 2008, 01:40 AM
I'm learning to crown braid, but my major sport is bicycling, followed by swimming (I wear a cap when swimming if at all possible).

I think keeping it up and protected is my best bet, and I have a helmet one size too big for me with my hair down that I wore with my dreadlocks, which should work fine with a crown braid. It's also good because most damage is done in accidents to the sides of your head, where the braid can help protect a bit, instead of the top of the head, which the helmet tests are designed to test, and thus, the standard the helmets are designed to tends to not fit the reality of bicycle related head trauma as well as one might hope

I just hope, if anything ever happens, they don't cut off big locks of my hair to get to my skull but have the time to unbraid it. Vain, for sure, and if it's a choice between shaving my head and loosing me, I'm all for the shaved head (I've done it before, I can grow out from shaved again), but it would suck a lot more.

lilla
March 25th, 2008, 11:25 PM
I was swimming almost daily with conditioner in my hair under a swim cap. Today, after reading this thread, I tried coconut oil. It was way better. I notice an improvement already. I swim at a university gym pool, so I am not too concerned about the maintenance. Thanks again for the advice, oil is definately the way to go.

ajr
March 25th, 2008, 11:36 PM
I'm obsessed with the water so I'm sure my hairs condition goes down a bit but it's well worth it. I always swim with my hair down, love the mermaid feeling =). But before I swim in pools usually i'll get it soaking wet with clean water and maybe oil the ends. Rinsing off the chlorine as soon as you get out also helps.