View Full Version : How to prepare hair for swimming pool

September 10th, 2011, 02:12 PM
I'm signing up to go swimming every Saturday with a friend and my swimming cap lets water through (it's the only one I feel comfortable with so I'm not changing it) but I'm worried on the affect chlorine might take on my hair since my hair will be exposed to it on a weekly basis.

So what do I need to do before, (maybe during) and after swimming to protect and prepare my hair to prevent damage or anything bad from the chlorine? Or is it not even that damaging?

September 10th, 2011, 02:14 PM
making it wet beforehand makes that the hair does not take up as much chlorine water.
you can also put coconut oil in it and braid it.

September 10th, 2011, 02:18 PM
Oh, it's damaging (former crispy green-haired lifeguard speaking here).
Wet your hair, squeeze-towel it so it's not dripping, oil it up, braid, cap. A swimmer's shampoo or chelating shampoo will get the ick out too.

September 10th, 2011, 02:21 PM
Chlorine is, sadly, very damaging. That doesn't stop me from swimming in a chlorinated pool once/twice a week. :D There are things you can do. What I do is very heavily oil my hair, and braid it. When you have your pre-pool shower, get your hair completely saturated, that way it'll absorb less chlorinated water. When you've done your swim, rinse the chlorine out as best you can, get to a shower (I wait until I get home, since the showers at the pool I go to are all unadjustable and really, really hot.) Unbraid your hair (don't attempt to detangle it yet), and use your wash method of choice. Some people use a club soda rinse first to chelate the mineral build-up from the hair, I'm lazy and just use chelating shampoo when I clarify now and then. Whatever you do, break out your favourite heavy conditioners, and do deep moisture treatments often.

Alternatively, some people coat their hair in conditioner, and use a swim cap. I feel unattractive enough in a swimsuit without a swim cap, so I don't do that, but it could be an option for you. It sounds like you have a lycra swim cap? They make you more streamlined but don't really do anything to keep water out. I've heard of some people 'double-capping' with a lycra one against the hair, and a silicone one on top. This still won't keep your hair completely dry if you're a vigorous swimmer, but it will minimise the exposure if you wanted to try it. :)

September 10th, 2011, 02:36 PM
Wow thank you so much for those tips pepperminttea!!!!! And yes, I have a lycra swimming cap because I always seem to destroy any other types (sharp nails+unladylike lack of gentlenes=silicone swimming caps beware!) but I will try double capping if I in fact, become a vigorous swimmer :)

I've never heard of a chelating shampoo, care to point out a few? And I thought that using conditioner or oil before would make the swimming cap slip off but I'll give it a try.

September 10th, 2011, 02:47 PM
Ah, see, you have a good excuse for destroying swimcaps. I just have a giant head. :p Conditioner or oil will definitely make cap-wearing trickier, but some people have mastered the art, so I'm sure it can be done. :D

Chelating shampoos are often labelled as 'swimmer's shampoos' or similar. I admit my knowledge of readily available UK chelating shampoos is non-existent, I special ordered an American one online (Joico Chelating on Amazon - the price is extortionate, but it is at least a 1lt bottle). There's more info on chelating here (http://www.untamedtresses.com/long-hair-care-2/chelating-maybe-you-dont-need-trim-2349/) though. :)

September 10th, 2011, 03:20 PM
I oil mine heavily before and put it in a ponytail with ties every 2 inches down the length (swim caps irritate me). Afterwards, use a clarifying shampoo and condition well.

September 10th, 2011, 03:47 PM
I have a pool in my yard, so I am in it quite a bit during the summer. I hate swim caps with a burning passion, so I have developed a routine that I think works okay: I thickly coat my ends with coconut oil, and apply a bit to my length, then put it in two low ponies. I braid them both and tie it off. That way the hair is contained and somewhat protected, and it's easy to let down as well.

To get the chlorine out I CO wash right after swimming, instead of my usual WO.

September 11th, 2011, 09:48 AM
I'm planning on starting swimming regularly again after some years of pool-abandonment, so looking for good ideas here!

On the subject of lots of hair and swimming caps though, i do have a special long-hair cap- no idea where it was bought, as my swimming coach got it for me since there was no way I was cutting my hair, and regular ones just kept slipping off! I know it's made by speedo though.

December 27th, 2017, 08:31 AM
The wetting your hair before you go into the pool thing seems so simple yet I have never thought to do it before!!! I know a lot of pools have showers by them I thought that was just for rinsing off after. I am going on vacation in a few months and plan on going swimming a lot and I will now be wetting my hair before going into the water. Also I am going to try French braiding pigtails to keep it all contained. I love swimming with your hair down it feels all mermaid-ish.. but then the tangles are such a pain to comb out. I hope this will make my vacation much better! Thank you the tips.