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iSuperHeroic
March 14th, 2012, 10:37 AM
(Sorry, tell me if this is the incorrect place to post this and I'll remove it immediately.)

So my parents are making me join the swim team. I wouldn't really have an issue with this if practice wasn't 3 days in a row-Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

I don't know how I'm going to keep my hair healthy and safe when it won't have a day to get a break from all the chlorine.

I'm thinking about deep conditioning it every day I swim, but I'm not too sure because my hair is very thin and fine and gets greasy easily. I was wondering how some of y'all protect your hair from the chemicals.


Any help is much appreciated! Thank you!

EDIT: I don't know if I need to mention this, but just in case: My hair is barely shoulder length, so I don't have much to take care of like some do.

Still have a lot of growing to do, unfortunately.

Toadstool
March 14th, 2012, 10:40 AM
Hi iSuperHeroic!
I've just started swimming again and i have short hair but would still like to know how to protect it too.
There's something called chelating shampoo which might be for swimming. If it is, does anyone know where I can get a cruelty-free brand?

iSuperHeroic
March 14th, 2012, 10:55 AM
Hi iSuperHeroic!
I've just started swimming again and i have short hair but would still like to know how to protect it too.
There's something called chelating shampoo which might be for swimming. If it is, does anyone know where I can get a cruelty-free brand?

Haha, I'm glad I'm not the only swimmer here!
This is the first time I've actually cared about my hair and now I'm absolutely dreading swim practice.

papera
March 14th, 2012, 12:37 PM
I wouldn't call myself a swimmer, but I know from other hair forums that swimmers usually oil their hair before swimming, or put a deep conditioning mask on it and then just rinse the hair with water after the swim to remove the chlorine ...
Dunno how that'll work with fine hair though, guess you would need to try that ... but I could imagine that deep moisturizing mask might be better than oil for fine hair.

Good luck for finding the right method for you!

Kyla
March 14th, 2012, 12:47 PM
Hey there. :) I'm a lifeguard and a swim instructor, and often times have to be in the water five days in a row in the Summer. Here are some basic tips. Number one, a swim cap is a MUST. Your coach will probably make you wear one anyway for speed, but they also protect the hair from the chlorinated water. Always rinse your hair in the shower before putting our cap on, as the fresh water also helps protect against the chlorine. Some people also oil their hair or leave in conditioner before getting in the water; if you do this you once again must wear a swim cap. Going into the water with hair full of product will assist in messing up the chemical levels, make the water cloudy and gross, etc. I've seen it a lot.
If your hair is fine and gets oily easily, you may have to shampoo every time afterwards as well. When I'm in the water a lot, sometimes I just CO, but my hair doesn't get greasy that easily .Some people use Ultraswim as a shampoo, which helps get chlorine out, but I use just any shampoo since the cap/product protects you anyway. Also, condition after each swim, obviously. You may not have to do deep conditioning, but it may be a good idea to give your length a light coat of oil or other product as well.

Other people have different techniques for doing this, this has just been my personal experience and opinion. :) Good luck on swim team, and your hair.

Anje
March 14th, 2012, 12:54 PM
Former swim-team person here. I wasn't really long-haired at the time, but I know my hair didn't end up that damaged despite being in the pool 6 days a week.

1) Wet your hair down before you swim. Don't even bother trying to keep it dry. Your hair will be better off if you wet it in the shower rather than with pool water. It'll absorb some water, after all, so it might as well not be the chlorinated stuff. I'd recommend putting your hair up first before you wet it, for simplicity.

2) Wear a swim cap. Silicone ones stretch better than the latex ones, which is good when your hair is bulky. Latex ones gave me headaches because they were too tight, so I reserved them solely for meets. If you use conditioner or oil on your hair, don't expect a latex cap to last long. (I never bothered, and it seems like putting either on the hair would just make the cap slide off more readily.)

3) Rinse your hair afterward, even if you're feeling too lazy to wash it. (I often was.) CO washing is probably wise, but don't be afraid to get a chelating swimmer's shampoo and use it occasionally to keep the pool minerals from building up too much.

Not hair-related:
4) Get separate swim meet suit and keep it separate. Your regular suit will weaken significantly over the course of the season. The next season, get a new meet suit. Swim in your old meet suit, and put the old stretched one on over the top of that. Tie knots in it to use to increase your drag in the water.

5) For big meets with lots of heats, you can write down your races on your thigh with Sharpie. It'll scrub right off at the end of the day.

pepperminttea
March 14th, 2012, 01:51 PM
Anje gave you some brilliant advice. :) There's a great article here (http://www.untamedtresses.com/content/78-mermaid-care-swimmer-s-hair.html) too.

I swim twice a week, I usually heavily oil my hair (coconut or extra virgin olive oil), braid it, and then saturate with water as much as I can in the showers just before I get into the pool. I've tried caps, but my head is quite large, even without taking my hair into account, and I've never managed to find one that was comfortable. I don't necessarily wash it straight away, but always spend a few minutes afterwards rinsing it; it really helps. :) I normally CO wash afterwards, and use a chelating shampoo now and then just to zap the build-up.

Teao_the_cat
March 14th, 2012, 02:03 PM
You can get special long-hair swim caps. I've got one made by speedo- my old swim instructor got me it after every other cap fell off after about two minutes because of my long hair! They've got more space in the top to fit a bun in.

UltraBella
March 14th, 2012, 02:49 PM
My daughter is a competitive swimmer, her practices are 15 hours per week - she is in the pool three hours a night, Monday through Friday. Her hair is beautiful and getting close to waist length. She always wets her hair down before putting her cap on and she always showers after getting out of the pool. She uses shampoo twice a week, a gentle clarifying one, the other days she just "shampoos" with conditioner.
Deep moisturizing treatments help and every so often she uses Joico chelating shampoo to remove minerals and then she uses their K-Pak protein conditioner, it makes her hair look amazing.

Lotion will be your friend, the chlorine really dries out your skin. Keep a good lotion in your swim bag. Always have a spare pair of goggles, they like to break at very inconvenient times !!

heidi w.
March 14th, 2012, 02:59 PM
I look a sight when I go swimming because I MUST wear a thick, kind of old-fashioned bathing cap. I can't wear one of those thinner, modern bathing caps as they don't protect the hair and the latex is so sheer that putting the cap on, I often tear the cap trying to get it over my hair.

I do heavily oil my hair prior to taking a dip, and will often fully wet the hair in the shower, then pile it up under the cap.

I ALWAYS wash my hair after swimming. ALWAYS. And I ALWAYS condition my hair length, too.

You might need to think of a swimmer's shampoo which is a bit drying because it kind of gets rid of chlorine out of the hair.

The kind of cap that I wear is not in style at all, nor is it useful for speedier swims when swimming laps. It's entirely unpopular to wear, and in fact, may not work effectively for the goals of a swim team.

AND worse yet, I can't see without my glasses. So I have to wear my glasses when I go swimming. I have some contacts, but these are ancient and I can't see with them. This, then, limits the kinds of strokes I can do in the pool. People really stare at my in the pool. But I see so badly that if I misplace my glasses, I have to have someone help me find them. Thankfully, I have my habits regarding glasses, and I do not misplace them. Without them, I'd fall down the stairs in an emergency!!

LOL

Have fun swimming.

heidi w.

heidi w.
March 14th, 2012, 03:04 PM
This advertises long hair swimcaps for swimmers. No idea of how long of hair they are thinking of. No idea if they work well or not.

Also, buy a great pair of goggles. Try to find a kind that doesn't fog.

http://www.swimoutlet.com/product_p/3620.htm


Here are the heavy-duty, old school type of swimcaps.
http://www.headcovers.com/swim-caps/swim-caps/

The kind I wear. Now you can begin to see why people stare at me. All this hair piled looks a bit like "conehead!" LOL


heidi w.

Anje
March 14th, 2012, 03:26 PM
Oh, try on goggles.

Seriously, go to a sports store without makeup on and try pairs until you find one that sticks in your eye socket comfortably and stays stuck for a while. What's popular might not necessarily fit your face, and you want something comfortable and unlikely to leak for YOU. I like the ones with a folded plasticy gasket; ones with foam and those "socket rockets" don't keep water out for me. You will want a pair with a split or double strap -- one side goes above your crown, one goes below your crown. That goes a long way toward preventing them from getting ripped off when you dive in the water (though you'll just have to keep going if they come off when you race, and sooner or later that will happen).

ETA: To keep them from fogging: When they're dry, spit in them. Swirl it around with your finger. Dunk in the pool once to rinse out the excess spit, then put them on.

Glacier
March 14th, 2012, 03:49 PM
I plan on starting swimming soon, so it's great to read all this advice :) I'll be getting a swimming cap

truepeacenik
March 14th, 2012, 04:05 PM
I want to echo some comments on oiling. Each additive works the pump system harder.
This is bad for the mechanical system, and results in some excess chemicals in pools.

Given this, the pool I use most disallows any oils. Clients shower before their session to keep skin oils and leave in conditioners out of the pool.

I typically saturate my hair and co wash after sessions or classes.

From reviews on the silicone cap Heidi posted, I'd say it is worth a try.
For my use, the turban on her second link looks intriguing.

Toadstool
March 14th, 2012, 04:09 PM
Heidi W, did you know you can get prescription swimming goggles? They're quite cheap over here - about £30 I believe. I know that's still a lot of money to find when you don't have much, but it might be worth a thought.

ktani
March 14th, 2012, 04:14 PM
This article may help, http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=115

I agree that product in advance in any quantity can be bad for pools.

As I say, I think club soda is a great way to approach this. It can remove the chlorine smell from skin too, by neutralizing it.

ETA: It is easy to take with you and just rinse yourself and your hair at the end and you can soak your hair with it too, in advance of swimming.
It does not need to be used flat. Its pH is buffered and hair friendly, at about pH 5, unlike vinegar.

ETA:2 Club soda contains no sugar. Other carbonated waters are usually much more acidic and not as hair friendly because of that with a pH close to undiluted vinegar, which can be damaging to hair used undiluted, and they can contain sugar.

iSuperHeroic
March 14th, 2012, 06:03 PM
Oh, another queston: Are swim caps supposed to keep your hair dry?
I've heard many people say they are and many say they aren't.

I feel they are just there to reduce drag and keep your hair out of your face. Unless I'm using the wrong ones(and I have plenty) they don't keep my hair dry.

And thank you guys for all the help!

iSuperHeroic
March 14th, 2012, 06:09 PM
This advertises long hair swimcaps for swimmers. No idea of how long of hair they are thinking of. No idea if they work well or not.

Also, buy a great pair of goggles. Try to find a kind that doesn't fog.

http://www.swimoutlet.com/product_p/3620.htm


Here are the heavy-duty, old school type of swimcaps.
http://www.headcovers.com/swim-caps/swim-caps/

The kind I wear. Now you can begin to see why people stare at me. All this hair piled looks a bit like "conehead!" LOL


heidi w.

Those old-school swimcaps are so cute!
Oh and what type of goggles would you(or anyone else) recommend? I've been on the swim team for almost 3 years now and everytime I feel I've picked out a great pair of goggles they either fog or don't fit my eye shape and fill with water.

iSuperHeroic
March 14th, 2012, 06:15 PM
Oh, try on goggles.

Seriously, go to a sports store without makeup on and try pairs until you find one that sticks in your eye socket comfortably and stays stuck for a while. What's popular might not necessarily fit your face, and you want something comfortable and unlikely to leak for YOU. I like the ones with a folded plasticy gasket; ones with foam and those "socket rockets" don't keep water out for me. You will want a pair with a split or double strap -- one side goes above your crown, one goes below your crown. That goes a long way toward preventing them from getting ripped off when you dive in the water (though you'll just have to keep going if they come off when you race, and sooner or later that will happen).

ETA: To keep them from fogging: When they're dry, spit in them. Swirl it around with your finger. Dunk in the pool once to rinse out the excess spit, then put them on.
I responded to Heidi W. and then immediately saw your comment.

I'll definitely look into that, what are the type you'd recommend, even if they won't fit my face I want to check them out.

You're very helpful, thank you!