Protecting Hair When Swimming

protecting hair when swimming


There are over 10.4 million residential and 309,000 public swimming pools in the US. In fact, swimming is the fourth-most popular activity in the country. Meanwhile, 15% of adults go swimming at least six times each year.

Diving into the water might sound fun until you realize how much it damages your hair.

Don't dodge the pool this summer! Instead, keep reading for eight hair protection tips you can use before you go swimming. With these tips for protecting hair, you can dive in without worry.

Read on to learn more!

1. Avoid Hot Tools

First, consider how you treat your hair before diving into the deep end. Whether or not you swim, hot tools can have a negative impact on your lovely locks.

If you are diving into the pool this summer, you could damage your hair between:

  • Hours of swimming
  • Exposure to the sun's UV rays
  • Constantly washing your hair

Using hot tools will only speed up the damage!

Instead of using hot tools, our first tip for protecting hair is to embrace your natural look. Choosing a natural, tousled look can protect your hair from additional damage.

You could also try curling your hair using heatless methods. For example, you can braid your hair while it's slightly damp, then let it dry before releasing the braids. Curling your hair without using a hot tool can protect it between dips into the pool.

If you're attached to your hot tools, try to decrease how often you use your tools each week. Otherwise, start using a strong heat protectant before grabbing your straightener or curler. 

2. Protect Your Locks from Chlorine

You can also protect hair from chlorine by using chlorine-protecting products. There are many products formulated specifically for swimmers.

For example, you can use a leave-in treatment a few hours before you dive in. These treatments are easy and convenient. Meanwhile, they provide hair protection by shielding your long locks from:

  • The sun's UV rays
  • Potential discoloration and fading
  • Drying out by adding moisture

You can carry these products in your bag before heading to the pool or beach. You might need to apply it more than once if you head in and out of the water. 

Some people also use coconut oil or other protections. Make sure the protectant you use moisturizes your hair to minimize damage. 

3. Get Wet

Before heading into the pool or ocean, try wetting your hair with clean water. Wetting your hair before you dive in will minimize the amount of chlorine or sea salt your hair will absorb. As a result, you can protect your hair from potential dryness or breakage. 

Make sure to give your hair a little time to absorb the freshwater before getting into the pool.

Once your hair absorbs the water, there's little room for beach or pool water to penetrate the strands!

4. Cover or Style Your Hair

There are many different protective styles for natural hair you can use before diving into the water. Try the following:

  • Flat twists
  • Bantu knots
  • Buns
  • Braids

Which style best suits you? Try a few different styles to see which you prefer. In addition to protecting hair, these styles can also protect your strands from tangling.

Meanwhile, you'll keep your hair from absorbing too much chlorine or saltwater.

If you plan on using a swim cap, make sure it's not too tight. A cap that's snug on the scalp can tug the ends of your hair and cause breakage. Make sure to put on a protectant before hiding your hair beneath a cap.

Using a cap can protect your hair from the water's harmful effects. 

5. Rinse Immediately

Once you get out of the water, make sure to rinse your hair as soon as possible. Rinsing your hair the moment you get out of the water will keep elements from stripping your hair of even more moisture.

Get those chemicals out of your locks! While you're washing your hair, consider using a normalizing or clarifying shampoo. These products are ideal for removing chlorine from healthy hair. 

After you shampoo, consider using a deep conditioning masque. A masque will restore your hair's nutrients and help it lock in moisture. 

Make sure to reapply your leave-in treatment after you rinse your hair out. 

6. Use the Right Towel

After rinsing your hair, avoid rubbing it down with a rough beach towel. The material can actually cause more damage to your hair.

Instead, use a microfiber hair towel to gently pat your hair dry.

Look for a towel that uses super-absorbent microfibers. In addition to absorbing water, these fibers will also reduce friction against your locks. These towels are ideal for curly, frizzy, and thin hair.

7. Avoid Brushing

Avoid brushing your hair immediately after you dry it. Wet hair is more susceptible to breaking. Brushing your hair right away will only put tension on the wet strands.

Instead, let your hair dry under the sun. 

Then, use a wide-tooth comb to keep your hair from breaking and tangling. A wide-tooth comb will reduce potential stress and the chance of breakage. 

8. Choose the Right Products

About 81% of women feel the most confident when their hair looks great. In order to improve the state of their hair, women spend about $930 every year. Before you start spending, it helps to know which products are best for hair protection.

First, make sure to find a clarifying shampoo. After you're done shampooing your hair, consider using a mix of white vinegar and water. This mixture will remove any additional chlorine left on your locks. 

The acidic mixture is also ideal for helping your hair shine. 

Don't forget a deep conditioning treatment, too. Many people use coconut oil treatments to protect their hair from potential damage.

Did you jump into the water without using these tips? Consider cutting a few inches off the ends of your hair to remove damaged ends. Remember, your hair will always grow back!

You can also use jojoba oil, oil oil, or coconut oil as a leave-in treatment to give your hair a little extra moisture. 

Take the Plunge: 8 Tips for Protecting Hair When Swimming

Ready to dive in? With these eight tips for protecting hair while swimming, you can protect your lovely locks for summer. Take the plunge with these hair protection tips today!

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