Protecting your hair while swimming
Everyone knows that swimming can seriously damage your hair. Swimming pool chemicals can seriously affect the quality and condition of our hair. Chlorine and salt can work together to dry out our hair, leaving it brittle. They can also strip some of the naturally occurring oils from our hair, leaving it with less protection for day-to-day hair maintenance like blow-drying or straightening.
Pool chemicals are also notorious for wreaking havoc on hair colour, stripping colour out, fading it and even changing colours completely.
So, what to do? No one wants to avoid the beach or the pool all summer. Well, we’ve got some hints and tips that will help you protect your hair while swimming and keep you looking great all summer long.
Wet your hair
Before going for a swim, wet your hair with clean, non-chlorinated, non-saltwater. Since wet hair is less absorbent than dry hair, wetting your hair before swimming means that your hair will absorb less of the chemical or salt water. So simple, yet so effective!
Use an oil treatment
If you want to take things to the next level, use an oil treatment before going swimming. Just like wetting your hair with clean water before swimming, an oil treatment puts an extra layer of protection between your hair and the chemicals in the water. In this case, the oil coats the hair, repelling the water. This makes it harder for the chemical or salt water to penetrate the hair.
Olive oil or coconut oil are ideal for treating the hair before swimming. Both are natural and nourishing for your hair, will seal in moisture and keep the salt and chemicals out.
If you’re keen, you can even apply another oil treatment after getting out of the pool and rinsing your hair to ensure that your hair stays shiny, soft and strong. You can also have a look on our blog on the How often should you colour your hair?
Use a leave-in conditioner
Leave-in conditioners work much the same as oil treatments. They create a hydrophobic around the hair that repels the water and prevents the salt and chemicals from penetrating the hair. Leave-in conditioners smell better than oil treatments and don’t have that slippery oil feel. You can also get leave-in conditioners specially formulated for swimming.
Wear a swimming cap
If you want to minimise the chemicals and treatments you subject your hair to, you can always go with a swimming cap. It may not be the height of fashion, but a swim cap will keep your hair dry and prevent any exposure to the chemicals and salts in the pool water.
For maximum protection, you can always add a swim cap on top of your oil treatment or leave-in conditioner.
Rinse your hair after swimming
Once you’re done in the water, wash your hair as soon as possible in tepid water before rinsing in cold water. This will help to rinse out any salt, chlorine or other chemicals that may have penetrated the hair.
A clarifying shampoo can also be used to remove all traces of chemicals from the hair. However, as these tend to be quite harsh and can dry the hair out, it is not recommended that you use these every day. So, if you’re a regular swimmer, perhaps avoid regularly using the clarifying shampoo.
With these tips, it will no longer be a trade-off between healthy hair and a refreshing swim. Make the most of them and find what suits you best. You can even impress your hair stylist at your next appointment with your knowledge!