Black woman natural hair while swimming

How To Protect Your Natural Hair While Swimming

@brwnaseth

We don’t know about y’all, but we have been slicing pools left and right this Summer. And while it’s been fun, that water can really do a number on the health of your hair. Whether you’re in a pool or the ocean, your hair needs protection from the chlorine, salt, and sun. If you’re having a hard time keeping your hair moisturized and protected this summer, here are some tips we’ve learned and can share with you. 

Consider A Protective Style

The chlorine and or salt in the water you swim in is damaging because it absorbs into your hair and dries it from the inside. One way you can avoid or at least cut down on how much of it your hair absorbs is protective styling. The only downside here is if you plan on fully submerging your hair, certain braid, twist, and faux loc extensions could become unbearably heavy. This method is best for lightweight styles or for when you don’t plan to be fully submerged. You can also get away with simply putting your hair up in a high puff, making sure your hair stays above water for the most part. 

Go In With Wet Hair

This tip could feel a bit strange if you haven’t heard it before. But if you plan on going swimming with your loose natural hair, consider soaking your hair with tap water beforehand. The way this method works is it limits the amount of chlorine or salt your hair can absorb. You’ll still need to take certain precautions after you swim (which we will get to later), but this should cut back on a bit of the potential damage. 

Wet natural hair before swimming

@kinkycurlykayla 

When In Doubt, Don’t Wear It Out

One of the most foolproof ways to protect your hair while swimming is to wear a swim cap. This may be the most practical method for those who swim regularly for sport, competition, or exercise.  The cap is normally made of latex or some other waterproof material and will completely protect your strands from getting wet. 

Focus On Aftercare

Miche Beauty Hair products for Natural Hair

With all this said, we know slip ups are bound to happen. A lot of us spent so much of our childhoods or even adulthoods avoiding water like the plague, fearing it would undo hours of styling and revert our hair to a state others deemed undesirable. Nowadays, with the natural hair movement being such a pervasive one, we’re able to be a bit more carefree about getting our hair wet from time to time. 

So another method you could use is focusing on aftercare. After swimming, you’re gonna want to use a good clarifying shampoo. You should follow that with a fortifying conditioner and finish it off with a moisturizing leave-in and hair oil duo. The goal here should be replacing all the moisture your hair may have lost, restoring its softness and shine. 

Woman with healthy natural hair holding Miche Beauty Leave in conditioner

@cee.naturally 

This method works best if you don’t swim regularly, as prolonged and repeated exposure to salt, chlorine, or sun can cause damage over time regardless of your aftercare routine. With these tips under your belt, you’re all set to have the pool side summer of your life! 


How do you normally protect your hair while swimming? Tell us in the comments. 




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