Spending a lot of time in the water takes a noticeable toll on the health and appearance of your hair. So does chlorine and other pool chemicals. And the same is true of the salt and other elements that open-water swimmers are regularly exposed to. All these things work together to strip your hair of the naturally occurring oils that help keep it hydrated, shiny, sleek, and healthy.
But avid swimmers haven’t been sentenced to a lifetime of dry, brittle, straw-like, tangled, frizzy, hard-to-brush, unkempt hair. Nor do they have to always hear how much their hair smells like the water. With some basic know-how and the right hair care products, it’s not too much trouble keeping your hair looking great no matter how much time you spend in the water.
Tips for Remedying Dry Swimmer’s Hair
Try these basic hair care tips if you’re tired of your hair advertising to the world that you’re a swimmer:
- Soak your hair in shower or tap water before swimming; if it’s already saturated, it won’t absorb so much of the damaging, drying compounds in the water
- If you have long hair, put it in a braid before diving in
- Wear a swim cap in the pool
- Coat your hair in a thin protective layer of coconut oil before swimming in saltwater
- Thoroughly rinse your hair with fresh water right after a swim to wash off a good amount of the damaging chemicals and minerals
- After swimming, wash your hair with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner like One Step that’s specially formulated to remove pool chemicals and other compounds that dry out your hair, make it hard to deal with and smelly, and can impart a greenish tint in blond hair
- Massage the moisturizing shampoo into your scalp to hydrate and nourish it
- Comb wet hair with a wide-tooth comb and carefully work out knots and tangles, rather than try to brush it
- If you swim a few times per week or more, give your hair an all-natural weekly or bi-weekly clarifying treatment with apple cider vinegar
- Deep condition your hair once or twice per week to help lock in moisture and repair damage
If you have blond hair and hit the pool frequently, you’re at risk for developing a green tint in your hair. It’s a common problem caused by copper in the pool water. Check out our advice for preventing and treating a green hair tint.
Also, the drying effects of swimming aren’t only a problem on your hair and scalp. Learn more about preventing and treating dry skin that results from the pool or open-water swimming.