Being in the water all the time is a way of life. It’s great for your physical, mental, and emotional health. But it sure doesn’t do your hair any favors.
Prolonged or regular submersion in the water is drying and damaging enough on its own. Add chlorine and other pool chemicals and compounds into the mix—or salt and other minerals if you’re an open-water swimmer—and the toll becomes even more taxing on your hair. It’s easily left looking and feeling dried out, stringy, dull, lifeless, and just generally unhealthy.
Some simple hair care for swimmers can help greatly, though. Basic steps protect your hair from the damage swimming inflicts, and helps fortify it against harmful and drying elements.
Tips on Hair Care for Swimmers
- Counterintuitively, soak your hair before your swim; this helps prevent it from sponging up all the chemicals and minerals in the pool or open water
- Braid long hair before you dive in
- Pick out the right swim cap and wear it every time you’re in the water
- Apply a light protective coating of coconut oil to your hair before you swim (if you’re doing this, do it before pre-soaking your hair in fresh water); this is particularly beneficial if you’re a blond worried about developing that unsightly green hair tint from the pool, or if you have color-treated hair
- Rinse your hair off right away after a swim to remove the superficial chlorine and other damaging compounds
- Wash your hair with a nourishing, chlorine-neutralizing, specially formulated hair cleanser for swimmers, like Summer Solutions One Step Shampoo and Conditioner
- Don’t try to brush long hair after swimming; instead, comb it and carefully separate tangles and knots
- Make an apple cider vinegar hair rinse and use it after a shower once or twice per week
- Deep condition your hair on a weekly basis to help keep it hydrated and to repair damage
- Drink plenty of water and be sure to replenish electrolytes after a swim or other aquatic workout, as your hair dries out as you become dehydrated
- Eat antioxidant-rich foods every day, like berries and other fruit, leafy green vegetables, nuts, and dark chocolate, as these help strengthen and protect your hair (and skin!) and keep it looking vibrant, healthy, and youthful