Of all the hair-related problems swimmers face, green hair tint and dried-out hair are pretty well known. But if you’re a regular swimmer whose hair is dyed, it’s good to know how to protect color-treated hair while swimming, too. The sun, water, chlorine (which is a bleaching agent), copper, and other elements can fade and otherwise affect coloring, and nobody wants that—especially if they’ve shelled out for a professional color treatment.
Below are some simple tips on how to protect color-treated hair while swimming. Use them to maximize the return on your time and cash investments in color treatments, and to avoid repeat trips to the salon for touch-ups, for which the cost really adds up.
How to Protect Color-Treated Hair While Swimming
- Invest in professional hair treatments with high-quality dyes, as they hold up better over time and against the harsh elements you’re exposed to in the water that can cause them to fade faster
- Wait two to three days after coloring to go swimming (we know, that’s a lot to ask!)
- Soak your hair before swimming; if it’s already saturated, it won’t absorb nearly as much chlorine, other pool chemicals, metals, or other damaging, potentially color-distorting elements
- If you don’t mind getting a little messy, cover your hair with a thin coating of coconut oil, argan oil, or olive oil right before you dive in; this creates a barrier between your colored locks and the damaging compounds in the water
- Wear a swim cap in the pool or during open-water swimming to minimize your hair’s exposure to the water and its problematic elements
- Rinse your color-treated hair off immediately after swimming
- Promptly after swimming, use a two-in-one shampoo and conditioner specially formulated to neutralize chlorine, bromine, and other pool chemicals, and that’s gentle enough for daily use and color-treated hair; we strongly suggest Summer Solutions One Step
- Additionally, use a deep conditioner made for color-treated hair once per week
- Avoid using hot water when you soak, rinse, or wash your hair; it has a fading effect on hair coloring
- Keep your hair out of the water if you go in a hot tub
- Keep your color-treated hair out of direct sunlight as much as possible when lounging poolside or on the beach
- Use a copper-free algaecide if you treat your own pool; copper is responsible for that infamous green hair tint that plagues blond swimmers