Live Your Most Beautiful Life
Swimming is probably my favorite way to cool off on a hot day. However, many women of color avoid the pool as though it’ll cause them to melt like the wicked witch of the west. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve heard women say that they don’t swim because they don’t want to get their hair wet. However, if your hair is the only reason you avoid taking a refreshing swim or taking advantage of the full body workout that swimming gives you, then I’m here to let you know that you don’t have to worry about your hair if you take care of it properly before and after swimming. Here are four tips on how to maintain healthy hair and still enjoy all that swimming has to offer.
1. Rinse Before Swimming
Why am I rinsing my hair before I jump into the water? One word: Porosity, or the measure of your hairs ability to absorb moisture. When you’re rinsing your hair before you swim, you’re allowing your hair to absorb clean, chlorine free, water into the cuticle layer of your hair. With that water absorbed into your hair already it decreases the amount of chlorinated water it’ll absorb. So rinse rinse rinse!
Note: Depending on the porosity of your hair, it may or may not absorb a large amount of water.
2. Rinse After You’re Done Swimming
Chlorine and salt are the mortal enemies of hair, be it relaxed or natural. As a result, when you’re done swimming (in a chlorine filled pool or a saltwater beach), you MUST rinse the chlorine or salt from you’re hair. Chlorine is extremely drying to hair because this chemical eats away at the cuticle layer of hair. It particularly eats away at relaxed hair because this type of hair has already been chemically processed, leaving it more susceptible to damage. Some of you may be thinking, “I wear a swim cap so I don’t have that problem,” but keep this in mind: water finds a way through any cracks within your swim cap armor and your hair will get wet whether you like it or not. So be sure to rinse ALL chlorine or salt from your hair after swimming because no matter what you do, chlorine and relaxed hair ends in damage if not properly taken care of.
3. Be Sure To Wash
It’s not always possible to wash right after you’re done swimming, but whenever possible wash immediately with a moisturizing shampoo because (as already mentioned) chlorine is extremely drying to your hair. However, if you swim a lot (maybe you’re a lifeguard or swimming is a part of your normal workout routine), you may want to co-wash instead of washing everyday (which can strip your hair of its natural oils).
4. Be Sure To Condition
Condition your hair after a day of swimming. Be sure to deep condition. Trust me, after a day at the pool, your hair will surely be letting you know how much it wants some conditioning! Remember - moisturizing your hair is key when you swim. Just because it’s a pool full of water doesn’t mean it’ll moisturize your hair for you.
So the next time thinking of taking a cooling swim or adding swimming to your workout regimen, know that your hair doesn’t have to stand in the way of your decision.
-Written by: Cafe Belle's Healthy Hair Barista