Swimming With Natural Hair: Healthy Natural Hair Care Tips
Summa summa summa time! Yes! Summer is here! If you’re beating the heat poolside, you’ve probably got your sun protection in stock, but what are you doing to protect your hair? Frequent pool swimmers run the risk of experiencing dry damaged natural hair if the right preparation and maintenance routine is not in place. First of all let’s get into what makes the pool so detrimental to hair in general.
Why Is This Necessary?
Chlorine is added to swimming pools to prevent the growth of bacteria and algae. While it may at most cause some eye irritation, it can definitely do a number on your skin and, what we want to talk about, your hair. This goes for all states of hair (natural, relaxed, colored, etc.).
Without the proper before and after care and with repeated pool swimming, your hair’s condition can quickly deteriorate and result in breakage.
Hair that has not been prepped before or swiftly taken care of after the pool, is at risk for damage. Once you wet your hair with chlorinated pool water it’s going to be absorbed by your dry natural hair. The chlorine then strips your hair strands and your scalp of sebum, the natural oils produced by your scalp.
3 Ways to Prep Your Hair for Pool Swimming
The first option is to wear a fitted swimming cap. This serves as a physical barrier between your hair and the damaging properties in the pool water. And if you're worried that a swim cap won't fit over your natural hair, companies like Swimmiecaps has the solution for that. Swimmiecaps makes swim caps that are even large enough to fit over locs and braids.
The second option is to saturate your hair with fresh water before you enter the pool.
Hair porosity is the degree of absorption your hair strands are capable of. There’s high porosity which means your hair cuticles are spread wide open and can quickly absorb and lose moisture. Low porosity means the opposite. Your hair cuticles aren’t as open as someone with highly porous hair.
Saturating your hair in fresh water before hand minimizes the absorption of chlorinated pool. Think of your hair as a sponge. A dry sponge will readily absorb any liquid it comes into contact with. However a sponge that’s already soaking wet won’t be able to absorb anything else.
In addition to saturating your hair with water before hand, many naturalistas add moisturizing products such as conditioners or oil to their hair. The downside to using conditioner is that you often end up with milky colored water beads all over your hair. Coating your hair in oils like the Kinky Tresses Nourishing Hair Oil after saturating it with fresh water may be the better option. You can also layer up with moisturizing styling products such as the Kinky Tresses Avocado Infusion Hair Milk.
How to Care for Natural Hair After Swimming
After swimming the first step is to rinse and wash your hair with a clarifying and moisturizing shampoo! The goal is to remove any chlorine that may be on your scalp and strands and begin to reintroduce moisture.
If your hair is blonde or colored you may want to use a shampoo that’s formulated specifically to minimize the fading of your hair color. Blonde hair runs the risk of turning green due to the oxidized metals such as (copper) adhering to the hair that occurs when introduced to chlorinated pool water.
After cleansing and clarifying your tresses, following up with a deep conditioner is the next essential step. Deep conditioners like the Kinky Tresses Avocado Infusion Restorative Conditioner counter the hard brittle hair that often results from exposure to chlorinated pool water by restoring strength and moisture to your strands.
Have you been caring for your hair the way you should after pool and even beach trips? It’s never too late to start and we hope that these natural hair care tips are super helpful to you!