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Let's swim! African-American woman swimming.

Natural Hair Tips That Will Have You Ready for a Swim

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Don’t get caught spending beautiful days at the pool or beach, while not protecting your hair strands. Follow these simple tips to keep your curls, kinks and coils healthy throughout the summer while swimming.

Let's swim! African-American woman swimming.

African-American woman swimming. Photo: ©Alan Bailey│Shutterstock

Safeguard Your Hair with a Protective Hairstyle

Keep tangles and single strand knots from creating havoc in your hair. Wear a fun protective hairstyle while swimming to prevent hair from becoming matted. A protective hairstyle also reduces chlorine water absorption into the hair. Braids, Bantu Knots, flat twists, and buns are perfect hairstyles for the pool and beach.

Wear a Swim Cap

The decision to forgo or wear a swimming cap is contentious with many swimmers. Reasons for not wearing a swim cap range from being unflattering to uncomfortable. People are concerned about potential scalp and hair damage from swim caps that pull too tight.

However, swim caps have come a long way in design and comfort. Materials LYCRA®, silicone, and latex give swim caps different levels of flexibility and hold. LYCRA® swim caps are lightweight on the head, while silicone swim caps offer a moderate fit. Latex swim caps are the snuggest. Select a swim cap that’s not tight on your hairline to ensure a proper wear.

Swim caps keep hair out of your face while swimming. They’re not made to prevent your hair from getting wet. Nevertheless, swimming caps offer some hair protection from the water that you shouldn’t overlook. Making an investment on a good swim cap wouldn’t hurt.

Saturate Hair with Water

Before jumping into the pool or ocean, drench your hair with fresh water. You can do this using a spray bottle or in the shower. This technique allows your hair to soak up as much water as possible, while reducing the amount of chlorine or salt water entering your hair strands.

Create a Layer of Protection

Apply an oil treatment to your hair one hour before swimming. Oil treatments penetrate hair strands, creating a barrier against chlorine and salt water. Coconut oil is popular treatment among swimmers for its consistency and moisturizing properties.

Bring Out the Suds

After enjoying time at the pool or beach, it’s time to wash your hair. Cleansing your hair removes any leftover dirt, chlorine, salt or sand build up. Clarifying and swimmer’s shampoos are recommended to ensure scalp and hair strands are fully clean. Follow-up your shampoo session with a good moisturizing conditioner, and deep conditioning mask, to combat the drying effects of clarifying and swimmer’s shampoos.

What are you waiting for? Go make some memories at the pool or beach!