Summer is here and so are the desires to stay cool and have some serious water play. Back when I was younger, we hardly made it to pools but we are certainly in a different time now and with all the traveling black folks are partaking in, we are hitting the pools and the beaches with a vengeance. All this fun can cause chlorine hair or hair damaged by chlorine and what’s a natural to do?
Chlorine is used to kill the germs that can breed in swimming pool water and cause illnesses. It’s a necessity but being necessary in one way can still be dangerous in another as it it not nice to our strands.
“The chlorine in pools sucks the sebum out of your hair, which may cause the cuticle to crack. This damage causes your hair’s natural sheen to diminish, and the unprotected cortex to potentially “split,” creating split ends.”www.goaskalice.columbia.edu
There are several ways to protect the hair before swimming in chlorine as well as taking care of it after swimming. It really boils down to who you ask and trust but there are some basic steps that most experts will agree on:
Wet the hair with tap water prior to swimming. This will keep the hair from soaking up the chlorinated water or much less than if hair was dry. This is the first step that should be taken to fight chlorine hair and tap water is actually best.
Coat the hair with conditioner before you go swimming. I’ve heard some people apply Coconut oil prior to swimming and I assume it has the same intention as adding conditioner. The point is you need something to help block the chlorinated water from penetrating the hair. Make sure to use the cheap stuff. The cheaper the better! You are merely using it to block out the chlorine so don’t use your expensive conditioners when fighting chlorine hair. Don’t get this point confused with how to condition your hair AFTER your water play. Make sure to condition well with a moisturizing deep conditioner like the OUIDAD Curl Immersion™ Triple Treat Deep Conditioner to bring your hair back to life.
Wear a swim cap or bathing cap. This is just an added barrier and not a solid way to keep your hair from getting wet. Let me be clear, your hair will get wet with a swim cap if you swim or dunk your head in the water. If you are just lounging in the pool and only get splashed, these caps will keep your hair dry but if you submerge in water, they cannot fully keep your hair dry. I learned that the hard way. Also, yes there are actual swim caps for us! Check out the Happy Mane Premium Large and XL Silicone Waterproof Swimming Cap, designed for Braids, long hair Dreadlocks, Extensions, crochets, Afro Hair.
Rinse Hair Immediately After Swimming
It is imperative that you at least rinse your hair after swimming even if you are not able to wash it immediately. That is get some of the chlorine out of the hair ASAP and that allow less time for the chemicals to damage your strands. You don’t have to rush back to the house and wash your hair if you don’t want to. Just hang out and have fun but rinse your hair to give you some play time.
Wash hair With Clarifying or Swimmer’s Shampoo
No cleansing conditioner is going to properly remove the chemicals from your hair. You need a clarifying shampoo or a swim shampoo to fully remove the chlorine and whatever else may have been in the pool with you. Here are some popular clarifying shampoos many naturals love:
Being smart and fighting chlorine hair upfront is a necessary precautions before swimming this summer. This will allow you to get that gorgeous Natural hair to stay healthy. It may take a little extra time but not seeing a mass of straw on your head instead of hair or not seeing your hair down the shower drain will make those extra steps worthwhile.
Happy Swimming Naturals,