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3 Steps to Prepare Your Natural Hair for a Swim

3 Steps to Prepare Your Natural Hair for a Swim

Believe it or not but we are getting pretty darned close to swimming weather. Yup, it is time to prepare our tresses for chlorine and salt water so check out these 3 necessary steps to make your spring and summer fun and protected for your natural tresses!

The salt and chlorine of a pool can be very drying and damaging to natural hair. If you swim frequently, a great product to use for clarifying after a swim is Tri-Swim Shampoo.

Here’s three, easy steps to protect your hair during a swim!

Drench hair in water — Natural hair soaks up moisture the best when wet. Therefore, drenching, wet hair is the best way to make this method as effective as possible. This is especially essential considering the high or low porosity of your hair. When a liquid substance comes in contact with your hair, the cuticle opens allowing it to pass through. How porous your hair is determines how much of that substance will go into the hair shaft and how quickly it penetrates. 

If you have low porosity hair, you may often feel that your hair hair is always dry. The reason for this is because the cuticle is tightly closed, causing the hair repel moisture, making it hard for products and chemicals to penetrate. (For every level of porosity, drinking lots of water and eating water-filled foods like cucumbers, watermelon, tomatoes and others will keep your body hydrated, which makes for healthy, hydrated hair.) The best way to help this is by applying as much moisture as possible when your hair is wet. 

Once your hair is dry, the cuticle is closed and is not likely to absorb additional product. That’s why piling on extra butters and creams in the days after washing seem to not work as well. Also, if your hair dries before you get in the pool, drench it in water before jumping in. This will prevent your hair from absorbing the water’s chemicals.

Apply your most moisturizing conditioner and your favorite essential oil — This builds a moisturizing barrier for your hair when the harshness of chlorine or salt tries to make its way in. Applying hydrating oils and ingredients is what will give you lasting moisture and a great barrier for your hair. Some of the best oils to use are coconut oil, Shea butter, jojoba oil, or Argan oil 

You can either mix these oils into your conditioner or use them separately. Coconut oil’s fatty acids deeply conditions the hair. Shea butter gives very heavy moisture. Shea butter is suggested for those with low porosity. Jojoba oil is great for all hair types and porosity. It is composed of 98% monounsaturated fats and 2% saturated fats so it can penetrate the hair follicle and strengthen hair fibers from the inside. Argan oil also conditions the hair. It also gives your hair a soft, silky look and feel along with adding shine.

Wear your hair however you want! — We suggest a bun or pineapple because it makes detangling a little easier on you when dealing with washing your hair after a swim. It also makes sure that less of your hair is exposed to the water. Another great style for swimming is braid or twist extensions. 

Considering most of your hair is tucked away when wearing braid or twist extensions, make sure to thoroughly clarify when shampooing. If you go swimming frequently, you may want to invest in a swimming cap.

[by Roniece]

Sabrina’s take: I would not just wear my hair out loose as it can tangle even if you do apply conditioner and wet it prior to swimming.  Twists, braided, or even a bun would be a better bet.  Just remember to have fun!

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