After a recent move to a house with a pool, my once luxurious hair was traded in for damaged hair from swimming often. Broken hair which looks like cotton, I have tried straightening, curling, braiding and air drying my hair to make it look like it’s former glory but nothing has been able to hide the true damage I have done. At first, it was hard to figure out what was causing the breaking and splitting since I haven’t experienced “swimmer’s hair” before. However, after thoughtful deliberation of life changes, the cause became clear; pool water.
Inevitably, I made a salon appointment with the mission of asking my hair guru, Christina Cessna, for advice and help. Trusted hair stylist of the stars, such as Karlie Kloss, I was intent to absorb every drop of magic hair secrets.
Swimmer’s Hair Care Tips
Here are the tips which saved my hair from further damage caused by swimming:
Chances are you can find a moment to spare before you go swimming and when you do, use it wisely by pretreating your hair.
There are a few ways to pretreat your hair, my biggest savior was applying a hair mask (N.4 High Performance Hair Care – Lumiere d’hiver Reconstructing Masque is my current favorite if I were to recommend one). You should apply the mask to damp hair. Although, having the foresight to apply a hair mask after a shower the day you know you will be swimming will ensure happy hair without having to re-dampen your hair again right before swimming.
Hair masks are not the only way to prevent breakage, coconut oil, as well as, olive oil can also achieve the same moisturizing protection for your locks. Applying an oil or mask to damp hair before swimming will create a barrier from the bacteria, minerals, and chemicals which are in the water. Therefore, your hair would have already absorbed the good stuff in the oils or masks leaving less room for other damaging agents to reach each strand.
No oils or hair masks available? Try wetting your hair before you jump in. By rinsing off your hair with clean water from a rinse off station your hair will have absorbed water which is far less harmful than pool or ocean water. If there are no faucets available a bottle of purified water is great for an improvised solution.
A bottle of sunscreen for your face and body also has the UVA and UVB filters which can protect your hair from the sun and water. Yes, you can put a little sunscreen on your hair. This concept works the same as a pretreatment, but better yet; use a sunscreen made for hair as the ultimate protectant. Sun Bum Beach Formula is a pretty darn good hair sunscreen, leaving in conditioning, anti-frizz spray which is recommended by beauty blogs everywhere. The ingredients contain a sunscreen, as well as, oils and proteins that will create a barrier and repair your hair!
Rinse It Off
Leaving pool or ocean water on your body can make you feel unclean since the reminisce of dirty water are left on your skin. Which is why you should always rinse off after a swim. Your hair is affected in the same way. Always rinse your hair thoroughly as soon as you get out of the water to assure bacteria or chemicals are not further damaging or drying your hair. For best results, shampoo and condition your hair as well for supreme care.
Deep Conditioning After Care
If you find yourself swimming a lot try deep conditioning your hair often. A few drops of a rich conditioner on dry ends after you finish washing and toweling off your hair will help repair hair from any damage. I recommend Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Essence Absolue Cream Camellia.
Diving Further into Damaged Hair
We know swimming can do more than just drying out and splitting your hair, therefore, we wanted to take a look further into other ways swimming can affect hair.
No Fair, Green Hair!
Some hair types might experience color changes after a swim. Lightened or green hair can be caused by mineral deposits found in the water, such as copper. Luckily, there are shampoos which are specifically designed to help rid hair of such minerals and remove chlorine build up. Be careful, if you do decide to try a swimmer’s shampoo. Some clarifying shampoos can be harsh on hair so research a shampoo that’s right for you and try to mix the swimmer’s shampoo into your regular cleansing routine intermittently.
Christina says, “I always use Malibu Crystal Gel to get green out of hair.” Which is a product that specifically removes iron, lime, copper, and chlorine build up from hair. She then follows up the routine with a Kerastase or Olaplex treatment.
The best way to limit your hair’s exposure to the harsh elements in water is to wear a swim cap. For some, this may be the only option. Before putting on a swim cap, wet your hair and apply an oil, mask, or conditioner for best protection. Be aware, swim caps are tight and could pull out stands if not careful while putting on or removing.