Swimming advice

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Over the summer, I go swimming at least twice a day, and it's in a chlorinated pool. I can't coat my hair with conditioner beforehand because I just don't have the time. I'm a camp counselor, and my top priority has to be taking care of my campers, not my hair.

Before I went CG, I would use Ultra Swim Shampoo, but it has SLS right up at the top of the list. I really don't want to go backwards when I've made a lot of progress with my hair since going CG just a few weeks ago. Does anyone have any suggestions of products I can use or something I can do that won't take any time away from my campers? I'm mostly looking for a way to remove the chlorine from my hair and keep my hair from completely drying out.

Thanks!
2c/3a, coarse, medium density, low porosity curls

Currently trying
Low-Poo (one-two times monthly): Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo, U R Curly Soya Shampoo
Co-Wash: Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut Conditioner
RO: GVP Conditioning Balm
DT: CJ Curl Rehab
LI: KCKT
Stylers: CHS Curl Keeper, L.A. Looks Sport Gel, AIF, it all depends on the day!

CG since 3/6/14

Last edited by Edie; 04-01-2014 at 03:11 PM.
How long does it take to wet your hair and apply conditioner? It takes me less than a minute. If I were already showering before getting in the water, that would probably reduce the time to 30 seconds. Could you make it something you do with the campers? It's really good for straight hair too. One of my curly friends has a straight haired daughter who's a swimmer, and has been following this approach, and her mom says her hair is much better than it used to be.

When I was a camper, I looked up to the counsellors and loved to get tips from them on big girl things. I remember that one year, when I got home, I asked my parents for a boar bristle brush. We'd all been brushing our hair 100 strokes every evening at bedtime in emulation of our counsellor. It can't have been great for my naturally curly hair, and it was probably just as well that it was cut in a pixie, but we enjoyed doing big-sister-little-sister types of things.
Peace,
Morgan

Baby Fine 3B, low porosity, normal density and elasticity
CGing since July 2008
Now that I think about it, I would be able to coat my hair with conditioner before morning swim (we get up, get our campers ready, and then head straight to the pool.) The reason it wouldn't work for other swim times is because I work at a camp for children with disabilities. Most of the time, I hardly have enough time to get my swim suit on, much less wet my hair down and condition it. Instead, I'm thinking about getting my camper who has CP into his/her swimsuit. Or checking on my camper with Down Syndrome to make sure that he/she is getting ready and doesn't need any help. Or that the child who likes to run away hasn't left the cabin.

It sounds bad, but other counselors will judge you if you're not doing it all for the kids. I know I would be judged negatively for saying "let me hop in the shower for just a minute so that I can prepare my hair for the pool!" instead of saying "let me help you change her diaper so that she has a fresh one on for swim!"

I'm honestly not trying to make excuses, and I appreciate your insight! But I do feel like post-preventative measures against chlorine would be the best option for me due to the nature of the camp.
2c/3a, coarse, medium density, low porosity curls

Currently trying
Low-Poo (one-two times monthly): Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo, U R Curly Soya Shampoo
Co-Wash: Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut Conditioner
RO: GVP Conditioning Balm
DT: CJ Curl Rehab
LI: KCKT
Stylers: CHS Curl Keeper, L.A. Looks Sport Gel, AIF, it all depends on the day!

CG since 3/6/14
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 76
Just drench your hair in water beforehand. Whether you spray it down with a spray bottle filled up with water or you take a cup of water and pour it on your head, just get your hair wet with non-chlorinated water and throw it in a ponytail or bun. If your hair is already saturated in water, it won't be able to absorb as much of the chlorinated water. Getting your hair wet shouldn't take barely any time at all and you won't have to spend time raking conditioner through your hair.

I use Ion's Swimmer's Shampoo during the summer, it removes build-up from chlorine and minerals. It really works for me and doesn't dry my hair out. You can get it from Sally's Beauty Supply, you can go online and get it as well.

Will you be able to wash your hair after swimming? If you can't wash your hair until later in the day then definitely make sure to saturate your hair in water again after swimming. It's not as effective as shampoo but still important if you're not going to be able to wash your hair right afterwards.
Zeldahime and rbb like this.
Curl Pattern: Chunks of 3B, 4A, and 4B mixed all up in this odd head of hair of mine.

Normal porosity, high density, medium width strands.

Current length: Between armpit length and bra strap length
Short-term goal: Bra strap length
Long-term goal: Mid-back length
Ultimate Goal: Waist length
Maybe you could try just putting an oil, like coconut oil in your hair before you go swimming?
Would putting conditioner on your hair not just A. wash out pretty quickly or B. get conditioner into the pool water? Oil might be a better option. Plus you could put the oil in your hair the night before/ any time in the day before and then leave it in. Then in the morning/ next day you won't have to worry about doing anything.
It will also just act as a deep conditioning treatment and be great for your hair! I go swimming quite a lot and I tend to rely on this. It might not be perfect and I'm sure it will still cause some chlorine damage but it should work as a pretty good barrier between the chlorine.
Hope this helps/ was the kind of advice you were looking for?
CurlyDiva71 and etos like this.
3a/3b Curls, Low Porosity, Medium/High Density. Check out my blog for easy to follow, practical curly advice http://ohheytherehair.blogspot.co.uk!
Coconut oil would probably be a great choice for this. It could be done with morning grooming or at bedtime.

I don't know how well this would protect in comparison with saturating hair with non-chlorinated water, but it does penetrate the hair strand as well as coating the outside, so it would have some of the benefits of saturating the hair and applying conditioner.
CurlyDiva71 and CloudNine like this.
Peace,
Morgan

Baby Fine 3B, low porosity, normal density and elasticity
CGing since July 2008
I have a pool, and last summer, I had great luck with putting coconut oil in my dry hair before swimming. My hair stayed healthy all summer, despite swimming a lot.
Morgan_Adcock likes this.

3A, a mix of boticelli, corkicelli, and a few s-waves, baby fine, naturally porous, medium/high density

Pre-poo: coconut oil
Co-wash: TJ's Tea Tree Tingle, Sauve Naturals, VO5, As I Am coconut co-wash
Conditioner: TJ's Nourish, Tresseme Naturals, Sauve Naturals coconut, SM Coconut & Hibiscus
LI: KCKT
Styling: DevaCurl Light Defining Gel, HETT Mousse (HG's!)
EcoStyler Krystal (new HG!!!), BRHG
coconut oil or jojoba oil to SOTC
Color treated with demi-permanent color to cover first grays
When you coat with conditioner b4 swim, do you use a leave in or a reg conditioner?
Thanks everyone for the advice! I'm going to try putting coconut oil in my hair and see how long it takes me. I know it's hard to believe, but I have virtually no time at all to do anything for myself before going swimming (we have pool buddies for the pool too, so I am watching a camper at all times.)
But I really appreciate all the suggestions!

When you coat with conditioner b4 swim, do you use a leave in or a reg conditioner?
Originally Posted by Banafrit
I've always used regular conditioner, mostly because it's less expensive.
2c/3a, coarse, medium density, low porosity curls

Currently trying
Low-Poo (one-two times monthly): Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo, U R Curly Soya Shampoo
Co-Wash: Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut Conditioner
RO: GVP Conditioning Balm
DT: CJ Curl Rehab
LI: KCKT
Stylers: CHS Curl Keeper, L.A. Looks Sport Gel, AIF, it all depends on the day!

CG since 3/6/14
I use Ion's Swimmer's Shampoo during the summer, it removes build-up from chlorine and minerals. It really works for me and doesn't dry my hair out. You can get it from Sally's Beauty Supply, you can go online and get it as well.
Originally Posted by CloudNine
I finally got around to looking up this shampoo, and it has sulfates in it. Although the website has it listed under sulfate-free shampoos. But it has sodium lauryl sufoacetate listed in the ingredients, and I didn't think that was a curly girl approved ingredient. Maybe I'm missing something? I'm new to this, so I'm still learning!
2c/3a, coarse, medium density, low porosity curls

Currently trying
Low-Poo (one-two times monthly): Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo, U R Curly Soya Shampoo
Co-Wash: Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut Conditioner
RO: GVP Conditioning Balm
DT: CJ Curl Rehab
LI: KCKT
Stylers: CHS Curl Keeper, L.A. Looks Sport Gel, AIF, it all depends on the day!

CG since 3/6/14

Last edited by Edie; 04-03-2014 at 08:45 AM.
I would reccomend you cover your hair in oil. Best option is probably to also wear a swim cap over your hair as well, but I don't know if you are 'into that' :P
highlighted 3a hair. Fine strands, medium to high density. Probably high porosity. Growing uit bad layering and aiming for waist lenght!

Pre-poo: coconut oil
wash: CJ Daily fix or SheaMoisture Coconut&Hibiscus
RO + LI: different every time
Styler: CJ Pattern Pusha, CJ CIAB

dislikes: glycerin in low dews, scissor happy stylists, magnesium sulfate

(modified) CG since june 25, 2012
Hiarfinity + extra MSM since March 5., 2014

SL - APL - BSBL- BSL - MBL - WL (stretched)
I would also recommend a swim cap. You can probably keep most of the water off your hair if the swim cap was tight enough.


I'm definitely a "curly" 2c. Sometimes curly and sometimes just wavy upper layer with a ringlety under layer. My hair has been thick and coarse since birth. Strawberry blonde in color that can and does change depending on the type and amount of light.


All in all, I'm happy with my hair type but almost for sure think yours is prettier.
I finally got around to looking up this shampoo, and it has sulfates in it. Although the website has it listed under sulfate-free shampoos. But it has sodium lauryl sufoacetate listed in the ingredients, and I didn't think that was a curly girl approved ingredient. Maybe I'm missing something? I'm new to this, so I'm still learning!
Originally Posted by Edie
SLSa is an anionic surfactant, but it is considered to be milder and less drying than the traditional 4 sulfate (sulphate) surfactants* that the CG method says you shouldn't use.

*traditional 4 being Sodium Lauryl Sulfate [SLS], Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate [ALS], Sodium Laureth Sulfate [SLES], and Ammonium Laureth Sulfate [ALES]

Some may still feel the surfactant is still too drying. About the only way you'll find out if it is too drying for your hair would be to use it.

Another idea may be to do a two step process. Like using a pre-swim coating of coconut oil and then use the swimmer's 'poo when rinsing afterwards.
Very fine, high porosity, currently dyed and growing out the relaxed portions. I'm pretty sure my hair's 3b something IIRC. We will be finding out for sure as time goes by.

It's official: My hair just loves Shea Moisture. I use a mixture of products from the Raw Shea Butter, African Black Soap, and Coconut & Hibiscus lines.
I'd say the best thing may be to prepare your hair at night before you go to bed. I can totally understand not having a single second to yourself in the morning! I never liked wearing a cap because it would give me headaches and just felt super uncomfortable.

This is what I'd try:

At night, after using a shampoo that rinses out the chlorine (with the swimmer's shampoo mentioned above), apply either a deep conditioner or regular silicone and sulfate free conditioner and leave it on your hair for 3-5 minutes while you're in the shower. You can clip it up if you want or just leave it down. Then rinse with cold water but don't rinse all of the conditioner out. Then, I'd apply a leave in conditioner and coconut oil all over your hair. I know a lot of people tend to focus only on the ends but I usually focus just as much on my roots. Then, maybe just do two french braids and sleep like this. You could even just carry a spray bottle of water mixed with your leave in or regular conditioner and spray on your braids throughout the day. You won't need a mirror for it or anything so even if you're responsible for watching someone you could just stand there and spray your hair. It won't take time because your hair will be in the two french braids. It's still a cute style too and it will keep your hair out of your face both when you sleep and all day when you're trying to work with the kids.

I'd just repeat this process each night.
Another good reason to use one of the cheap, co-wash conditioners is because they contain EDTA, a chelating agent.

Also, I've never found it necessary to use a harsh swimmer's poo when I've protected my hair prior to going in the water. Co-washing works just fine.
Peace,
Morgan

Baby Fine 3B, low porosity, normal density and elasticity
CGing since July 2008

Last edited by Morgan_Adcock; 04-04-2014 at 09:53 AM.
My husband swims several times a week, and while he does get his hair wet beforehand, he doesn't put anything in his hair. Then he just COs afterward and puts coconut oil in his hair. It's actually in better shape now than when he used swimmer's shampoo. I think the coconut oil does have a protective effect even after the fact.
3a/b, F, normal porosity

I've gotten my routine down to the bare essentials, finally
Wash: Suave Tropical Coconut
Leave-in: Suave Everlasting Sunshine, detangle with Denman brush
Gel: LAL Sport or Wet Look
Scrunch with flour sack towel, plop 10 minutes, air dry
Refresh with either plain water or Suave/water mix
At night, after using a shampoo that rinses out the chlorine (with the swimmer's shampoo mentioned above), apply either a deep conditioner or regular silicone and sulfate free conditioner and leave it on your hair for 3-5 minutes while you're in the shower. You can clip it up if you want or just leave it down. Then rinse with cold water but don't rinse all of the conditioner out. Then, I'd apply a leave in conditioner and coconut oil all over your hair.
Originally Posted by hcook5528
According to CurlyNikki, coconut oil isn't a good sealant:
What's the Best Oil to Use on My Hair? | Curly Nikki | Natural Hair Styles and Natural Hair Care

But maybe you have good experience with coconut oil as sealant instead
Henna'd ✩ waist-length (wet) ✩ loose 3b
High density ✩ very coarse & medium ✩ porous halfway length: old heat & sun damage ✩ low elasticity (wet)


Climate
75-100% humidity

CG only products
Clarify: YTCar poo
Low poo: Harmonie Familie
Co-wash&RO: Argan Care
Styling LI: [varying]
Seal: sweet almond oil
Pre-wash: coconut oil

: oils, dew = 50-60s + 50-70% humidity, hydrolyzed keratin
: salt water, rain, high humidity, 'cones
Ah did not know that. Thank you! This is very helpful!
Fimu likes this.
Hey! So I just got done reading the Curly Girl handbook (second edition expanded version) and there was actually a question about what to do with your hair when you swim a lot. This is a short version of her answer:

Before swimming apply extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) in a downward motion to the top layer of your hair. Usage depends on your hair's density. The reasoning she gives for this is because oil and water don't mix so the oil should repel the chlorinated water. You can also just put the EVOO ina spray bottle to disperse it through your hair. You may want to do this so it saves you time.

She states to NEVER use shampoo to wash your hair after swimming and to especially not use ones that say they are swimmer's shampoos as the sulfates mix with the chlorine and that's harmful for your hair. Instead, use a botanical conditioner to wash the chlorine out then rinse the conditioner out. Then you can apply more conditioner and leave it in your hair. If you can't rinse your hair immediately after swimming then she recommends bringing a spray bottle to the pool with you to spritz on you hair each time you get out of the water.

Hope this helps!
CurlyDiva71 likes this.
That makes me wonder then if a swim shampoo without sulfates would be alright. I was doing some research and found that Aubrey Organics has a swim shampoo and conditioner. Both are free of cones and sulfates. Thoughts on using these?

The EVOO coat sounds like an interesting idea! Thanks hcook!

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