Good news, curly girls! It’s safe to go back in the water. That is, once you accept your hair’s natural texture!

If you’ve ever been a blow-dry/flat-iron-straight girl, you know that swimming is off the agenda. If you go in the water, your straight hair reveals its natural shape, and even being near the water – like at the beach or at a steamy indoor pool – can ruin a blow-out in no time flat.

Once you go curly, however, you can enjoy the water like never before. Just follow these simple tips and you’ll be good to go!

  1. Chlorine is good for pools, but it can wreak havoc on curls because it’s so drying. Chlorine isn’t good for any hair type, but it’s even worse for curly hair because curls are naturally drier than straight or wavy tresses. Before going in the pool, slather your hair (wet or dry”> with a rich conditioner. Curly hair is porous, and the conditioner fills those holes before the chlorine can seep in. Next, slip on a bathing cap. Besides being protective, you’ll also be giving yourself a deep moisturizing treatment thanks to the heat generated by the cap and the conditioner. Not only will you have hydrated curls, but frizz will disappear too!
  2. Use products from your kitchen! Apply extra virgin olive oil to your hands and then slick it on your hair in a downward motion. You can also put the oil in a spray bottle and spritz it on your curls. “Because oil and water don’t mix, the oil will repel the chlorinated water,” explains Lorraine Massey, author of “Curly Girl: The Handbook.”
  3. At the beach, salt water can dehydrate your curls, as can the salty ocean air. If you don’t want to don a bathing cap and conditioner, then at least spritz hair with a leave-in conditioner often or combine equal parts conditioner and water in a spray bottle to create your own.
  4. After a dip in a pool or ocean, wash your hair IMMEDIATELY with a sulfate-free cleanser or conditioner to remove any drying chlorine or salt water.

Follow these tips and you and your curls will be basking in the sun and water, all summer long!

Michele Bender


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