Follow these simple curly tips for a good time at the beach or pool.

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 that's 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 so 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 in 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, water and all, all summer long!

Michele Bender
I don't really feel comfortable putting a bathing cap on, because when I swim, it's with friends so it's just embarrassing. Will oil make the water weird (will it sit on top so everyone knows where I've swam?)? Should I just drown it in conditioner and swim, or will that also make the water gross? Thanks.

I wasn't sure so i went to the pros: Here’s a response from Lorraine Massey, author of Curly GIrl: We have no magic in this department other than après swim at the beach let the sun shine down on you and let nature it's course - Or get in your car & blast the heater ( also gives your skin a dewy look too! ) or find a restroom with a hand dryer, Remember it's your hair , love it patiently !

Is there any way to make your hair dry faster? I don't like having to spend 3+hrs. air drying my hair and I don't plan on carrying a diffuser in my beach bag. (What weirdo carries that in her bag?!) Nor do I plan on using it on the beach. I would really appreciate if I could cut my drying time in half, naturally, that is.