post swim hair routine
Photo courtesy of @havuni
Summer is almost here and that means warmer temperatures, summer vacations, road trips, and summer camps. For many curly girls like my daughter, she’s a camp counselor and has to find fun things for the kids to do every day. One of the biggest and best is always swimming. Swimming is one of the best parts of summer, and while many of us only go a few times throughout the entire summer, some curlies have to be taking a dip in a chlorine bath every day. That is a load of harsh chemicals, heat, and sun for two or three months and Haleya22  is finding herself in dire need of some help. 

Question

How do I keep my hair not to dry while swimming every day? I am working at a camp and have to swim every day and wearing a shower cap is not an option. I am scared my hair is going to get so dry! Any options that I can do that will still get the chlorine out?

Answer

With as much exposure to sun, heat, and chlorine as you are getting, you will need to work harder than the average swimmer this summer. You will need to prepare your hair before the swim and care for it after to ensure you keep dryness at bay. Wet and coat your hair with a conditioner (cheap ones work just fine) or coconut oil so that you are keeping your hair from absorbing too much chlorinated water. Then you can focus on a post-swim routine that will keep your hair gorgeous and won’t take much out of your schedule.

Use a chlorine-fighting shampoo

You must wash your hair after swimming to get rid of the chlorine and mineral buildup. This may require a shampoo with sulfates, EDTA or phytic acid. Curly favorites Ouidad Water WorksEDEN BodyWorks Peppermint Tea Tree Shampoo and Kinky Curly Come Clean contain sulfates, EDTA and phytic acid respectively. Or you can find shampoos specifically designed for swimmers like UltraSwim Chlorine Removal Shampoo or Malibu Hair Treatment for Swimmers.

Put that moisture back into your strands

With all the chlorine, sun and cleansing you have to replenish your strands and give them some real love nightly. Here you want to use products that will hydrate as well as soften and deter tangles like SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Leave-in Conditioner, which is a reparative leave-in that will soften, detangle and control your frizz.

Weekly or bi-weekly hot oil treatments

Your hair will be taking a beating with all the chlorine, and one way to rejuvenate it is to take weekly or bi-weekly hot oil treatments. They will not only help your strands but also help your scalp, which will be taking a beating just as much as your hair.

Coconut Oil Hair Mask

  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • Plastic cap
  • Small microwave bowl
  • Plastic squeeze bottle (optional)

Combine oil and honey in small bowl and mix gently before warming for 30-45 seconds in microwave. Apply starting at the tips of hair and work up towards scalp. Once fully coated, place hair in plastic cap for 10-15 min. Rinse out of hair and cleanse as usual.

This is just one of several hot oil treatments that will combat dryness from all the swimming you will be doing this summer. Weekly, bi-weekly or even a couple of times a week (if you find you have severe dryness) will help to keep your strands healthy and soft.

Enlist an awesome deep conditioner

Deep conditioning should be done after every shampoo to close the hair shaft. SheaMoisture Superfruit Complex 10-In-1 Renewal System Hair Masque will be a great one to use for deep conditioning, as it is an intensive antioxidant-rich product that will restore any dryness you get from your avid swimming. A pre-poo prior to your weekly or bi-monthly cleansing would help restore those strands and get them ready for cleansing is good to like Darshana Natural Indian Hair Oil.