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-   -   swimming in the ocean(

allisonmccul 02-01-2013 03:06 PM

swimming in the ocean
i am going to the bahamas at the end of the month and i am wondering about salt water and curly girl. Anyone have any experience with this. will my regular co wash be enough to get my hair clean, or will i need to try a lo-poo?


NvmbrCurlss 02-02-2013 12:43 PM

First of all...yay for u!!! Cowash will suffice and don't forget to bring good oils to ward off the sun, seal the hair and protect the curl from the salt. Now, chlorine from a pool is another story, u may want to low-poo for that :(

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curleeangel 02-15-2013 12:39 PM

I just came back from a vacation in the Caribbean. I HIGHLY recommend a shampoo. Cowashing alone will NOT get the gunk out. I didn't bring a sulfate free shampoo and was stuck using the shampoo in our villa.

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curleeangel 02-15-2013 12:41 PM

And I had the exact opposite experience. Conditioner alone left my hair feeling clean after a dip in the pool. Do use some type of uv protection though or better yet, a hat!

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Ericachristina 02-15-2013 05:36 PM

I travel a lot and I have been to several islands in the Bahamas. I loved the way the salt and other minerals in the water made my hair feel, it felt so soft like I had deep conditioned it so I made a point of letting my hair free to soak in the water. I did bring along a sulfate free shampoo just to make sure I washed everything out and so that my hair didn't smell like the ocean. I also used a lot of conditioner and my hair felt amazing. I think salt water is great for curly hair. I did bring my heat protectant and I used that every morning before leaving the resort, the sun can get pretty hot and I wanted my hair to have some protection.

Eilonwy 02-24-2013 04:29 PM

Oh hai, I have more important stuff to do but I'm trying to avoid it, so I made you a gigantic, overly detailed post!

Swimming in the ocean can make hair feel amazing and give you beautiful curls... for a day or two. Seawater is highly damaging to hair! It leaves behind mineral deposits that harden and dry out your hair, and the salt is so abrasive that it tears at your hair. Chlorine also leaves mineral deposits on your hair, as well as stripping oils and disturbing protein bonds.

So, whether you're dealing with chlorine or seawater, you should do the following:
  1. Before swimming, detangle your hair and tie it in a bun, ponytail, or braid. This will reduce tangling and matting from chlorine and seawater. Ideally, wear a swim cap.
  2. After swimming, thoroughly rinse your hair with freshwater and gently detangle. This is especially important after swimming in the ocean! Seawater should never be allowed to dry on hair, so be sure to rinse your hair while it's still wet.
  3. Remove the minerals deposits from chlorine and seawater with a chelating shampoo.
Wait, isn't shampoo the devil? And don't chelating shampoos contain ~sulfates~ ?!? Swimming presents special circumstances where the benefits of shampoo outweigh the costs. Chlorine and seawater coat hair with a mineral film that's both damaging and difficult to remove. Like it or not, the only real way to get rid of it is with chelating shampoos. Not all chelating shampoos are labeled as such, so just look for common chelating ingredients like EDTA, sodium citrate, and trisodium phosphate. A lot of cheap drugstore shampoos are actually chelating! You should also use them about once a month if you have hard water.

Some other tips:
  1. Before your vacation, get your hair in extra-good shape by using moisturizing and/or protein deep treatments.
  2. Limit absorption of chlorine and seawater by drenching your with freshwater right before you swim. If your hair is already sopping wet, it will have difficulty absorbing additional water. You can also enhance the drenching with a light coating conditioner. (I think sealing with coconut oil would work even better.)
  3. Limit keratin damage by covering hair with a hat, scarf, or swim cap. UV rays break down the protein bonds in your hair.
  4. Replace oils stripped by chlorine and chelating by using richer moisturizing conditioners/ treatments than usual. You can use them more frequently, too.
  5. Compensate for protein lost to chlorine and UV rays by patching your hair with protein conditioners and/or reconstructors. The effects of protein products are always temporary, but you can maintain them through regular use. You'll probably need to follow them up with a moisturizing conditioner.
This post is my interpretation of information from the book Hair Care Rehab, which I highly recommend. Currently the Kindle version costs only 10 bucks. Citation: Davis-Sivasothy, Audrey (2012). Hair Care Rehab: The Ultimate Hair Repair & Reconditioning Manual. Saja Publishing Company.

NvmbrCurlss 02-25-2013 09:18 PM

^^^ Very informative Eilonwy! :)

Ericachristina 02-26-2013 08:36 PM

Wow my hair has never felt dry after exposure to sea water it just feels each her own I guess.

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