Looks like in the Southeast, we have a very hot summer ahead as most of the spring as included temperatures of at least 82 degrees or higher. Nothing beats the heat like jumping in the pool or ocean for a few days of poolside fun. The biggest challenges to swim days for natural hair divas, like myself, is maintaining and protecting our curly strands from harsh pool chemicals and sea salt. Speaking of pools, in my experience, pools that contain salt water have had less effects on my hair and skin. There are a lot of articles and bloggers that provide excellent resources and information about swimming hair care. Its definitely worth the time to research and become knowledgeable about protecting hair from the effects of pool water. After my own research and following several techniques, I finally found my preferred protection method, which I will share below, along with several resources used to develop my favorite swimming routine for kinky curly hair.
Swimming Routine for Kinky Curly Hair:
Before the big splash!
Saturate hair with water under shower and apply your favorite daily conditioner. Section hair and apply a light coat of your favorite oil, like coconut, almond, or olive oil. At this point you can put your hair in a protective style like a bun, chunky braids, or twists. At this point, jump in and enjoy the pool or follow these steps the night before and allow the hair to dry overnight for even more protection. Don’t forget to saturate hair with water before entering the pool, should you decide to apply products the night before. Saturating your hair with tap water before entering the pool will prevent your hair from absorbing too much chlorine water and protect your strands from the drying effects of this chemical.
- Option 1: If you know you are going to swim for consecutive days, this is the next step, if not, move to option 2. Rinse conditioner out and wash hair with a clarifying shampoo or chlorine removing shampoo and follow the Pre-Swim steps as described above.
- Option 2: Follow this process, when you know you are done swimming and will not re-enter the pool any time soon. Rinse conditioner out and wash hair using a clarifying or chlorine removing shampoo. After several days of swimming its important to combat the drying effects of chlorine by providing your hair with steps to moisturize and revive hair. Follow shampoo with a cowashing using a cleansing conditioner. Apply a deep conditioner and if available give yourself a steam treatment. If you don’t have a hooded steamer, use a handheld like Q Redew or sit for under hood drying with a cap. On my lazy days, I prefer a plastic cap, on the couch in front of the t.v. for 30-40 minutes.
- Rinse and style with your favorite styling product.
I have seen my best results post swimming when following this routine and my hair feels revived and moisturized. So go ahead and enjoy your dips in the pools and try this routine or adapt it for your hair needs. Check out my favorite products below.
My favorite products for swimming protection: