Friday, 4 April 2014

Curly Hair & Swimming Advice.

Chlorine is bad for hair as it damaged the cuticle by stripping it of natural oils causing it to crack. This then leaves the inner layer or cortex exposed and prone to splitting causing split ends and leaving the hair dry and brittle. This is why hair tends to feel very dry and tangled after swimming.

A lot of people including myself worry about swimming and having the chlorine damage our hair. There are things that you can do to protect your hair/lessen the damage and they can be very effective. Although they might not completely protect your hair, they are very worthwhile, generally little effort and I have seen some great results.

How To Prevent Chlorine Damage.

Wet Hair Prior- Saturating you hair fully before you get into the water is always a good idea. It is as simple as the non-chlorinated water being absorbed by the hair first, leaving little room for the chlorinated water. I would use warm water and then finish with cold as it can help close the cuticle.

Coconut Oil - When I go swimming I coat my hair with Coconut Oil. Coconut Oil actually penetrates the hair shaft as well as coating the outside of the strand so is really great for keeping the moisture in and chlorine out. I don't know to what extent exactly is can keep the chlorinated water out but it is a great barrier and I have seen good results.  I usually try and apply it as long as possible before swimming to ensure full absorption. It is a method quite widely used by curlies.

Conditioner - I know of some people coating their hair in conditioner before they swim. It should work again by creating a barrier between the water and the hair. I think how effective it would be would surely depend on the content. This is not a method I use as surely the water would wash out the conditioner when you get in the pool? Plus I don't think my local swimming baths would be too impressed.

ACV - A lot of people do an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse after swimming to remove the chlorine as ACV is a natural cleanser. I do do this, but I am not sure to exactly what extent the ACV is able to remove the chlorine. But again it is fairly widely used.

Leave in Conditioner - Making sure hair is moisturised is a great way to ensure the chlorine will do minimum damage. Chlorine is very drying so I would use this both before and after swimming.

Warm Water - Just as cold water closes the cuticle warm water can help to open the cuticle of the hair allowing any bits of chlorine that have snuck in to be washed out.

Swimming Cap - Possibly reminiscent of school swimming lessons or synchronised swimming but they are probably the most fool proof way of protecting hair. 


1 comment

  1. Good advice - I didn't think of wetting my hair before swimming to prevent chlorine damage but it makes sense.


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