Summer is fast approaching and as the days grow hotter, we are all going to be seeking out ways to beat the summer heat. Spending the days and nights at the pool or beach during the summer months is a must! But like most kinky-coily-curly gals we often times choose not to participate in having too much fun in the water, simply because of the fear of getting our hair wet.
I’ve lived in a country surrounded by the Caribbean Sea all my life, so swimming at the beach has always been a part of my life. When I first went natural I didn’t take any extra steps when going swimming but as my hair grew in length, swimming freely felt like a chore more than having fun. Whether swimming in a pool filled with chlorinated water or the salty sea, your hair is susceptible to becoming damaged.
Pre-Poo using Coconut Oil (unrefined & organic)
Before taking a dip in the water, apply coconut oil (my preferred oil of choice) to your tresses. Not only will the coconut oil act as a protective barrier for your hair against salt or chlorine. But it will also help to strengthen the shaft of your hair and also retain moisture by sealing moisture into the hair shaft.
Saturate Your Hair
Okay, this one may sound weird and perhaps a bit tedious too but after trying it myself I can truthfully swear by this tip. I know you’re probably asking yourself, ‘why in the world would anyone wet their hair BEFORE getting in the water?’ In short, saturated hair will simply soak up less sea salt or chlorine than dry hair will.
Still now following? Think of a sponge. If you place the sponge in water, it absorbs the water until fully saturated. If you take that now saturated sponge and place it in the ocean or a pool, the sponge will not be able to absorb much more water because it is already filled with water. Now think of our hair like a sponge, if we saturate our hair with water before hopping in the pool, our hair will absorb the fresh water, and there will be little room for the salt water or chlorine to penetrate your hair.
Coat the Hair with Conditioner
By adding a generous amount of conditioner to your hair before going swimming you minimize the amount of chlorine that can penetrate the hair. Like using an oil, the conditioner will seal the hairs cuticle which in turn creates a barrier between your strands and the chlorine or salt water.
I personally opt for moisturizing conditioners that gives lots of slip because I find that after swimming my hair doesn’t feel as parched which allows for easier detangling.
I was once told that we shouldn’t be swimming with out kinks, curls and coils flowing around us freely because it’s a recipe for disaster. A tangled mess of a disaster! But since applying the conditioning method above, I’ve realized for my hair type there really is no need for protective styling (unless I go cliff jumping, but thats an entire different story).
You can either wear your hair in a swim cap or in a protective hair style like flat twists and braids. If I had to choose, I’d definitely go with the latter. Not only are swim caps unflattering, but they are hard to fit on a head full of coils. Plus they pull at your hairline which can cause your edges to weaken, and lord knows how much we love our edges! In my opinion, if you don’t wish to leave your hair out while swimming, pick a protective hair style that works for you (I like doing two big braids) to keep your hair from becoming tangled or even worst…matted!
Post Swim Rules
What you do after swimming is just as important as the steps you take before taking a dip. If you plan on being in and out of the water all day, try to rinse hair with water each time you get out. If you’re as hard core as I am, apply a little more conditioner for extra protection before diving back in.
Once home, rinse hair thoroughly with water, followed by using a clarifying shampoo, then lastly apply a deep conditioner to help replace any moisture that may have been lost while swimming in the salty sea water or the chlorinated pool.
I really hope you take these tips with you on your next visit to the pool or beach. If you do, be sure to let me know if any of these tips helped (or not). In the comment section below also let me know what you do to prep your hair before taking a dip!? Talk Soon. Nuff Love, Natasha ♥
If you are curious about my hair in these shots, this was a 3 day old wash and go that was picked out at the root and midway down my hair shaft to create volume and to loosen up my curl definition. Once I achieved the desired amount of volume and texture, I finger coiled the tips of the hairs that frame my face.
To Create Coil at the tips of hair: Aloe Berry Styling Gel