Natural Hair Mag

Take A Swim, Naturally!

Swimming Lessons…

Well Not really, but its hot out somewhere in the world and many of you will be taking that dive in your nearest pool or traveling to a beach or lake somewhere.  I will give you a few tips on how to save your locs, dreads, weaves and natural hair from being dried and damaged by chlorine and salt water. Chlorine is very damaging; it zaps the hair of moisture and fades color quickly. While salt is great for dreadlocks it is very damaging to natural hair and locs as it makes hair very brittle. Hair must be shampooed after taking a swim, if not you will notice hair will begin to break off and feel like straw. Moisture is the key when swimming.

Cheryl Washington 4-24-14

Tip #1

Invest in a swim cap.  Traditional swim caps are made for bald to short fine hair and are meant for sleekness to increase speed, not to prevent hair from getting wet. Some of you may have a lot of hair, very thick and long so traditional swim caps may not work for you. I have the answer to that and will provide you with a solution. Larger swim caps come in 2 different materials; Lycra and the typical silicone. Lycra is softer on the hair and not as tight so your locs, dreads, natural hair & weaves WILL get soaking wet. Silicone is a rubber like material that is tighter, which will prevent your tresses from getting soaking wet but some strands will be a little damp. Make sure to pull cap down over ears, on forehead (beyond hairline) and below hairline on neck. Caps range in size and costs: from Large – Extra Large and from $10- $35.  This is a great investment especially if you swim a lot, because it helps to prevent much of the chlorine and salt from penetrating your hair.

Tip #2

Apply a conditioner on your hair if you will not be utilizing a swim cap. You can also put a little near hairline and to the entire length of hair near hairline prior to putting on swim cap (if you wearing cap improperly or hair is extremely thick and long your hair will get a little damp). If you have color in your hair utilize a color conditioner. This will also prevent the chlorine or salt from penetrating the your hair. Dampen the hair with a spray bottle of water then apply any kind of conditioner. I recommend a cheap kind as to this is not being used to soften hair or to moisturize it, but merely just acting as a barrier to prevent chlorine from penetrating the hair shaft.

Tip #3

After swimming rinse out conditioner until water runs clear. Then follow up by conditioning with professional line of conditioner and let sit for 5-10 minutes and rinse clear.  This will assist in removing the cheap conditioner and the small amount of chlorine out of the hair.  Afterwards apply natural oil: apricot, almond, avocado, coconut or olive oil and dry hair with dryer or you can proceed with wet set.

Just following these three tips will keep your natural hair, locs, dreads, or weaves soft supple and moisturized. Don’t be a slave to your hair. Get out and enjoy the spring and summer and get in your local pool because it’s really easy to S.imply K.eep Y.our H.air H.ealthy!!!

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  • Thanks for this! I love swimming, and I plan on going all summer. This will help me keep my hair in good shape.

  • keren

    What I like to do, if I know beforehand I’m going swimming, the night before I’ll prep my hair. My hair prep is parting in 4 and combing raw shea butter or some other thick, heavy hair butter and making 2 strand twists. I take them out and go swimming. I find that adding this layer of protection has worked great for me.