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Exercise Course - 6 Healthy Hair Tips for Swimmers!
Swimming is a fantastic way to get or stay in shape. Its a great way to build endurance, flexibility and cardiovascular strength.
It is a lot easier on the joints than running or weight training and can be a excellent form of meditation and/or stress release.
If you decide to make swimming a part of your daily or weekly workout regimen, you need to take certain precautions to protect your hair.
In order to prevent the spread of bacteria, viruses, algae and larvae (for outside pools), chemical disinfectants like chlorine, bromine, mineral sanitizers and other filters are used.
These chemicals, chlorine in particular, dehydrate the hair and are particularly harmful to ethnic hair as it is already pre-disposed to dryness.
Chlorine sucks away sebum, the natural oil our scalp produces to keep the hair healthy, and this causes the cuticle to dry out and crack. The end result is dry, brittle hair.
Here are a few tips to protect your hair as you swim!
1. Rinse Thoroughly
Before you jump in the pool, rinse your hair thoroughly with warm water.
Why? Think about a sponge. If you place a dry sponge in a puddle of water, it will absorb the water until it is saturated.
If you place a wet sponge in a pool of water, it will only absorb a small quantity of water. The sponge is already filled with water so there is no need to absorb the puddle water.
We want to hair shaft to be swollen and full of water before we hop in the pool. This way the hair does not absorb the chlorinated water.
So, hop in the shower or rinse your hair over the sink so ensure it is saturated with regular tap water before hopping in the pool.
2. Apply a conditioner
After the hair is saturated, apply a conditioner. Any cheap conditioner will do. I will typically pick up 32 oz of Tresemme or a few $1 bottles of Vo5 conditioner at my local grocery store because they are cheap, often on sale, easy to find and I don't mind using a lot of the product.
Apply a generous amount of the conditioner to hair, making sure to coat the length, roots and scalp.
This treatment will not only condition the hair, it will act as a barrier to the harsh pool water.
Do not rinse out the conditioner. We want the pool water to work extra hard to get to your delicate hair strands!
3. Go for a Swim!
Slick back the hair and (if possible) wrap the hair with saran wrap and cover with a swim cap. Even if a bit water seeps into the swim cap, the hair is well-protected.
4. Use a Chelating Shampoo
After swimming, rinse out the conditioner and pool water for at least 3-5 minutes and use a Chelating Shampoo. The chemicals in the shampoo "chelate" with the chlorine and rinse it out of the hair.
Popular Chelating Shampoos:
L'anza Swim & Sun Daily Shampoo, Joico K-Pak Chelating, Joico Resolve Chelating Shampoo, Nexxus Aloe Rid (with chelating gel), Nexxus Phyto Organics Kelate Purifying Shampoo. Ouidad Water Works, Artec Textureline Daily Clarifying Shampoo, Kenra Clarifying Chelating Shampoo, Paul Mitchell Shampoo Three, Aveda Detox.
5. Apply a Deep Conditioner
Apply a super emollient deep conditioner to the hair in sections, cover with a plastic cap and sit under a hood dryer, hang out in your gym's steam room or just let penetrate for 20-30 minutes.
6. Use a Low/No Heat Method of Styling
To combat dryness, try air drying the hair in braids, twists or a bun. Then, style or flat iron for a sleep style. Or, try setting your hair on roller, rods or curlers and allowing the hair to dry overnight or under a hood dryer. Try, if possible, to avoid using both a blowdryer and flat iron or curling iron as the direct heat is especially drying to those who swim regularly.
I hope these tips are helpful! Please list questions below! Please Note - You must be a member to create or view comments!