With summer right around the corner that means one thing for us this year — lots of swimming. We bought the girls a big above ground pool for Christmas (yes, they had to wait months to use their Christmas present – sad I know!) and so summer hair care has been a big thing on my mind lately. I’m sure you know, as I do, that frequent swimming can wreak havoc on hair. Not only does chlorine make your hair and skin smell bad, it dries your hair and skin out, makes your hair brittle and can even discolor your hair (especially for girls with lighter hair.) In years past the girls have gone swimming plenty, but I know having a pool in our back yard is going to probably mean daily swimming — and that is something we haven’t dealt with in the past. So this post and the ones that are coming up are as much for you as for me!
Along with researching things online, I talked with a few of my cute friends in my neighborhood that have been life guards and on their high school swim teams for advice. I also talked to my sister who is a stylist to see what she recommended. Just my little disclaimer here, remember everyone’s hair is different, so what works for one person may not work for another. These are just some ways you can help protect your hair and your daughter’s hair from damage caused from swimming and the sun. Scroll to the bottom for links to our other 2 posts of this series.
Here are some tips to help you as you head out to the pool this summer:
**Get your hair wet
By saturating your hair with cool water from a shower before getting in the pool, you’re going to help prevent your hair from sucking up all that chlorinated water. There are always signs at pools recommending you take a shower before entering the pool. This helps not only your hair, but your skin too. Stay tuned for next week’s post as we address this issue a bit further.
**Conditioner and a Swim Cap
My friends who were on the swim team said a lot of the swimmers wet their hair, put conditioner or coconut oil in it, put their hair up in a bun or braid and then put their swim cap on. Swim caps are making a come back lately too (and not just for the swim team!) There are so many cute ones for kids out there.
If you aren’t going to wear a swim cap, make sure your hair is in braids a bun or at least a ponytail. This will help cut down on knots which in turn will help prevent damage if your hair is fried. French braids are the most common way we keep their hair when they swim. Or if your cutie has shorter hair try our “Cheater French braids“
Of course you put sunscreen on your skin to protect against harmful rays, but if you’re not wearing a swim cap – if your hair is parted — don’t forget to put sunscreen where your scalp is showing. There’s nothing worse than a sunburned scalp and the flaky mess that comes after it starts to heal. Because of our scare last summer with the mole on Bug’s forehead, we extremely recommend using sunscreen on your body, face and scalp.
**Wear a hat
If you’re in and out of the pool lounging by the water, I recommend wearing a hat (not necessarily your swim cap.) It’s not just the chlorine that is brutal to your hair, the sun can also do damage. So invest in a fun wide brimmed hat to cover up your locks as well as the skin on your face.
**Use a clarifying shampoo and a leave- in or deep conditioner
There are a lot of clarifying shampoos on the market and ones that are even specifically for swimmers to help with swimmer’s hair. Clarifying shampoos are not always known for their conditioning abilities. While they are great for aiding in the removal of unwanted buildup of oil, styling products, and other grime, they can also dry hair out if over used. For that reason, I don’t recommend using a clarifying shampoo every day. So be sure to use a great conditioner afterward.
**Don’t blow dry your hair
If you’re not one to wear a swimming cap, once you’ve washed your hair after swimming – don’t blow it dry. Since chlorine dries out your hair and can make it brittle, allow your hair to air dry to prevent further damage from the hot hair dryer.
**Try a hair mask
If your hair starts showing signs of damage try a hair mask to help moisturize and condition your hair. While you may not be overly excited about putting some of these things in your hair, just remember that “neat” chemical called chlorine and maybe putting an avocado in your hair won’t seem so bad after all!! This one from Pretty Gossip only uses a couple tablespoons of honey and an avocado. You can see her full recipe & instructions HERE.
Swim Spray is a vitamin C serum and is a product I’ve just found out about but haven’t used. It claims to remove the chlorine from your hair and skin, along with that lovely chlorine smell that you never can seem to get rid of. I’m hoping to try this out because it’s the only thing out there I’ve found that looks like it might truly save our hair this summer!
**Get a Trim
Once the summer is over and you’ve waged the war against swimmer’s hair, I recommend getting a good trim. Even if you haven’t sustained too much damage to your hair, cutting damaged ends off will do wonders for the way your hair looks and feels.
Hopefully these tips will help you fight the battle against the swimming pool and sun this summer! What things have you found helpful in protecting your hair from chlorine and the sun?