HOW TO PROTECT YOUR NATURAL HAIR WHILE SWIMMING
The pool is open! If you’re like me the first thing you do is cringe, because while everyone if figuring out what bathing suit to wear, I’m trying to figure out what to do with my beautiful 4c natural hair. Usually, during the summer before vacation my hair is in some protective style, but what do you do when you don’t have a protective style and it’s time to swim? Not to worry, there are protective measures to keeping your natural hair healthy before and after you get in the pool.
Ditch the swimming cap
What?! That’s right, ditch it. I never met a swim cap that didn’t pinch my hair causing unnecessary breakage. However, I realize that all swim caps are not created equal, if you found a cap that is not as tight as the traditional cap, you will still need to protect your hair underneath. First, braid your hair in a few braids. The braid creates strength making breakage not as easy. When it comes to your edges (the weakest part of your hair) add few drops of an essential oil or moisturizer to your edges before putting on a swim cap. I recommend adding Jamaican Castor Oil to your whole head before putting a swim cap on. Chances are you will get a little salt or chlorine water in your hair and the oil acts as a barrier that protects your natural strands. Try a cap specifically for long, thick curly hair or locks.
Wet your hair
Yes, wet your hair before you take a dip in the pool or ocean. Your natural hair will absorb the chlorine and salt water and the fresh water added to your hair before swimming absorbs it leaving little room for the pool or salt water to penetrate your hair. I keep a spray bottle of fresh water in my beach bag to keep my hair from the drying properties of the chlorine and salt.
COAT your hair
Add a oil protectant to your strands before swimming. A great recommended product is Philip Kingsley Swim cap cream. Coconut oil it’s a great barrier that shields your hair from not only the salt and chlorine but UV rays. I prefer using conditioner, I wet my hair with the fresh water and then add conditioner.
Add a protective style
My protective style is usually braids or a crochet style but like I said before, when it’s time to take a dip in the pool for the weekend I don’t usually have my protective style in place. If you need a quick protective style and you have longer hair, a top knot or big braid is a great protective style. If your hair is shorter, big bantu knots work well.
WASH with a clarifying shampoo
Although you took precautions to protecting your hair from the chlorine and salt you still need to wash your hair IMMEDIATELY after a swim. The longer you walk the beach with salt and chlorine in your hair, it is drying your hair out. UltraSwim Chlorine Removal Moisturizing Shampoo is a great product to try this summer! Once I wash my hair I immediately do the LOC method. I swear by this method actually! Keeping my hair trimmed and using this method had grown my hair so much. Natural hair is like a plant it needs moisture. If you put moisturizer on dry hair all it is doing is locking in the dryness and dryness causes your hair to break off! The LOC method locks in moisture so while your hair is wet apply this method. LOC stands for Leave-In Conditioner, Oil and Cream. Don’t forget to detangle your hair! While your hair is wet WITH the leave-in conditioner take a wide tooth comb and detangle your hair. The more slip your hair has the easier it is to comb. Remember to start from the ends and go up to the root. Next add an oil like coconut, jojoba, or almond. Lastly a heavy cream to seal or lock all that moisture in. If you are going to be in the sun and leaving your hair out a curling cream will make your curls pop for a nice summer style.