Summers are here and it makes perfect sense to head to the beach, local watering hole or the swimming pool or water adventure getaway to hide away from the heat or embrace the season. You are all enjoying your swims, after all swimming is the best full body, calorie burning exercise for your body! However, we tend to overlook the presence of chlorine, sea salt, bits of lake life and other chemicals in water besides the harsh summer sun rays which can wreak disaster on our crowning glory! Needless to add, we could end up with hair-fall, frayed, dull, brittle, moisture-less, damaged hair resulting in a hair trauma. Well, ruining your lovely locks after a day in the pool isn’t worth it! Therefore, it is vital to maintain a hair care regime before and after a swim. Here are a few fabulous ways to protect the hair!
Spend a few minutes before and after swimming to help your hair survive the salt, sun and hair havoc.
Pre-swimming Hair Care
1. Protect your hair against chlorine by wetting your hair meticulously before you go swimming, this is because wet hair absorbs less chlorine and sea salt as opposed to dry hair. Hair is akin to sponge, it absorbs all that it possibly can hence your hair can no further absorb more! The water doused hair, swells each strand foiling it from soaking in chlorine filled water. Avoid pre-swim shampooing as shampoo strips the hair of its natural oils that act as a barrier between your hair and chlorine and hydrates the top layer of the skin.
2. Apply a conditioner, leave-in serum all over your hair before hitting the pool. This is because the silicone present in the conditioner can create a fence between your hair and water keeping chlorine and other chemicals at a bay besides will give you tangle free tresses as well.
3. You can also apply a light coating of olive, sesame or jojoba oil to your hair creates a barrier between the hair and chlorine resulting in damage-free hair, as you seal the moisture lest your hair turns green or bleaches out!
4. Wear a swim cap before you dive in! Soaking the hair with oil followed by wearing a swim cap provides double shield to the hair against chemicals or the hair from becoming wet or even clogging ears. If you have ultra-sensitive hair, you can cover your hair with a shower cap followed by a swim cap for double protection and fully prevent the water from seeping through.
5. You can try Shea butter for the hair for its natural sunscreen properties which prevents UVA and UVB ray effects on the hair. 6. You could also whip your long hair into a braid, flat twists, buns or bantu knots, for protective hairstyles to prevent tangling and minimize chlorine water absorption.
Post Swimming Haircare
1. Once you are done with your swimming session, make sure you wash your hair scrupulously, they say at least 5 times to eliminate any trace of chlorine, grime or stiff chemicals from your hair. You must use a fine quality clarifying shampoo for washing your hair, or a pinch of baking soda added to your regular mild shampoo and do not simply rinse it with plain water.
2. You need to re-condition your hair post swimming as chlorine can be harsh on you and may dry out your hair. So you need to shampoo and condition your hair as a regime, even if you go swimming every single day, this process helps you repair the lost moisture. Alternatively, you could rinse your hair with vinegar to restore the hair balance and hydrates the cuticle.
3. Brushing wet hair is begging for trouble, hence use a wide tooth comb. You should gently work your way through the hair tangles and the wide teeth steer clear of frizzy strands and breakage.
4. Once you are through with your swimming, do not use direct heat or heated styling products or gadgets on your hair. Instead use a heat diffuser attachment or low heat dryer for less damage to the hair.
Hair Expert Shruti Venkat says, ‘Whether you go for a lap at the pool or ocean try to take some time out for your hair. You could apply coconut oil as a pre-swim regime and post swim apply apple cider vinegar to remove residues in your hair leaving your hair soft and shiny besides providing some lasting love to your locks. Keep a shower cap, hair oil, and protectant, leave-in or deep conditioners with SPF, normalizing shampoo, serum in your swimming bag at all times.’