There's nothing more freeing than a refreshing dip after a long day at work. There's just something about getting soaked in cold pool water that makes you say, "Finally! I'm getting the rest I need and deserve,"
And during summer, swimming is the very first activity that comes to mind when we're plan to go on a trip. It's no surprise that the resorts with huge pools is the go-to destination for everyone. It's a great activity for adults and kids alike, not to mention conversation at the pool lounge are simply the best.
This is how those who swim for fun view the activity. For those who go swimming to get fit, there's a whole different list of reasons why swimming is good. For one, it's a good all-over body workout. It is easy on the joints but at the same time helps you burn calories.
Either way, it can't be denied that swimming, whether for fun or for fitness, is an activity that is never not relaxing. However, it does not come with lapses. One. it can affect your hair one way or another—and not in a good way.
The sea is a good place to be during summer. Salt water, contrary to popular belief, actually has therapeutic benefits for your hair. Mother Sea's water is rich in vitamins and minerals that are hair friendly. These elements, when absorbed by your strands, promotes smooth circulation, which, in result, supports hair growth.
But then, nothing is perfect, and nature's gifts are no exception. Salt water can damage your hair too. The amount of salt content in seawater is significantly high, which makes it more than capable of sucking water out of your hair. When these liquid particles are removed, your hair is left brittle and dry.
Sea water also has negative effects on those with colored mane. Soaking in salt water will give your hair an undesirable, hard texture.
If you choose to get that much-deserved dip in the pool, the story might not be entirely different; that is, hair damage is still very much possible—if not worse. After all, the wordchlorine does not really ring a good bell, does it?
Chlorine in swimming pool water, according to Dr. Shereene Idriss of Union Square Laser Dermatology, rids our hair of the natural oils it needs to keep it naturally shiny. As a result, it leaves our locks dry and lackluster. Some swimmers have shared swimming in chlorinated water has turned their locks green. While it isn't technically the chlorine that caused it but the copper that's been oxidized by it, it is still not a good effect on people's hair.
None of us would want to give up swimming altogether. But we can’t really let our hair suffer through damages just because we want to have fun, can we?
Thankfully, there are ways you can protect your hair while swimming. And there are a few tips you can follow to give it an extra layer of protection before you go fun-dipping in the pool.
Prevention is always better than cure, so here are a few things you should do before you go swimming.
Chlorine contains certain elements that you certainly do not want in your hair. As previously mentioned, it can leave it dry and looking like it has not known moisture ever. Rinsing your locks with natural, fresh, non-chlorinated water before you enter the pool will help prevent water with chlorine from getting absorbed in your hair. Your hair is like the sponge. It absorbs liquid fast, but if it is already soaked, the water will just slide away and eventually run off.
Giving your hair additional protection is never a waste. So before you go swimming in the pool or the sea, apply some oil. Coconut oil is one of the best ones you can use. Olive oil is another good alternative.
The properties of the oil will prevent the chlorinated pool water or saltwater from entering and damaging your locks.
Leave-in conditioner has the same effects as oil. So if a hair treatment is not feasible, opt for a leave-in conditioner instead. Coat your mane with loads of this hair product. It is a good way to shield your precious hair from the harmful chemicals present in chlorinated water and seawater.
Now that you have taken a few protective measures, here are the things you must do to prevent your hair from getting damagedwhile you are in the pool.
Swim cap is your best armor here. Wearing one is the best way to keep your hair protected while you have fun swimming under the sun.
You can do all three protective measures mentioned above—pre-swim shower, oil treatment, and leave-in conditioner— but if you want to give it the best kind of protection, using a swim cap is your best option. It prevents damaging elements present in pool water from coming in contact with your hair.
You can also deep-condition your hair before you wear a swimming cap for added protection.
If you are not a fan of swim caps, tying your hair up is your second-best option. This is just so your hair won’t be exposed to chlorine as much as it would had you let it all loose. Tying it in a bun properly, in a way that does not lead to dreadful breakage.
It does not end there. Once you get out of the pool, there are things you may still have to immediately do to keep it protected.
Yes, just like how you are advised to wet your hair with natural, fresh water before entering the pool, it is also highly advisable that you do the same as soon as your step out of the pool. Post-swim rinse is just as important as the pre-swim shower. This is so you can strip your hair of the harmful chemicals your strands might have come in contact with as you swam. Water will remove the chlorine that might be present in your locks.
It is even advisable that you do this in between swims. Should you want to take a little break from all the swimming for a few minutes to grab a drink, head to the shower and rinse your hair. And should you wish to go back, do the same. Some will find it unnecessary, but this is really a great help if you don’t want to end up with dull, frizzy mane.
You do not have to use hair products as you do this. Water alone will do the trick.
Using shampoo for post-swim shower is not necessary, but it has its benefits. Shampoo, with all the minerals and vitamins contained in it, is one of the best ways to protect your hair from the damages caused by the salt or chlorine.
Make sure, however, that the shampoo you are using is especially made for chlorine removal, especially if you are a regular swimmer.
If you don’t have shampoo to use, apple cider vinegar makes a good alternative.
Just like a good ol’ shower, deep-conditioning your hair is something you should do not just before you enter the pool, but also after you leave it. One of the worst effects of spending quite a lot of time in the pool is that it rids your hair of is natural moisture. Resurrect our moisturized hair by applying leave-in conditioner as soon as you get out of the pool.
Brushing is something we do every day, all too often that we do it carelessly, forgetting that doing it the wrong way is as good as not doing it at all. Comb it gently. Don’t put too much strength as you do it, as this will only lead to breakage.
You also have to make sure that you are using the right brush. Not all brushes work with all types of hair. A detangling brush, for one, serves a different purpose from a teasing hair brush. You can use this article as guide on which brush you should use on your hair.
Swimming is never not fun. If anything, it is probably one of those things we can’t ever stop doing. Sometimes, when life takes a toll on us, taking a dip is the only way we can unwind. But just like any other recreational activity, it has its fair share of negative effects on our body. In the case of swimming, it’s our skin and hair that are the most unsafe. But there is always something you can do. May this article help you protect your locks as you bask in the relaxing glory summer swimming offers.