A Guide To Protecting Your Natural Hair When Swimming

Jan 28, 2021
04:31 A.M.
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Exposure to chlorine can cause unsightly yellow-ish roots, split ends, and brittle hair. Luckily there are ways to protect your hair from damage caused by swimming.


A dip in the pool is lovely on a warm spring's day but done regularly; you may notice the toll it takes on your precious tresses.

Exposure to chlorine and even salt from the ocean can cause hair discoloration and can be extremely drying, causing brittle, lackluster hair. Here are tips to keep your healthy when swimming.

Wet Your Hair with Fresh Water Before Getting Into The Pool Or Beach


It's important to make sure that your hair has the best chance at staying healthy before you hop into the pool. Just as you apply sunscreen before heading out into the sun, make sure you drench your hair in freshwater before you swim.

This means that your hair is already swelled with fresh water before fetting exposed to chlorinated water, making it less likely for the pool water to penetrate the hair.

Coat Your Strands

Photo by karl muscat on Unsplash

Photo by karl muscat on Unsplash

To those who swear by coconut for all, here's yet another perfect use for your holy grail oil. Before hopping in for a swim, coat your hair with oil or even conditioner.


Coconut is a big fave for many, but the truth is, you could use one of your other favorite oils like olive or castor oil for this purpose. The purpose being to minimize chlorine water penetration through the strand.

Protective Style

Photo by Leighann Blackwood on Unsplash

Photo by Leighann Blackwood on Unsplash

Protection is in the name and will help guard your hair against some of the adverse effects of swimming in a pool, like shrinkage and tangles in curly and coily hair.


Take a few minutes before heading out to the waters to twist, braid, Bantu knot your hair, and your hair will be ever grateful for it.

After Swimming

Photo by Curology on Unsplash

Photo by Curology on Unsplash

If you have natural hair, you may already be wary of blow dryers, but all hair types may benefit from avoiding dryers after a swim. Blow dryers can dry the hair further. Pat your hair dry, and don't stand out in the sun.

“Repeatedly dunking your head in a chlorinated pool and letting it dry in the sun is perhaps one of the worst things you can do to your hair on holiday. Chlorine, like UV rays, oxidises the hair – and mixing the two together can spell double the trouble.”

Anabel Kingsley, trichologist at the Philip Kingsley Clinic in Mayfair, tells Evening Standard.

Use a Clarifying Shampoo After A Swim

Photo by Gabriele Lässer on Unsplash

Photo by Gabriele Lässer on Unsplash

Wash your hair with a clarifying or normalizing shampoo after a swim. This will remove some of the chlorine that's in your hair.

You can also rinse your hair using apple cider vinegar to remove chlorine and other impurities found in pool water, such as salt. Follow-up with a conditioner or hair mask and then thoroughly moisturizing the hair.

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