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Going For A Swim? Here Are The Best Ways To Protect Your Hair

by Maggie Young - July 25, 2020

Whether you’re into swimming laps or lounging in the pool, your hair will probably get exposed to chlorine. Unfortunately, these harsh chemicals that are used to keep the pool clean can do a number on your locks. Lively went to the hairstylist gurus to find out what can be done to maintain healthy hair while still cooling off in the pool this summer.

How Chlorinated Water Affects Your Hair

You will definitely know if your hair is getting damaged from the chlorinated water as the physical signs are unfortunately pretty apparent. “Hair will be looking dry and frizzy and you can almost feel a layer of ‘gunk’ on it,” shares Kelli Bebermeyer, a hairstylist at Helm. In addition, your hair can become discolored with prolonged exposure to chlorine. “Chlorine removes natural oils from both your scalp and your hair strands and when those oils are removed it weakens the hair and causes split ends,” Lindsay Jones, a hairstylist at Oliver’s Hair Salon, tells Lively. It’s always best to take the precautionary measures to protect your hair rather than try to undo prior damage.

How To Care For Your Hair Before Your Swim

Luckily, it’s super easy to make your hair pool-ready. Wet your hair and apply a barrier (leave-in conditioner) before jumping into the pool – especially if your hair is dyed. Bebermeyer shares that a conditioner provides a barrier between your hair and chlorine, so it adds that protection while you enjoy your swim.

Going For A Swim? 2 Experts Reveal How To Best Protect Your Hair

How To Care For Your Hair After Your Swim

The first thing you should do after you go swimming is probably what you would expect: Wash your hair as soon as you can. You can also try a DIY chlorine-neutralizing agent that you can pop into a spray bottle. “Mix 1/2 t of sodium ascorbate (vitamin C) powder with 4 oz. of distilled water,” Bebermeyer shares with Lively. “Shake and spray/rinse in your hair after swimming.” This DIY solution is only effective for the day as it breaks down, so just prep enough for 24 hours of use! Jones recommends a perfect product combo for your post-swim, including Oliver’s Extra Clean Shampoo to remove chemicals and Oliver’s Advanced Deep Treatment Mask (deep conditioner) to restore moisture and shine.

The Best Hairstyles For Swimming

We think about hairstyles for almost every occasion, but “the best hairstyles for swimming” is not talked about as often. Jones recommends any style that can prevent tangles such as a braid as it allows you to brush it out afterwards with minimal damage. When you’ve got a hairstyle that tangles easily, you’ll have to really pull at the hair strands, which breaks off hair and makes it less healthy. In addition, Bebermeyer shared that keeping your hair up also allows the protective barrier to stay in longer.

Feel ready? All that’s left to do is to dive in and enjoy your swim.

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