Swimming is a very important activity as relates to body health care, but our hair care is also important, which is what brings us to how to protect hair when swimming every day.
Swimming can be likened to a form of healing by means of strengthening and repairing worn-out bodies through contact with the water.
As such, swimming tends to be one of the most sought-after ways of relaxing our nerves from the hustle, bustle, and tussle of everyday life.
In this article, we will be discussing How To Protect Hair When Swimming every day but before then let’s look at the reasons why the hair shouldn’t be exposed when swimming.
Things Our Hair Are Get Exposed To
There is more than one danger to swimming, but the danger that takes the cake and wins the top spot on this list is chlorine. You need to know how to protect hair when swimming every day from chlorine especially.
Chlorine is a base chemical element, CL atomic number 17 on the periodic table. Despite its unnatural scent, it is actually naturally occurring, and despite the thrust of this article, it does a lot of cool things.
Chlorine is one of the most powerful and surprisingly economical methods to kill germs. Disinfectants made with chlorine can eliminate a ton of dangerous germs.
It’s used in homes, hospitals, hotels, restaurants, and of course, swimming pools. You wouldn’t want to swim in a public swimming pool that hasn’t been disinfected, trust me.
However, chlorine can be a little too good at its job sometimes. Chlorine, like most disinfectants, is usually used to break down or strip away dirt, oil, and bacteria.
The problem with that is that our follicles naturally make oil and sebum to protect our hair from damage and the dirty dangerous world around us. Removing the oil from your hair can dry it out, cause over-drying, and can increase your hair’s porosity.
While the occasional dip is OK, regularly exposing yourself to the chlorine in swimming pools can cause some pretty serious damage to your hair.
To me, swimming is an outdoor occasion for sunny days. I think most of you feel the same way. This presents a second danger.
The sun isn’t all bad. It provides some good things for your hair, like Vitamin D which helps prevent hair loss.
However, it can damage your hydrolipidic film, which is a part of your hair that fights against external bacteria. It also harms epithelial cells, which helps your hair grow.
UV light from the sun can take away Vitamin E and C from these cells, which they kinda need.
Every single hair professional in the world will tell you that your hair needs moisture. What they don’t often say is that there can be too much of a good thing.
Too much exposure to water can harm your hair, and it’s especially bad for damaged hair. Let me explain.
Normal hair is supposed to soak up 30% of its weight in water when you dunk it in a body of water. Hair that is too porous which don’t forget, is one of the effects of chlorine will soak up even more.
It can soak up to almost 50% of its weight in water. When this happens it causes your hair strands to elongate because of the water’s weight and it will lose some of its tensile strength.
Think of it as someone pulling your hair all the time. To make matters worse, hair that is very curly can lose almost 50% of its strength when wet, which is a big deal.
There is also something called hygral fatigue. Your hair will when soaked repeatedly, swell during the process, then shrink unevenly afterward.
This will stress your hair out in a physical way in the cortex of the hair strands. This means your hair will experience gradual fatigue of the fiber, which makes it way more likely to break when under stress.
Why Covering Of The Hair Is Important When Swimming
Before we get on with how to protect hair when swimming every day, let’s first discuss the importance of covering the hair when swimming.
As we all know, pools are protected from germs and bacteria by the inclusion of chlorine into them by way of chasing them off from causing damages or havoc to our bodies.
Sadly, swimming and our natural hair do not go hand in hand. The pool water helps to relax the body but causes harm to the hair. In the process of swimming, the nutrients in our hair are being washed off leading to fragile hair.
This is caused by the chemicals that are dropped into the pool in a way to keep it safe. These, in turn, change the looks of the hair and weaken the hair to a point of breakage.
If peradventure you go into such a pool with your hair, there’s a greater possibility of your hair getting faded if dyed, due to the effect of the chlorinated water.
There are several ways how to protect your hair when swimming every day and after swimming. But first, we’ll be looking at the different ways to get your hair protected right before entering the pool to swim.
Covering Of Hair With Swimming/Shower Cap
You can’t talk about how to protect hair when swimming every day without talking about the swimming or shower cap. Get a cap to tuck your hair into it to keep the hair safe from being affected by the water.
The swimming/shower cap would certainly prevent water from entering into the cap thereby getting your hair highly protected from the chances of it getting damaged.
As shocking as it may look, braiding your hair is one best ways of protecting your hair from chlorinated and saltwater.
When the hair is well braided, the tendency of the water going deeper into the nook and crannies which can also be referred to as the innermost part of the hair is very slim.
When the hair becomes extremely weak from getting wet, splitting, fading and the inability to get a comb to pass through the hair becomes a tug of war.
That is to say, entangling the hair after being in the water for it to be properly combed is way difficult leading to breakage of the hair.
However, there’s a but and that is, the braiding of the hair saves the hair from many breakages making the tendency of it breaking and fading completely to be reduced.
Also, ensure the braid is a bit loose and not too tight, so you don’t get affected by it.
Hair Products That Fight Against Chlorine And Saltwater
Having hair products that can be used for the hair during and even after swimming is something worth appreciating over and over again.
We have a few hair products that strictly fight against chlorine and saltwater. Some of these hair products are;
The hair products above can be applied to the hair before and after swimming to keep the hair from getting damaged, by the chlorinated water used in driving away harmful germs and bacteria from the water.
Steps to follow on How To Protect Hair When Swimming every day After Swimming
Do Not Dry Your Hair With A Thick Towel
After swimming, resist the urge to dry your hair with a thick towel. I know this is one of the first things we do immediately we’re out of the water.
We grab a towel to wipe out the excess water that would be trickling down to our faces, necks, and bodies.
Wiping the hair with a clean thick towel would mean pulling out your hair with the towel.
The chlorinated water must have settled down in the hair as such, wiping with a thick towel isn’t necessary.
Rather, get a soft cloth fiber to wipe off the water gently and not aggressively.
Rinse Your Hair
The first step to embark on the moment you step out of the pool should be getting into the shower to rinse your hair. During swimming, the hair must have been sapped off its entire nutrients.
The chlorinated or salt water is definitely going to come in contact with not just your hair but your entire body.
In other words, you are not only going to rinse your hair but you are required to rinse your body and your suit alongside your hair so all the chemicals used would be rinsed out.
What is expected of you should be entering a shower to wash off the chlorinated water immediately so it doesn’t stick to the hair thereby leading to breakage and fading?
This could be worst for an individual with dyed or colored hair. Moreover, it must be done as quickly as possible.
Waiting could mean danger leading to more damages to the hair. So, you shouldn’t even give it a thought. Go to the bathroom as soon as you can.
Condition And Shampoo
After rinsing the hair carefully with clean water, the next step would be the application of condition and shampoo.
The condition is needed to soften the hair and to make it extremely smooth, while the shampoo is applied to the hair to cleanse it from harmful chemicals and from unproductive cells of the skin. In simpler words, shampoo products are cleansing agents.
Hence, their usefulness can’t be overemphasized. They’re highly needed or required to get the hair in the right condition it ought to be.
The application of coconut oil becomes the next step to take after washing the hair with conditioner and shampoo.
Coconut oil carries a lot of useful ingredients that would keep the hair from tangling not causing them to break off so easily or fade.
Some of the benefits of using coconut oil on the hair before or after swimming includes;
Coconut oil makes hair grow Faster and it acts as a barrier against damages that could be wrought on the hair after swimming.
So to avoid the hair from absorbing the chlorine into the hair, use coconut oil to act as a barrier.
The coconut oil can be applied to the hair before entering the pool as well. Either before swimming or after swimming. The choice is yours to make.
If you’re to follow the laydown procedures on how to protect your hair when swimming, the probability of your hair breaking would be so low.
Air Dry Your Hair Without Combing
The last step we’ll be looking at on how to protect hair when swimming every day would be air-drying the hair.
For most persons, combing the hair before leaving it to dry comes first. Whereas for others, it’s better off letting the hair dry off on its own.
However, regardless of what you want to do at that point in time, do away with the urge to comb your hair.
Leaving your hair to get dried first before using a comb on it saves the hair from pulling or breakage. Understand this for a minute.
We all have been in the position where we tend to comb our hair rapidly the instant we step out from the bathroom.
During the process of combing the hair, we get to see part of the hair-pulling off and being stuck in between the teeth of the comb.
This implies that combing hair immediately after showering and applying gel and oil, shouldn’t be subscribed to.
It tends to destroy the hair strand leading to their downfall. If you want to preserve your hair from such, you air dry the hair.
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In conclusion, having gone through the ways how to protect hair when swimming every day, it is safe to say that caring for the hair doesn’t cost much. We’re in the best position to give our hair the right treatment.