The picture above was taken of me during my honeymoon in Maui, Hawaii while I was snorkeling (Honeymoon post coming soon!). For those who love swimming like I do or may have children that swim, here are some tips for protecting your hair. FYI try to stay away from parting your hair, because I got a sunburn right on the part I had going down the middle of my head, OUCH!!!
1. Grab extra virgin coconut oil and apply a generous amount to your dry strands. Try to do this at least 1 hour before your swim. The reason I use coconut oil on dry hair because it will prevent your strands from swelling up with water. Coconut oil is the only oil small enough to penetrate the shaft giving it the most protection.
2. Wet you hair thoroughly before you go into any ocean or pool. Your strands will drink up the fresh water giving it way less room to invite that chlorine or salt water in.
3. Slather a conditioner that contains the ingredient “dimethicone” on top of wet and oiled hair. I like to use Herbal Essence Hello Hydration. The cones will create a temporary barrier by coating your strands, which will also prevent the chlorine or salt water from entering. Put your hair in a bun, twists or braids.
***Cones are only problematic when you let them build up, so it’s ok to use them, especially in the case of swimming. To get rid of cone build up, you must use a clarifying shampoo. Which leads me to step 4.
4. Get a clarifying shampoo. This is important to use immediately after swimming because you don’t want to leave the chlorine or salt just sitting on your hair and scalp. Clarifying shampoo is the only way to remove the chlorine or salt water from your hair. Use with caution though because clarifying shampoos that are not all natural can strip your hair of it’s natural oils and be very drying. Use a small amount and try hard not to use it more than once or twice a month. I like to use Sof n’ Free Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo because it’s really gentle, or an all natural clarifying washes which you can use more often such as Aubrey Organics Swimmer’s Normalizing Shampoo. Take your pick!
5. Deep condition after you wash your hair. This will help restore moisture. I recommend an all natural deep conditioner, my faves are Camille Rose Algae Deep Conditioning Mask and Aubrey Organics GPB Conditioner, or a good ol’ can of coconut milk.