For the past two months, my kiddos have been taking swimming lessons. This actually means we’re ALL in swimming lessons. I’m doing a “mommy-and-me” class with our 18-month-old
My initial plan was to simply avoid getting my hair wet, but that was quickly squashed when our teacher informed us moms that we would do “down unders” with our little ones. Yes, that’s what it sounds like. I looked the least annoyed out of the group actually. Since that first class it’s come as no surprise that I need to prep my hair and be extra cautious. So here is how I prep my wavy hair for being in pool water, and other tips too!
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saturate your hair with cool water in the shower
Most pools prefer you rinse off before entering, but get your hair FULLY wet. By saturating the hair with fresh water, it cannot take in as much chlorine/chemical-filled water.
This could be a rinse out, a leave-in, or a deep conditioner. My recommendation is to add a small amount. You don’t want to get the pool extra yucky or anything. I rake it through everything.
put the hair up
A swim cap could work, but I’ll be honest I felt out of place when no one else had one, and I didn’t want to confuse my baby either. He was screaming enough as is the first two weeks. If you have short hair that can’t go in a ponytail, I would recommend a swim cap or headband. For medium/long hair, I twist into a high bun. This also allows the conditioner to penetrate the hair.
clean well, detangle with caution, and hydrate!
In the shower, I use a strong low-poo. By this I mean a shampoo that is sulfate-free but gets the hair feeling a little squeaky. We use the Maui Moisture Strength and Anti Breakage Shampoo for Swimming Chemically Damaged Hair. I also carefully use this on my little ones. If you want a sulfate free option made for kids, the Fairy Tales Life Guard Clarifying Shampoo is a good one.
detangle with care
My wavy hair is significantly more tangly after swimming. I find that Kinky Curly Knot Today is necessary on my hair. My 3 year old also loves her “marshmallow cream” (KCKT contains Marshmallow Root). Again, Fairy Tales has a good made-for-kiddos option with the Super Charge Detangling Conditioner.
use a moisturizing conditioner or deep treatment on swimming days. Since this is once a week, I do the GVP Conditioning Balm.
wash gentle on non-swimming days
I’ve noticed my hair is slightly drier, so to combat this I wash my using less cleansing low-poos on non-swimming days. Two great options are the
To dry, I just wrap my hair into a bun and add in a styler at home. This is because I get my 18month old ready too and he’s just way too active to be worried about my hair. that means it dries in a bun for about 20 minutes. Then I add in a curl stimulator and mousse at home (just lightly scrunch in, similar to the 2 minute refresh method!)
Related: Check out this post on Mousses to Try
Remember: life is too short not to swim!
Seriously, hair is hair. I wouldn’t trade these sweet memories with my little one just to keep my hair a little more moisturized. Go to the beach. Enjoy the pool. Make memories! Just prep your hair and show it some love, and you’ll get the best of both worlds.
Hi! Love your posts. Been giving swimming pools and hair tons of thought and research in the past couple of years. Turns out shampoo doesn’t remove chlorine, the thing that will remove it from your hair and skin is vitamin c so you could just put some in powder form in a bottle and add water when you shower after swimming – either spray your hair or just pour it all over. This trick is not for kids! If it gets in your eyes it burns like hell! Or you could try a product called swimspray that’s meant for this purpose and works well. I’m told that vinegar works pretty well too. Whatever you do Moisturize before and after! Before swimming I thoroughly wet my hair, put on some cream (I make my own from shea butter and coconut oil) and after swimming wash with vitamin c and condition.
Wow that’s great to know! Do you still use a shampoo ( or low poo or co-wash ) after this powder? And good to know for the kiddos. ACV does work but my hair can’t take that often (here’s a post with more about ACV if you haven’t seen it!) Ugh yes definitely all the moisture! Thanks 🙂 -Rachel