How to protect your hair while swimming
What is summer for if not countless beach trips, midnight swims and lazing around in the pool? While it is the most relaxed time of the year, it can wreak havoc on that mane that you have been carefully protecting throughout winter. Exposure to salt, sand, sun and chlorine can not only cause dryness but can frazzle your strands and cause them to easily break, snap and knot. Read more below to find out just how the different types of water affect your hair and some of our top tips for maintaining that glossy mane this summer!
While we may covet that beautiful beachy waves we can get from saltwater, too much exposure to saltwater can dehydrate your hair, leaving it parched, frizzy and hard to tame. Similar to how salt draws moisture from your skin, it too, draws moisture from your scalp and head which could leave you feeling dry and sensitive. Too much exposure to saltwater can cause flakes, dandruff and split ends, leaving you with dry and lacklustre hair.
Out of chlorine, salt and freshwater, this type of water are much less harsh on your hair. Known as ‘soft water’, this water is more like the water found in lakes and natural streams and rivers. It causes less damage to your hair as it contains lower levels of magnesium and calcium and leaves no harsh residue in your scalp and strands.
On that note, ‘hard water’ is much worse for your hair and can usually be found in your shower, hotels and in lakes or rivers with high mineral content. You should be able to feel the difference immediately and you will notice your hair become dryer, duller and perhaps even harder to brush. It can also irritate your skin and cause it to look and feel dehydrated and ashy.
If you will be spending time in chlorine-filled pools this summer then you should be taking as much care as possible to protect your hair from damage. Being one of the harshest chemicals our hair is exposed to during summer, Chlorine strips hair of its natural oils, causes split ends and dehydrates your strands. It also has a big effect on your scalp and if you have sensitive skin, then you might find that your scalp could become dry and dandruff filled. Chlorine also speeds up colour fading and might even turn your blond hair green!
- Cover up when swimming - Wearing a swimming cap may clash with your bikini but it will ensure that your hair is as protected as can be. This is the best way to protect your hair since your hair will not be exposed to chemicals, salt and minerals but if you definitely do not want to go this route, then invest in a wide-brimmed sun hat, tie up your hair and keep it out of the water for as much as possible.
- Always rinse your hair before and after swimming so that less of the minerals can be absorbed into your hair!
- While it might seem tempting to shake your hair out in a towel and give it a comb, treat your hair extra gently after swimming by softly squeezing out as much water as possible and then dabbing with a very soft towel. Try not to brush your hair as your strands will be much weaker and this could lead to more damage.
- Using a hair masque as soon as you get home from the pool or beach will help rejuvenate your hair and add some of the lost moisture back in your strands. Read our post here to find out which masque is the best for your hair type.