How To Protect Your Child’s Hair While Swimming
By Stephanie Joseph-Walker
As a mother of two daughter with beautiful natural hair I am passionate about protecting their as much as possible. In this article I am going to share with you some tips on how to maintain your childrens tresses from swimming.
First lets take a look at the Water: Ocean (salt water) water vs Pool water
The main risk with ocean water is salt water drying on hair. The residue from the salt water can make the hair feel drier than it should be. Rinsing the hair right after swimming is enough to stop this from happening. When it comes to pool water, the main risk to hair is chlorine as well as potential acidity of water. Chlorine is a chemical agent used to disinfect swimming pools, but can also have some major consequences for your child’s fragile tressess. If they are occasionally swimming in a pool with chlorinated water it really won’t damage the hair. It will however make the hair feel dry for a day or two. On the flip side if your child is a constant swimmer and is regularly exposed to chlorinated swimming pools this can cause significant damage to their hair.
1. Protect your hair while swimming
When it comes to chlorinated water your goal is to minimize the amount of water contacting your hair. Our hair is like a sponge, a sponge will only absorb so much water, and once it’s full the water will run off. One technique that is commonly used to minimize water entry is to saturate your hair with water, as well as applying penetrating oil such as coconut oil, before you get into the pool give it about 10-15 minutes to full absorb, this way your hair will be less likely to absorb as much of the chlorinated water in the pool.
2. While swimming do not leave your child’s hair out.
Put it in a bun or a French braid (if possible) this will keep hair from becoming matted or tangled. Have your child wear a swim cap, this will act as added protection by creating a barrier between their hair and the chlorine. I made the mistake of letting my daughter go swimming with two strand twist, and the next day she had tangled tresses. NOT FUN trying to detangle.
3. Take care of your hair after swimming
Immediately after a swimming, take the time to really rinse their hair. For some reason rinsing seems to be an under rated procedure but it does help, and actually remove the chlorine (and salt water) and any other build-up you obtain during your swim before it has a chance to dry or bind to your hair. There are several swimmers shampoos out there. I personally have not tried any, but the ones that I hear are really good are: Ions Swimmer Shampoo (100% vegan and sulfate free), and Triswim Shampoo (paraben free)