Nothing beats the refreshing feeling of diving into a pool on a hot summer day. But for those who cherish their hair, the chlorine or saltwater can be a nightmare. Frequent swimming can leave your hair dry, brittle, and damaged. This blog post will uncover the secrets to keeping your hair moisturized while swimming, ensuring it stays luscious and healthy all summer long.

Whether you’re a competitive swimmer or someone who loves to lounge by the pool, maintaining moisturized hair is crucial. Exposure to chlorinated pools and salty seawater can strip your hair of its natural oils, leaving it susceptible to dryness and breakage. Chlorine  is a powerful disinfectant that  can strip away the  hair's natural oils, leaving it dry and brittle. Saltwater, on the other hand,  deposits minerals on the hair shaft, which can  make it feel  stiff and coarse. 

This damage can manifest itself in a number of ways, including:

  • Dryness and frizz
  • Split ends
  • Hair breakage
  • Color fading (for dyed hair)

Thankfully, there are effective strategies and products that can help protect your hair from the harsh effects of swimming. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to keep your hair in top condition while enjoying your time in the water. We’ll explore pre-swim and post-swim routines, recommended products, and practical tips that will help you maintain your hair’s moisture and strength. Let’s dive in!

Table of Contents

  1. Pre-Swim Hair Care Routine
  2. Products to Use Before Swimming
  3. Tips for While You Swim
  4. Post-Swim Hair Care Routine
  5. Keep Calm & Swim On (With Moisturized Hair)
  6. FAQs about Hair Care and Swimming

Pre-Swim Hair Care Routine

Before you even step into the pool, there are a few crucial steps you can take to prepare your hair for the chlorinated or salty water. By following a pre-swim routine, you can significantly reduce the damage and maintain hydration levels.

Wet Your Hair with Fresh Water

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to protect your hair is to thoroughly wet it with fresh water before swimming. When your hair is already saturated with clean water, it absorbs less chlorinated or salty water. This reduces the extent to which these harmful elements can penetrate your hair shaft and cause dryness.

Apply a Protective Oil or Conditioner

Leave-in Conditioning Serum - Now & Forever, the best leave in conditioner for natural hair

Using a protective oil or leave-in conditioner can create a barrier between your hair and the water. Oils like avocado oil, argan oil, or even a slippery serum can coat your hair, locking in moisture and keeping out harsh chemicals. These products can also add an extra layer of protection, making it harder for chlorine or salt to latch onto your hair.

Wear a Swim Cap

While it might not be the most fashionable accessory, a swim cap is incredibly effective at protecting your hair. Swim caps provide a physical barrier that minimizes direct contact with chlorinated or salty water. Look for silicone or latex swim caps as they offer the best protection and fit.


Products to Use Before Swimming

Choosing the right products can make a world of difference in keeping your hair hydrated when swimming. Here are some of the best pre-swim products to consider:

Leave-In Conditioners

Leave-in conditioners are formulated to be left in your hair without rinsing, providing continuous protection and moisture. The best Leave-Ins will have humectants like glycerin or a beet sugar extract and vitamins like panthenol, which help to retain moisture and shield your hair from chlorine and salt.

Protective Hair Oils 

Hair oils, such as avocado oil, argan oil, and jojoba oil, are excellent for creating a protective barrier on your hair. These oils not only moisturize but also help to repel water, keeping your hair hydrated and sealed.

Pre-Swim Sprays

Specialized pre-swim sprays are designed to protect your hair from chlorine and salt. These sprays often contain ingredients like aloe vera and vitamin E, which provide hydration and create a shield against harsh water elements.

Tips for While You Swim

Even while you’re in the water, there are steps you can take to ensure your hair remains protected and hydrated.

Avoid Submerging Your Head

If possible, try to keep your head above water. This might not be feasible for competitive swimmers, but for casual swimmers, keeping your hair out of the water can drastically reduce exposure to chlorine and salt.

Rinse Regularly

Take breaks to rinse your hair with fresh water during your swim. This can help wash away some of the chlorine or salt before it has a chance to fully penetrate your hair.


Re-apply your leave-in on your hair as you would reapply sunscreen on your skin. Then re-apply the oil on top to ensure that your moisture is sealed in for an extended amount of time. 

Use a Swim Cap

As mentioned earlier, a swim cap is one of the best defenses against water damage. It’s worth reiterating its importance in your hair care routine while swimming.

Post-Swim Hair Care Routine

After swimming, your hair needs immediate attention to restore moisture and remove any lingering chlorine or salt.

Rinse with Fresh Water

As soon as you’re out of the pool or ocean, rinse your hair thoroughly with fresh water. This helps to remove any residual chlorine or salt, preventing further dryness and damage.

Use a Clarifying Shampoo

Clarifying shampoos are designed to remove buildup from hair products, chlorine, and salt. Use a clarifying shampoo once a week to deep clean your hair, but avoid using it too frequently as it can strip your hair of natural oils.

Deep Condition

A deep conditioning treatment is essential after swimming. Look for conditioners that contain moisturizing ingredients like shea butter, avocado oil, and keratin. These treatments help to replenish lost moisture and repair damage.

Leave-In Conditioners and Serums

Leave-in conditioners and serums provide ongoing moisture and protection throughout the day. These products can help to smooth frizz, add shine, and protect against environmental damage.

Air Drying is Best

 Whenever possible, skip the heat styling and allow your hair to air dry. Heat styling can further damage hair that has already been compromised by chlorine or saltwater.

Hair Masks

Hair masks are intensive treatments that provide deep hydration and repair. Use a hair mask once a week to give your hair an extra boost of moisture and nutrients.

Keep Calm and Swim On (with Moisturized Hair!)

Maintaining moisturized hair while swimming is entirely achievable with the right care and products. By following a pre-swim and post-swim routine, using protective products, and avoiding common mistakes, you can enjoy your time in the water without compromising your hair’s health. 

For those looking to dive deeper into maintaining healthy hair and discovering more hair care tips, explore our other blog posts and resources.

Remember, healthy hair is a combination of good habits, the right products, and consistent care. Protect your hair, enjoy your swim, and dive into Moisture Love being your go-to source for all things hair and beyond. So take some time this week to shop our products at Moisture Love to keep your hair moisturized all summer long!

FAQs about Hair Care and Swimming

How Often Should I Wash My Hair After Swimming?

It’s best to wash your hair with a gentle shampoo after each swim to remove chlorine or salt. A gentle shampoo will clarify your hair without stripping it of the moisture it already has. 

Can I Use a Regular Conditioner Before Swimming?

Yes, regular conditioner can help protect your hair, but a leave-in conditioner or protective oil may offer better long-lasting protection.

What Should I Do If My Hair Is Already Damaged from Swimming?

If your hair is already damaged, focus on deep conditioning treatments and hydrating hair masks. Trim any split ends to prevent further damage and use protective products regularly.

    June 30, 2024 — Peace Olaniran

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