How to Protect Relaxed Hair While Swimming

How to Protect Relaxed Hair While Swimming

I want to go to there. Photo by: Prayitno

Whether you’re swimming for fitness or splashing around on a vacation somewhere warm, your hair can start to feel the effects of the chlorine and salt. This is especially true if you have chemically treated hair. If you colour your hair or get your natural hair relaxed, you should take special precautions to protect it against possible damage from swimming, such as dryness and breakage.

Follow these steps to protect your chemically processed hair when swimming:

Step 1: Rinse your hair with tap water before swimming to protect it from absorbing excess chlorine.

Step 2: Apply coconut oil or a silicone serum to your wet hair to protect it.

Step 3a (Optional): Wear a swim cap to protect your hair but be sure it’s not too tight or it could cause your hair more distress and breakage, especially around the edges.

Step 3b (Optional): Instead of a swim cap, you can try a protective hairstyle, such as braids or twists.

Step 4: Swim!

Step 5: Rinse your hair with tap water and shampoo after you swim. You can use your regular shampoo or one that’s formulated to remove chlorine. If you swim frequently and don’t want to over-shampoo and dry out your hair, you can try co-washing.

Step 6: Condition as usual, or better yet, use a deep conditioning treatment.

Step 7: To prevent further breakage, detangle with a wide-toothed comb.

Step 8: Wear a hat if you’re hanging out in the sun after and try to avoid heat styling if you can.

Periodic maintenance: Use a clarifying shampoo and do protein treatments once a month to help protect your hair from the damage of regular swimming.

If you’re an avid swimmer, you can visit us at Studio 86 in Toronto for a deep conditioning treatment to keep your hair moisturized and healthy. We also carry high quality hair products and can recommend clarifying shampoos, conditioners and at-home deep conditioning treatments. Book your appointment today!


  1. How to Keep Your Hair Beautiful All Summer | Studio 86 Salon - May 25, 2016

    […] Swimming in chlorinated or salty water often can be damaging to natural hair, but if your hair is relaxed, coloured or otherwise chemically processed, it can be especially damaging. Aside from preventing your hair from getting wet or wearing a swim cap, you can protect your hair before you swim so you don’t have to miss out on all the fun. Try these tips: How to Protect Relaxed Hair While Swimming. […]

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