Swimming is an excellent form of exercise, burning up to 200 calories per half hour of vigorous laps, notes FitWatch.com, but all of the chlorine in traditional swimming pools can make your hair feel dry, brittle and even look green. You must care for your hair properly after swimming to stop the effects that swimming can have on your hair. Buy good hair care products to keep your locks moisturized and healthy after swimming.
Bring along a clarifying shampoo when you go to the pool. Immediately following your swim, jump into the shower and lather up, recommends WomanJunction.com. If you have lighter colored or highlighted hair, the chlorine may turn the lighter portions of hair slightly green over time. Washing the chlorine out immediately following your swim can help clarify and cleanse your hair to preserve the color.
Use a rich, emollient conditioner after shampooing to counteract some of the drying after-effects of chlorine, advises DailyGlow.com. Look for a conditioner specially formulated for dry hair, and while showering after your swim, start from the ends up and work the conditioner through your hair. Use a wide-toothed comb to distribute evenly and reduce snags, and leave it in your hair for at least two minutes before your rinse it out, to infuse your hair with extra moisture.
If you are an avid swimmer, a weekly deep-conditioning treatment can give your hair an extra boost of moisture, notes PioneerThinking.com. While the drugstore likely has a variety of weekly deep conditioning treatments, you can make your own at home for less. Just mix an entire peeled and mashed avocado with one egg and 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Combine and slather on your hair, wrapping it in a shower cap. Sit somewhere warm for 30 minutes before washing out.
To protect your hair while in the water, so that your hair care after swimming doesn't need to be as extensive, try swimming with a bathing cap, recommends the Harvard School of Public Health. Bathing caps fit snugly over your hair so that it stays mostly dry and protected from the chemicals in the pool. While wearing a bathing cap may seem foreign at first, it can make your after swimming hair care routine easier and your hair healthier.
A serious swimming enthusiast should consider a shorter hairstyle to protect her hair after swimming. The pool chemicals can result in dry, split ends, which in turn can split all the way through the hair shaft. This results in dry, frizzy, limp hair. A sassy, short cut can make your hair care routine faster and easier if you are serious about your swimming career.
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.
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