How to Take Care of Hair After Swimming

Swimming is great for the body, but not so great for hair -- chlorine and salt water can wreak havoc on your 'do. Chlorine's chemicals alter hair color, especially in blondes, and can turn hair dry and brittle. Salt water swells the hair shaft, making it more vulnerable to sun damage and causing it to naturally lose pigment. A little TLC post swim can go a long way in undoing this damage.


Regular old shampoo won't clean out chlorine post-swim -- the chemical bonds to your hair. Look for a specialized shampoo that scrubs out mineral and chlorine deposits. Alternatively, rinse your hair with a natural clarifying mixture made with one part apple cider vinegar and four parts water. Lemon juice mixed with club soda also acts as a natural deep cleanser -- and the citrus juice eliminates the odor of the pool. Spritz the mixture on your hair to deep clean and then rinse and condition.

Deep condition locks the evening after a pool or sea session. A product designed to be left in overnight does wonders to rehydrate dry, tired hair that's been at the beach all day.

Pre Swim

While after-swim care is essential, pre-swim care can go a long way to protect your locks. Rinse your hair in plain water before stepping into the pool or ocean. This fills the shafts up with good, plain water -- rather than chemical or salt filled water. Run an oil- or silicone-based conditioner through your hair before putting on a swim cap to protect as you swim. A tablespoon of coconut oil also would work.

If you're outdoors by the ocean or the lake, wear a hat or scarf when you can, to protect hair from the sun. Blondes may enjoy its bleaching powers, but it can ruin any color job you have, and may turn brunettes' hair an unfortunate color of red.