As every Naturalista knows, natural hair is prone to dryness. Keeping it moisturized is essential to keeping it healthy and things like chlorine and salt water will strip it of its moisture. So how do you get to enjoy summertime fun without damaging your hair? Well, other than protective styles, here’s what you can do to protect your natural hair from chlorine and the sun:
Rinsing your hair with warm water beforehand allows your hair to absorb water so that it won’t feel the need to absorb any of the pool or sea water. The more saturated with tap water your hair is, the better. You probably won’t want it dripping, but make sure that it’s completely wet.
Yup, coconut oil is back at it again! Apply coconut oil throughout your hair to help it retain moisture after you rinse it. Coconut oil helps protect and seal your cuticles.
Before getting in the pool and after rinsing and applying coconut oil, apply a conditioner but DON’T RINSE IT OUT. It’s best to use conditioners that are for dry, curly, and/or color treated hair. The conditioner not only moisturizes, but also helps protect the hair from harsh pool water.
DON’T LEAVE YOUR HAIR OUT
After you prep your hair, put it in a braid, bun, puff, whatever, but DO NOT LEAVE IT OUT. This helps to keep your hair from getting tangled and matted. A swim cap isn’t absolutely necessary because they tend to pull on your hair and edges due to how tight they are. Some people still prefer to use them, but your hair will be fine if you don’t.
Once you’re done with your swim, rinse out your hair and then condition with a cleansing conditioner. If you swim every day, condition every day but don’t shampoo every day. When you do shampoo, shampoo your hair with a chelating shampoo and then condition. Chelating shampoos fully remove chlorine and salt from your hair. Shampooing every day is damaging to your hair so if you know you’re going to be swimming more than once that week, continue to condition and then shampoo at the end of that week.
Part your hair into sections and then apply the deep conditioner. Once applied, cover with a plastic cap and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. This will restore any moisture that may have been lost.
Seal & Protect
The second to last step is sealing and protecting your hair cuticles. This will help retain the moisture. Coconut oil and shea butter are great to use. One or the other will do the trick, but I’m sure using both won’t do any harm.
Last, but certainly not least, DO NOT USE ANY HEAT TO DRY YOUR HAIR. Put it in twists or braids and allow it to air dry. If you need you hair dry quickly, blow dry it on a low setting while it’s in the twists or braids. There’s no point in putting all that moisture back in your hair just to dry it all out.
And there you have it: How to Protect Your Hair From Chlorine & Sun This Summer!