When we were relaxed, we often had to strategize going swimming around doing our hair. In fact, if you just got a fresh relaxer done within 1-4 weeks ago, there was NO WAY you would be caught swimming. If you were like me, when you did go swimming, you would spend hours fixing your hair afterwards and the salt water or chlorine left your hair feeling all kinds of yucky!
Now that we are natural, we can embrace swimming and can enjoy feeling the water glide through our hair and over our scalp. The best part of it is that when we get out of the pool or ocean our hair is thoroughly hydrated and looking better than ever. We don’t have to fret about styling our hair anymore because we are used to our weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly washes. And doing our hair is no longer an issue because keep it real–when was the last time you went to a salon?? We do our hair ourselves and we have empowered ourselves by doing so!
I went swimming this month for the first time since I’ve been natural and I loved it! … wait, that wasn’t my first time, I went swimming at the very very beginning of my journey when I had a TWA so that doesn’t really count because I was clueless.
Anyways, now that I know a thing or two about taking care of natural hair, going swimming this time around was fun! Because I am not an avid swimmer, I swim like 1-2x a year if at all, I didn’t have to do anything to my hair. If you are like me and you hardly ever swim, you can jump in the pool with absolutely no preparation and you will be fine. Just be sure to shampoo and condition afterwards. I used the Shea Moisture Yucca & Baobab Shampoo and Conditioner after I went swimming because these two products are great for cleansing and restoring moisture back into my hair.
Now, if you are nervous and want to make sure your hair is safe during that one time you go swimming, you can spritz your hair thoroughly with water, and then apply conditioner and oil. Put your hair in a pony tail, bun, puff or rock it loose and enjoy the water. When you are done swimming, simply shampoo and condition your hair as you normally would.
The Olympic Swimmer
For the Michael Phelps swimmer, you need to prepare your hair for swimming. The constant exposure to chlorine and salt water isn’t good for the well-being and health of your hair.
Preparing your natural hair for swimming isn’t difficult, but it’s very necessary. Section hair to make it easier on you. Drench hair in water, apply conditioner, oil and then on to the next section. Put your hair in a pony tail, bun, puff or rock it loose and enjoy the water. When you are done swimming, simply shampoo and condition your hair as you normally would. When you are done swimming, simply shampoo and condition your hair as you normally would.
Watch this great video tutorial as a visual.
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Jenell Stewart, formally known as BlakIzBeautyful is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Kinky Curly Coily Me. Jenell has a MS in special education and dedicates her time to educating and uplifting women with kinky, curly, coily hair. She big chopped on March 26, 2010 and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.View all Jenell posts.