Yes, I am a swimmer. I learned how to swim just a year ago at North Lake Community College. I went faithfully twice a week and on my own at least 2 other times during a week. Before this, I could only doggy paddle so for those of you who are afraid, you can do it!
Being a black swimmer is just about as rare as being a black tri-athlete. However, hair care is the most critical aspect to me in swimming. So here are my hair care tips if your are a swimmer.
Tip #1- Swimming Cap
Here are the basics about swimming caps. Latex caps are the most popular as they have a very tight fit. They are super cheap as you can buy one for about 2 dollars. These keep out the most water but also can harsh on your hair. Silicone caps normally have awesome designs, are thicker and a bit more expensive. They are softer on your hair but don’t keep out as much water out as Latex. Lycra caps are lightweight and don’t pull on your hair. They are not designed to keep water out, by the way, just to keep the hair out of our face. I ALWAYS use Lycra cap first then a latex cap over it. If you do not swim a lot, I recommend a silicone cap to start off with.
Tip #2- Pre-Condition
Before you start swimming, make sure you add some conditioner to your hair. Even though I have on my swim cap(s), the edges of my hair tends to always get wet. To keep my hair from the harmful effects of chlorine, I always add on some cheap conditioner before I hit the pool.
Tip #3- Swimmers Shampoo
I didn’t think this would make a difference but it does. Swimmers shampoo and conditioners are critical if you are swimming regularly. I don’t mind my car smelling like chlorine but I refuse to have my hair smelling like it. These shampoos and conditioners remove chlorine, chemicals and minerals from your hair. I am a fan of Malibu. Its a shampoo, conditioner and body wash all in one. It only cost $6 too!
These are just a few tips on how to care for your hair while swimming. I am sure as I begin to swim more I will update this and add in more things but for now this is a foundation for swimmers.
Tip #4 Conditioner
Chlorine will dry your hair out and cause it to become brittle and break if you are not careful. Be sure to add a good leave-in conditioner after you wash with your swimmers shampoo. Your hair will thank you!
Tip #5 Moisture
After you’ve shampooed and conditioned your hair don’t forget to moisturize it! A light moisturizing spray (like Sporty Afros G+) or a little oil will go a long way.