As I write this, the summer is beating down outside my window and not a single leaf moves on the gulmohar tree next to my house. Isn't this the most opportune time to bring out your swimming costumes and dive into the pool? Swimming is one of the best exercises ever but unfortunately, I can't reall say the same thing about its effects on your hair. If you are not particularly careful, you may end up with an athlete's chiselled body and hair looking like the cow's chewing cud.
I remembered an article which I had written long ago for some magazine which spoke about hair care for swimmers. I am reproducing it here for all those of you who swim but don't know how to take care of the chlorine in the water. Here they are. I hope these tips are useful to you.
Before your swim, wet your hair
If you are a regular swimmer, you must have seen the showers that surround the pool. They are there for a reason more important than pool decoration. Hair soaked with fresh water is less likely to soak chlorine. Douse that hair well under the shower before you jump in.
Keep it covered
Always make sure that you wear a rubber, swimming cap. It is that messiah that will keep out most of the damage done by chlorine water, even if it cannot keep all the water out. And please don’t complain that it’s too tight because most sports stores have swimming caps in all sizes…even if you have a big head. Speedo has some beautiful swimming caps. Try their range. The effects of chlorine remain in your hair even after you are done swimming and drying up. Cover your hair up when you go out in the hot sun with a scarf or a cap/hat to prevent chlorine from doing further damage to your hair. And this in fact can be your cool fashion statement for the hot months.
If you are swimming in the sun, you can comb in a bit of conditioner to your hair before you wear
your cap. The heat of the sun will help the treatment penetrate better and also, when you wash your hair post the swim, they wont dry up as much.
Post swim TLC
After your swim, rinse your hair thoroughly with fresh water and condition them again, only if required. A lot of us tend to skip the post-swim hair wash which causes the straw hair effect. Once you are done, gently pat your hair dry instead of rubbing or scrubbing it. Squeeze the water out of the hair and in case you want to blow dry it, use only the lower setting of your hair dryer as strong heat can dry out your hair. If you swim almost daily, once a week you must apply a deep conditioner and allow it to set on your hair for the required time.
Say no to hair colour
If you are a regular swimmer, your hair will be subjected to enough dose of chlorine. Why would you further want to destroy it by subjecting it to colours, treatments and perms? Go a bit low on the chemical treatments during the swimming season. Your hair needs a breath of fresh air and you should be giving it just that after your beauty swim.
There are a lot of hair masks etc. that you can use to pamper your hair. Make use of all your grandmother's tips and tricks to keep that glow in your mane. I'll dig out some tips and put it up in the next post. Till then toodeloo!