African-American Female Hair and the Pool
Below are a couple of steps that African American parents should do to protect and maintain the quality of their daughter’s hair.
These are especially important when a child is involved in competitive swimming and hair is exposed several times a week for hours at a time.
BEFORE THE CHILD SWIMS
· Wet the hair BEFORE the child dives in….this will minimize the amount of chlorine that the hair absorbs.
· Use a coat of oil or a protectant that will aid in minimizing chlorine water penetration while moisturizing strands. Coconut oil or a similar protectant.
· Wear a swim cap and make sure that the cap is put on properly. If the child’s hair is natural (chemical free) then this is important. Apply oil to the edges. Doubly important….make sure that the edges aren’t being pulled too tightly. If the edges are pulled too tightly then the hair will start to thin over time.
· Wash or rinse hair immediately after swimming.
· Make sure the child uses leave in conditioner after washing hair…..if you don’t use leave in conditioner the hair will become tangled and a mess. For more information about leave in conditioner click here http://www.black-women-beauty-central.com/leave-in-conditioner.html
HAIRSTYLES TO CONSIDER
· Braids or Cornrows. Parents will be able to maintain hairstyle for a couple of days. Hair must still be washed/rinsed after leaving swimming pool. (especially for competitive swimmers!)
tips courtesy of USA Swimming