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Swimming is a great activity for all ages. It offers a time to play, relax and exercise with friends or on an individual basis. Throughout generations, swimming has been something that the ladies in families often have shied away from because of getting their hair wet and not having an attractive style afterward. But today, there are many options to help ladies and young girls,  enjoy the pleasures and benefits of swimming.

Growing up, kids may feel uncomfortable wearing swimming caps, but there are now many styles and colors to choose from. Some swim caps are made to keep hair out of the face and others are made to keep water off the hair. Here is a breakdown of the types of swim caps available:

  • Lycra Lightweight swim caps designed to keep hair away from the face. They are not effective in keeping water out of the hair. Lycra swim caps are on average, $5 a piece and can be found online or sometimes in stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods or KMart.

  • Silicone A heavier duty swim cap that keeps some of the water out. It is softer on the hair and comes in a variety of designs and styles. They also come in larger sizes for longer, thicker hair. The average price range is $9-15.

  • Latex Theses are the most popular swim caps and have a very tight fit. Many may like like the way they may pull on the hair, so you could layer swim caps, using a lycra one first, then the latex. You could also try a satin like wave cap before placing the latex cap on. Lycra swim caps are available for under $5 online and at local stores like Target and Walmart.

If you’re not a swim cap wearer, try wearing twists or braids to protect your hair, mainly the ends of the hair. Applying conditioner to the hair and plaiting it or placing it in several large twists will also protect the hair while swimming. Or if you prefer not to use conditioner, olive oil will protect the the hair as well. The creamy conditioners work well for this, as they provide a protective coating on the hair strands and helps to keep the hair soft-combating the effects of chlorine and extreme sunlight. For shorter hair, applying conditioner is a good practice to adopt, every time you swim.  Even if you do wear a swim cap, applying conditioner helps as edges may be slightly exposed.

Some key items to take with you on your swim outing:

  • elastic bands

  • a large fabric head band

  • barrettes

  • a wide tooth comb

  • plastic combs

A question often posed is “what will I do to my hair AFTER I swim? In the event that you don’t condition and plait your hair before swimming, you can create a large french braid, or a few cornrows into a small bun after swimming. For shorter hair, you can fancy up by placing a cute headband, flower or decorative clips in your hair until you get home or you can try a great headwrap which looks great and covers your hair until you can get home. Having these essential items  is great for Family Reunions when you will be in and out of the water all day or if you’re at an amusement park.

Once you’re done swimming and have made it home or to your destination, washing the hair with a swimmer’s shampoo is important. Swimmer’s shampoo like Ion Swimmer’s Shampoo (available at Sally’s) Aubrey Organics Swimmer’s Shampoo or Ultraswim Chlorine Removal is formulated to remove the chlorine from the hair and aids to prevent hard hair and excessive dryness from combinations of heat, sunlight, chlorine, salt water or even fresh water.

More families can enjoy water recreation this Spring/Summer by including these tips to protect the hair from the common issues and concerns with swimming.