African - Africn American hair is unlike any other hair type and comes with its own set of challenges when it comes to hair care. Additionally if you happen to be a swimmer, adding chlorine and other chemicals into the mix can make for a hair care disaster. But with the right know-how and products, youíll be able to pursue a swimmerís lifestyle without putting your hair at risk.
Because there are a few different ways African American women choose to wear their hair, there are a variety of ways to properly care for her tresses if you are an avid swimmer. The easiest solution to caring for African American hair when it comes to swimming is to use a swim cap. Although they arenít very sexy, the swim cap is a practical item that will not only keep your hair dry, it will also keep it from coming into contact with the various chemicals that are used to keep swimming pools sanitary.
However, if you want to get your hair wet, youíll have to dedicate a little extra TLC into your hair care routine. For those who have permed or chemically relaxed hair, youíll want to precondition your hair the night before you plan on swimming. Use a deep conditioner to lock in moisture. To get the best deep conditioning results, sit under a heating cap for 15-20 minutes. Then rinse and add a leave in conditioner. Blow-dry your hair on low to medium heat and donít worry about flat ironing or styling your hair if you plan on getting it wet. When youíre finished swimming, immediately rinse your hair out and use a special shampoo and conditioner made for swimmers. This will remove any harmful buildup from the chlorine or other chemicals.
For those that wear their hair naturally, have an afro, braids (natural or extensions), twists or dreadlocks, youíll want to make it a point to precondition your hair the night before swimming. Do this by diluting your regular shampoo with water. Pour this diluted mixture into a large cup and pour over your head in the shower, making sure to get your entire scalp. Sponge wash and afterwards use a towel to gently squeeze the excess water out of your hair. Follow up with a hair product that is designed to strengthen your locks and also use a leave in conditioner for an added layer of protection. Those with braids should then finish off the process with braid spray. When you are done swimming, immediately rinse and sponge wash your hair (if you have braids, twists, or dreadlocks) and make sure the water runs clear. This will be a sign that youíve washed all of the shampoo and conditioner out of your hair. Use a towel to squeeze the excess water out and apply a leave in conditioner.