Q: I am about to start swimming on a team at school and I was wondering what to do with my hair. I've never had my hair
braided with fake hair and never had extensions before either. I was told that getting it braided would be a good idea for swimming
but I was worrying about my hair falling out because I hear that all the time at my school. My grandmother is Filipino and both
my parents were black. My hair is just below my shoulders and is very curly. I usually straighten it and never wear it curly. So I was
wondering about the hair care for braids when swimming and any other options other than braids.
A: The biggest issue most swimmers have comes from the smell of chlorine from the pool water and potential discoloration and texture
changes caused by copper deposits in the hair from the pool water. My initial thought is to suggest that you purchase a swim cap and
use petroleum jelly around the hairline to create a water-resistant seal.
However, that works only as a protective measure against much of the stresses caused by chlorinated
water. Another key factor is the need for a style that will survive well in going repeatedly in and out of a chlorinated environment.
To that end, I think that a braided style would be a good suggestion. It would provide a style that won’t require a lot of maintenance
after swimming sessions and will look stylish.
You will also want to use shampoo, conditioner and other products designed for swimmers. There are
many brands available, including shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotions by “Tri-Swim”, C-Malibu, Agree (Schwarzkopf & DEP, Inc.)
and many others. Check your local beauty supply shop and sporting supply retailer for options that are available in your area. With
a braided style, you can simply premix your shampoo with water and make a solution that can be poured through the braids then rinsed
clear under the shower. The same can be done with conditioner (or you can opt for a leave-in spray formula).