Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Relaxed Hair & Swimming

Q: I am African-American and I have relaxed hair. I am going on vacation soon and would like to be able to swim everyday but I'm tired of getting braids for vacation. Can you make any other suggestions? I would like a style or process that would make it easy for me to "Wash and Go" if possible. That is not possible at all with my relaxed hair at present, especially when I'm away from home and my stylist. Any ideas?
A: While braids are always a safer bet to keep your hair under control and easily managed on vacation, I can understand the desire to have something different. In a similar vein, yet more easily achieved is twists. You can enlist the aid of a friend or family member if needed to twist the rows of hair close the the scalp, which would enable you to "undo the do" as desired.
Another suggestion I can make is to use a swim cap when hitting the pool. We all know that chlorine is an enemy to the hair and is double damaging to processed hair. Whether you decide to use a swim cap or not, you should look for Redken's Sun Shape Swim Cream. This leave-in conditioner will coat the hair and prevent chlorine and other pool chemicals from penetrating the hair to damage it. Simply wash the hair after swimming and follow up with a good moisturizing conditioner to restore the moisture balance of the hair.
If the hair is long enough, I can see this being useful for application to the hair and then combing the hair back into a ponytail elastic.
Related posts:
The effect of chlorine on hair
How can I minimize the impact of chlorine on African-American hair?