Summer is here at last, which means swimming season for many of us, with more people wild swimming than ever before. Swimming, especially wild swimming in nature, has so many health benefits. It’s a physical workout that strengthens our lungs and circulation, as well as doing wonders for our stress levels and overall mental health.
It’s no wonder there was a surge of interest in wild swimming in open waters during lockdown. Indoor pools are now open once again too, which is great news for anyone not yet willing to brave the UK’s unpredictable summer weather.
Swimming may be a healthy pursuit, but it's actually quite stressful for your hair
Indoor swimmers should be most aware of the effect swimming has on their hair (and skin), as chlorine is the worst culprit when it comes to hair damage. It removes the natural oil from healthy hair and causes chemical reactions within it. Chlorine can change the colour of hair, weaken the strands and cause split ends.
Wild swimmers should also take note of these hair care tips. Any length of time spent with your hair in the sun can also be compromising to its condition.
Here are Hairy Jayne's 5 top tips for happy hair in the water and in the sunshine:
1. Cover it up with a hat for protection
When in the sun or in the water, cover your hair with a hat or swimming cap if you can. Or if you’re really not a hat person, wet your hair and then coat it in leave-in conditioner and leave to dry. This creates a barrier between the UV rays, salt or chlorine and your hair strands (whether it contains SPF or not).
2. Prevent harmful chemicals from getting in
Your hair is absorbent, so wetting your hair with fresh water before getting in the pool or sea will prevent it from soaking up too much harmful chlorine or salt. If you’re wild swimming nowhere near a tap, apply a hair oil instead. This will waterproof and protect the strands as oil repels water and creates a barrier.
3. Keep shampooing minimal and conditioning at maximum level so your hair stays hydrated
Even if you’re getting all sandy at the beach or bathing in a muddy river, resist the urge to wash your hair every day. Shampooing too often strips your hair and makes it dry (unless you use our Pre-shampoo Treatment Oil first). Stick to your usual shampoo schedule if you can to keep your natural hair oil production regulated. See if you can get away with a rinse and condition (co-wash) to freshen your hair instead of doing a full wash.
If you’re swimming in chlorine, always rinse immediately straight after swimming, don’t let it sit in your hair. Shampoo your hair with a sulphate free shampoo. Always follow up with a deep conditioner afterwards to prevent dryness and leave it in if you can – rinse it out when you’re back from the pool.
4. Lock that moisture into your hair
Use Hairy Jayne Treatment Conditioner regularly as a mask to replenish moisture lost through sun, sea or chlorine damage. Use hair oils to seal the moisture in and add a protective coating. Our Pre-shampoo Treatment Oil is perfect for this, it will protect your strands while you’re in the water and you can leave it in your hair for as long as you like!
5. Avoid hair dryers and delay your hair colour appointment to keep damage to a minimum
Ditch the hair dryer and let your hair dry naturally in the warm air. Invest in a Quick-dry Hair Towel if it's the sort of hair that stays dripping wet for too long or needs some taming while it’s drying.
Your hair already has enough to contend with in the summer with UV rays, sea salt, chlorine and being tied up, so it’s best to give it a break from hair colouring, too. Let the actual sun give you the sun-kissed look you’ve been paying for. Or if you usually go for an all-over colour save the refresh for the autumn.
If you follow these summer hair care tips, you're less likely to be spending precious swimming time wrestling with tangles and knots. Or worse still, facing a big chop at the hairdressers come September!
And to make life even easier for you, we have a brand new swimming hair bundle to help you swim-proof your hair. To keep up with all of Hairy Jayne's latest news sign up to our emails or follow us on Instagram.