Pool time and swimming is a vivid childhood memory. Every summer we took swimming lessons and spent summer days as a family at the pool. It was carefree, I have not one memory of worrying about my hair. I let my fine, straight, brown, white girl hair flow through the water. Sometimes I would pull my hair up before swimming or wash it at the end of the a day at a pool…sometimes.
Curls Need Extra Care
Normal summertime activities can damage hair, regardless of ethnicity. Chlorine and other chemicals can get trapped in the strands between washing causing dryness and damage. Saturation of the hair causes expansion and contraction of each strand resulting in fuzziness.
Learning to Swim is a Life Skill
My children having access to pools and opportunities to learn to swim is a personal parenting priority. Learning to swim is a useful life skill, safety precaution, and fun for leisure.
Choosing the Right Style
Planning around pool time and summer fun is important for some of our protective styles. For example, Yarn Extensions or Wooden beads are not the best for swimming. The yarn is very heavy when saturated and the beads get water logged, plastic beads are great for pools and water. There are many great styles for swimming and simple ways to protect their curls.
Silicone Swim Caps
Swim caps protect the hair from the water and chemicals. When applied correctly swim caps are great for keeping the hair dry. This is particularly useful for new, recently set styles.
Cloth Swim Cap
Cloth swim caps are incredibly useful. Although the hair will become fully saturated these caps contain the hair style and minimizing water turbulence improving the styles longevity. These swim caps can be used under a silicone swim cap to hold hair or beads back, and protect the hairline. Cloth swim caps are great for protecting the scalp part lines from harmful sun exposure and burning.
No Swim Cap
One option to protect hair with no swim cap is to saturate the hair with clean water prior to entering the pool, making less of an opportunity for chlorine to enter the strands. A clean water rinse after the pool prior to drying is ideal to rid damaging chemicals from the hair. Planning a water park vacation or trip to the pool towards the end of a hair style when we are close to a washing is a great option to allow free hair time in the pool.
Prolonged sun exposure can lead to sun burns. A child’s skin and scalp is susceptible to UV rays. Part lines can be protected from sun burn with the use of swim caps. Another option is to apply sun screen directly to the scalp, a Q-tip can be helpful when applying it.
Start Early: From an early age we have exposed the girls the pool swimming and swim caps. This consistency has been useful as they get older.
Stay Flexible: When kids are young sometimes you just let it go. Hair will get wet, its okay.
Take Care of New Style: Swim caps and thoughtful care of the hair improves the longevity of styles.
Have Fun: Summer water fun is an awesome part of childhood, we look forward to all the memories to come!