black kid girl swimming in pool

How To Prevent Hair Damage From Swimming For Kids

Textured hair in particular is delicate compared to other hair types. It absorbs moisture much more quickly, which means it needs proper care to help avoid hair damage that may be caused by swimming. Therefore, when swimming in swimming pools, for example, it's important to ensure that your child's hair is protected both before and after they go swimming in the pool. Here are 11 tips to help you prevent hair damage from swimming among your kids. 

1. Wet The Hair First

This is the first thing you should do to prep your child's hair before they dive into the pool. 

If you wet their hair from a shower beforehand or even just soak their hair alone in the water, this helps reduce the chance of their hair absorbing chlorine from the swimming pool. 

2. Use A Protectant 

Once you've soaked your child's tresses, make sure you use a protectant product to help. Conditioners work as a good protectant for this. 

Simply slather a small amount of conditioner to your child's soaked hair to lightly coat the hair. Leave it in and do not wash it out. 

By adding conditioner to the hair, it acts as a protective barrier that protects your little one's hair from chlorine. It also helps the hair retain moisture and reduce that crunchy-post swim feel. 

It also makes it much easier to wash out any chlorine when the kid jumps out of the pool too. 

3. Use A Large Enough Swim Cap

Textured hair naturally tends to  be thicker in volume. And finding a swim cap that is strong enough to endure this volume can be a challenge. 

However, thankfully there are a few brands out there that are catering to the needs of our thicker manes by specifically making swim caps with our thicker hair textures in mind. 

Swimma is one of these brands. Their swim caps come in a variety of sizes and colors for kids and adults and are designed with hairstyles such as locs, braids, and generally thicker hair textures in mind. 

Wearing swim caps like this will help ensure your child's cap can adequately hold their hair. So, they can swim carefree and confidently, knowing their swim cap will not slip off. 

4. Wear A Protective Hairstyle 

girl with braided up do: how to prevent breakage from swimming


Protective hairstyles such as braids will help secure your child's tresses when they’re in the pool. 

A classic french braid or some form of a braided updo, like the one in the above photo, will help keep the hair dry and away from the swimming pool water. 

5. Use A Clarifying Shampoo

Post-care after swimming is just as--if not more--important as the pre-care steps before your child even gets into the pool. The first thing you should do after swimming is use a clarifying shampoo. 

Using a clarifying shampoo specifically helps ensure that all the build-up and all chemicals that may have seeped into your child's tresses are flushed out. 

6. Deep Condition

After clarifying the hair, it's important that you follow up with a deep conditioner to impart moisture back into your child's strands.

Thicker hair textures are naturally drier, so, after using the clarifying shampoo to cleanse, your child's hair will definitely crave moisture. 

To do this, use a dee[ conditioner, cover the hair with a plastic cap and to speed up the process, use a heated conditioning cap for 30 minutes to ensure the conditioner efficiently seeps into your child's tresses. 

If you don't have a heating conditioning cap, you can just keep your child's hair covered with the plastic cap for 30mins+. 

Then rinse out the conditioner with water. 

7. Use A Wide Tooth Hair Tool

When dealing with wet hair and thicker hair textures, it's best to use a wide-toothed hair tool. Finer toothed combs can cause snagging and breakage. 
But using a wide-tooth comb or wide-tooth flexible brush allows thicker hair textures to glide through the tool more easily. 

Where possible, try to finger detangle first. Then, use a wide-tooth hair tool, if needed. 

When detangling, make sure you detangle from the tips and progressively work your way upwards to the roots of your child's tresses. This will help make the process pain-free for them. 

8. Co-wash A Few Days After Initially Shampooing 

Co-washing a few days later, after your child first dived into the swimming pool, is an additional way to help maintain the hair’s moisture. 

Co-washing is washing the hair with conditioner only or with a specific “co-wash” product. Leaving the shampoo out in this method means it is solely focused on conditioning the hair and not removing anything from it.

9. Use A Moisturizing Leave-In Conditioner

Each time you shampoo and condition your child's hair, following up with a moisturizing leave-in conditioner helps protect it once it is dry and adds extra moisture. 

Using a liquid-based leave-in conditioner makes for easier application. 

10. Seal In The Moisture With an Oil

jojoba oil

Using a light-based oil like jojoba or argan oil after you use a leave-in conditioner helps seal in all of the moisture you just applied. It therefore helps lengthen the amount of time the moisture stays in the hair. 

Apply this generously to your child's hair from root to tip to coat the hair fully and to ensure as much moisture is sealed in as possible. 

11. Thoroughly Dry Hair

Once you’ve clarified, shampooed, conditioned, and moisturized the hair as your post-swim routine, ensure your child's hair dries thoroughly so they can go to bed and sleep comfortably. 

Rad Royals Alphabet Pillow Kit

And speaking of going to bed, our matte satin pillowcases will help make sure both your child and their hair will have a good night's rest. 

The gentle materials we use to make our pillowcases helps preserve all of your hard work to moisturize, care for and style your child's hair, so it still looks great in the morning! Check out the various designs in our shop!

We hope these tips help you protect your child's hair whilst swimming. Feel free to share any photos of your kids’ pre- or post-swim hair routine with us on Instagram! We'd love to see them!


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