Pharr Away

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Monday, July 16, 2018

Protecting Natural Hair While Swimming

Since my daughter, Madison (6yo), swims at least three times a week during the summer, I realized I needed to start to do things a bit differently during this time to protect her hair from the effects of chlorine.  Here are a few tips including the products I'm currently using throughout this summer to keep her hair healthy and strong while she enjoys the water.

Protective Style
At the start of the week, I've resorted to braiding her hair for the week.  If I don't have time to braid, I ensure some sort of twists, french braids, etc. is done on the days she plans to swim.  This is critical to ensure her hair doesn't become tangled or knotted.   I've found that if any part of her hair is left out in some way, it takes an extremely long time to detangle, more shedding occurs and more minor knots have to be cut out of her hair. 
Toddler Hair Care
Toddler Hair Care
Water, Conditioner, Oil
On swim days (Monday, Wednesday & Saturday), I spray the hair with a bit of water then cover the hair lightly with conditioner and almond oil.  If the hair is already saturated with these items to some extent, there is less room for chlorine to enter the shaft of the hair.

Quick Rinse
During bathtime on these days, we do a quick rinse, then condition, moisturize, and oil the hair.  This is done fairly quickly and without much effort.  There's only so much that can be done with the hair in braids.

Wash w/ Clarifying Shampoo
Once per week, usually on Sunday, I wash her hair with a clarifying shampoo, deep condition with a replenishing conditioner then restore moisture with a rescue & repair defining moisturizer.  After the hair has air-dried, I restyle for the next week.
Toddler Hair Care
Toddler Hair Care
Deep Condition
It's very important to deep condition whenever the hair is washed used a clarifying shampoo.  To do this with a child, I simply cover the hair with a shower cap for 30 minutes before rinsing.  Leave-in conditioner is also used quite liberally when styling and throughout the week to cover/protect the braids.

Swim Cap
We don't typically use a swim cap, but using one is a good idea to attempt to protect the hair to some extent from chlorine damage.  But, please note that swim caps do not keep water out completely and they aren't really designed for this specifically as they are more so meant to help swimmers with drag and keep hair out of the face.

Our youngest daughter, Morgan (2yo), isn't swimming just yet.  But, we are in the beginning stages of getting her used to the water which includes submerging her in the water fully at times so that she can get used to holding her breath and having water in her face.  With that said, I'm starting to braid her hair as well and following the same process above.  But please note, I try to shorten things and make the process as quick as possible for her since she is so young.
Toddler Hair Care
Toddler Hair Care
So that's it, and it's quite a bit.  This is the first summer where I've really put in this type of effort to protect my girl's hair against chlorine.  I'm sure I'll refine this process as I learn more and more about how to care for their hair with each passing summer.

Live Fully,
xoxo, Nicole


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