Preventing damage caused by beach and pool water
If you truly can’t stay away or keep your hair from getting wet by salt and chlorinated water, then it’s best that you take precautions to help minimize the damage caused as you swim.
I do recommend that if you have your own swimming pool, you ditch the chlorine altogether and use what they did centuries ago — silver and copper ions, which are just as effective today.
To those who want to submerse themselves in chlorine and salt water this summer, here are some things you can do to prevent/minimize the damage:
1. Rinse your hair in your shower or the shower at the pool before you get in the water. This should be done for about five minutes. It’ll help reduce how much beach and pool water enters your hair.
2. Coat your hair with extra virgin coconut oil at least an hour before you go into the salt water or a chlorinated pool to help seal your hair so it is not robbed of its moisture and prevent over-drying and damage — be very generous.
3. Wear your hair in an up-do and don’t dunk your hair underwater.
4. Minimize how often and how long you swim underwater — you’re not a mermaid even though it seems it would be awesome to be one!
5. After swimming, rinse your hair right away to help remove excess chlorine.
6. Deep cleanse your hair with a bentonite and rhassoul clay mask. This will help to detox and repair your hair.
7. Wash your hair as normal (I recommend using herbs like shikakai, aritha, amla and neem), but use a tea rinse as the final rinse to help replenish and detangle your hair. You can use herbs like calendula, lavender and rosemary.
8. Deep condition your hair with extra virgin coconut oil after washing.
Restoring already damaged hair
If you already spent hours and days swimming in pool and beach water without safeguarding against damage, then it’s time to put in some work. You can use the above steps to help clarify and replenish your hair or do the following:
Clay detox: Use rhassoul and bentonite clay. Mix the two together and mix together about 1 cup of water to 1/4 cup of clay. Then apply to wet hair in sections.
Shampoo with herbs: Use already-made shikakai and amla shampoo, or make it yourself by allowing it to sit in water overnight and straining it out the next day. About 1 tb of each in one quart of hot water for 15 minutes. Put into a squirt bottle (like a dish detergent bottle). Rub it into your scalp, roots and strands. Allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it out.
Tea rinse: Add 1 tb of each herb into a quart of hot water for 15 minutes, then strain. Use as a final rinse after shampooing.
Deep condition with extra virgin coconut oil: On still damp hair, apply the oil throughout your hair and scalp. Sit under a hooded dryer with a shower cap or wrap your head in a hot wet towel for 20 minutes.
These days, I personally avoid chlorine water and if I do head to the beach, this will be my regimen for keeping my hair in its healthy state.