If you are like me and have spent years avoiding pools because the water destroys your hair then this post is for you!
This summer I am determined to play with my kids and not allow my hair to hold me back.
We went to a water park this past weekend and by implementing a few simple tips and tricks, I was able to swim with my kids and still keep great curls!
Really quick, if you are new to curly hair care and feel a little confused, I have a special gift for you!
I created a curly girl cheat sheet to guide you through the process. This is a step-by-step approach to caring for your curls.
It’s no secret that pools contain harsh chemicals that can wreak havoc on our hair and skin.
I avoided pools for years because they are just too destructive to my curls.
But it’s much easier said than done when you have kids.
My kids beg me every summer to get in the pool. They want to see their mom play and have fun. For many years I just explained to them that I have super sensitive skin and hair and that the pool water irritated it.
Now that they are a little bit older, I want to spend more time making memories with them.
My Top Tip For Caring For Curls In The Pool Or Water Park
Deep condition using the bowl method before you go
Harsh chemicals in pools and being out in the sun cause your hair to become extremely dry and brittle.
Before you head out for a water day, be sure to use your favorite deep conditioner. This helps give your hair added moisture before hands.
Remember that water equals moisture. Use the bowl method during your deep conditioning to thoroughly saturate your hair with water. This helps to really drench each hair strand with water and helps retain moisture.
Below are my favorite deep conditioning treatments
- Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Treatment Masque,
- Devacurl melt into moisture
- EVOLVh ultra repair reconstructive treatment
- Monat Smoothing Deep Conditioner
Go light on the stylers
Loose, beachy waves/curls, and maybe even some frizz are totally acceptable at the pool or beach.
Don’t worry about using a strong hold gel or tons of stylers. This is a great opportunity to let your hair do whatever it wants.
Since you will probably get your hair wet, a lot of that product will wash out anyway.
I recommend using a small amount of flax seed gel or cream-based gel.
I love these two!
- My Soigne – Curly cream and gel
Apply a generous amount of leave-in conditioner throughout the day
The biggest problem with pools is that the harsh chemicals tend to suck all the moisture out of your hair. This makes your hair dry, brittle, and prone to damage.
We were at the water park for two days and I applied a good amount of leave-in any time my hair started to feel ratty or rough.
I applied WAY more leave-in than I usually do and I was surprised that it didn’t weigh my hair down at all.
In fact, that night we had a dinner reservation at a nice restaurant and I was able to wear my hair down. It dried in perfect spirals (with a bit more frizz than usual).
It felt so good to be able to show off my curls rather than hide them in a top not or under a hat after a long day at the pool.
These are my favorite leave in conditioners
- Smart curl leave in conditioner
- Shea Moisture Strengthen & Restore Leave-In Conditioner
- Monat RESTORE LEAVE IN CONDITIONER
Use a heat protecting product this protects against sun damage
Your curls can get sunburned too!
Make sure to get a quality heat protectant product any time you are going to be in the sun.
The sun also acts as a drying agent starving your hair of moisture.
My favorite heat protecting product is Innersense natural hair love prep spray
Use a clarifying wash
Any time you hair is exposed to extra products, chemicals, or sweat and dirt that you use a clarifying wash as a deep cleaning.
After your pool day, do a clarifying wash or scalp scrub to get all of that build up off your hair and start with a clean slate.
Below are my favorite clarifying wash:
- Kinky Curly Come Clean Shampoo
- Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo with Peppermint
- Scalp Purifying Scrub (2in1 scalp treatment and clarifying wash)
You may need to finish with a deep conditioning treatment
It may sound excessive, but you may need to finish up with one more deep conditioning treatment. This all depends on the porosity of your hair and its needs.
My hair is fine and high porosity which means it loses moisture quickly. Even after all of the above steps, I still finished off with a deep conditioning treatment post pool day.
The best way to protect your hair during pool and waterpark visits is to focus on adding moisture, keep the stylers light, protect them from the sun, and finish with a clarifying wash.
As always, you may need to tweak these tips to support your specific hair and needs.