12 answers

Biracial Hair and Swimming in a Chlorinated Pool

We swim a lot in a chlorinated pool. My daughter is biracial and though I wash her hair out when we get home, I am afraid it will start to get really dry and brake off-both from the chlorine and from the washing too often. I have been keeping it in braid and then washing it in the braids and not taking them out. Is the only solution a swim cap?

What can I do next?

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It would probably be a good idea to wash her hair and condition it to prevent breakage and brittleness.

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I would wash with conditioner only ( I like hello hydration by herbal essence) and let it air dry. I would follow up with a leave if possible. I don't think it will break off as long as your putting too much stress on it.

1 mom found this helpful

Ask a stylist who's accustomed to dealing with the hair of people of African/Caribbean descent. I'm sure there are options other than swim caps (from essential oils to stronger-than-average conditioners) to help prevent her hair from drying out excessively and to still enjoy being at the pool.

Just by googling the topic, it was difficult to find any credible sources. So, I'd either recommend a beauty supply store or a salon.

Good luck.

Have her rinse her hair in clear water BEFORE getting in the pool. This will keep the chlorine from soaking into her hair and drying it out once she gets into the pool. The other thing you can do is put leave-in conditioner in her hair once she's rinsed it (before getting in the pool), and cover her hair with a swim cap. My daughter has "somewhat" biracial hair (my husband is half African-American) - her hair is curly and dry but fine in texture, and I prefer the swim cap option most of the time for her since her hair can always use extra conditioning.

Hi, had the same problem with my daughter. Try using leave in conditioner after she is done swimming. It helped my little one a lot.

It would probably be a good idea to wash her hair and condition it to prevent breakage and brittleness.

It is ok to wash the hair after every swim as long as you are conditioning it and replacing the moisture with each wash.

A swim cap is not made to keep water out. It's made to help water glide over the head while swimming as well as keeping the hair out of the face. It does not water proof your hair, thus it does not keep the chlorine out.

Your best bet is to spray on a leave in conditioner just before swimming and shampoo and condition her hair as soon as possible, even before leaving the pool, if possible. I wouldn't recommend shampooing her hair while braided, as you are missing alot of the strands, leaving chlorine in. Find a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner and use a leave in conditioner as well. Stay away from protein products as they will only encourage breaking.

A good leave in conditioner that is made to help break down mineral deposits is Purvhana (sp?). Ask your stylist to get it for you, as it's a professional product only available through a salon.

Hope this helps.

There are shampoos that are available to remove the chlorine from hair. Talk to your local druggist.


Really a swim cap would be best.

That said.... Try getting her hair wet with fresh water before swimming then combing a little leave in conditioner through. If her hair is already saturated when she gets in the pool, it won't soak up much of the chlorinated water.

When she gets out of the pool have her rinse in the shower again and comb a bit of leave in through again.

Don't wash her hair every day, even if you swim every day. Try rinsing it out and then conditioning only.

If you let her swim with braids, you should take them out pretty soon after or her hair will mat up. Depending on how long her hair is, leaving it down or in a ponytail would be your best bet.

I am biracial myself (black and white) I swim all summer with my son following the advice I gave you above and my hair does great.


even with a swim cap your hair still gets wet under it. i think they are just to keep hair out of your face.

My friend (who's kids are biracial black and white) greases their hair so the water doesnt absorb as much. Then washes it when they get home and greases it again. Good luck!

I also have dry hair and was working on a weight loss routine in which I went swimming every day. Within a week, my hair felt like straw when it was wet, not to mention it was getting really dull (it's naturally dark blonde). My stylist suggested putting leave-in conditioner in it about 20 min BEFORE I go swimming. Worked like a charm. No more nasty green-tint or dryness.

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