35 answers

Swimmers hair---Help! Kid's Hair Is a Mess

My daughters have been taking swimming leassons and it is wrecking their hair. I have tried a kids swim shampoo with no luck. Last week I tried a fancy leave in conditioner from Lifetime fitness salon that caused both girls to break out in little pimples. It is so tangled and dry when the older one gets out of the water that I literally cannot even get my fingers though to rinse it. Does anyone have a specific suggestion of a product to use or anything I can do to help. (BTW--swim caps are out of the question--I look like a goofball Mommy).

2 moms found this helpful

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So What Happened?™

I so appreciate the help! We now wet the girls hair, spread on VO5 and french braid it (as best I can). 2 quick shampoos with Ultaswim shampoo and a few good squirts of Infusium 23 and it is tangle free. Another mom even commented on how nice it was combing out. I think I may water the Infusium down a bit because it almost makes their hair greasy...but I prefer that to tears!!! THANKS!!!

Featured Answers

there is a shampoo that is specifically for swimmers. I did find this on the internet: Swimmers Hair Conditioner
by California Baby. I know that when I was young I was always in the pool and the chlorine just demolished it. You can also do a search in google under swimmers hair shampoo, there is a lot of information there that might help you as well!

With my girls, one of which has very fine hair that tangles easily, I always put in plenty of regular conditioner and then put their hair into ponies and braids. That keeps it from tangling. And then when we get home I wash and condition it again. Then follow-up with lots of leave in conditioner like the Suave or VO5 version you can get at Walmart.

Hope that helps.

Try a deep conditioning treatment several times a week. you can get some deep penetrating conditioner from Sally's Beauty Supply.

More Answers

Hi A.,
I know Arbonne has several products that can help. If you're not familiar with Arbonne, it is a home-based business that retails face, body, and hair care products (as well as other personal care products) that are botanically based and contain no mineral oil or chemical dyes or fragrances. The products are vegan certified and are formulated in Switzerland to meet the higher European standards for personal care products.

I am an Arbonne consultant and have used, with success, the following products for "swimmers hair":
ABC Hair and Body Wash or
Intelligence Daily Self-Adjusting Shampoo
Intelligence Daily Self-Adjusting Conditioner
To the Rescue Hair Protectant

The Hair Protectant is great both before and after swimming. Before hitting the pool, it helps protect the hair from damage due to sun and chlorine so that it is easier to comb out later. It also acts as a detangler, making it easier to comb through anytime the hair is wet.

I'm happy to offer more assistance, if you'd like. Or you can go to www.Arbonne.com to find a consultant near you who can help.

Hi A.,

I have two suggestions actually. first, start with a new hair cut. If the ends are dried out and damaged, they will tangle so much easier. If they are taking regular lessons, chances are very high the ends could use a good trim...

secondly, I've always used chlorimed by John Amico. follow up with a good conditioner though becasue this will strip the hair of the pool chemicals (which cause further damage). I like Infusium 23 leave in conditioner. I like to put that in a spray bottle and use it as a detangler/leave-in treatment.

Not sure how long their hair is, but another thing I found helps keep my girls hair from getting really tangled *while* swimming, is to put their hair in a french braid, or just a regular braid seems to help too.

Good luck to you :)

There are some great suggestions for special swimmer shampoo and quality salon products. Being a competitive swimmer for 10 years and 8 years of triathlons, I used cheap thick conditioner such as Finesse after wetting it. Although the others may work, it gets expensive. After the initial rinse of the condiitoner coming out of the water, then I would use the nicer better products to keep the hair healthy. Finesse leaves this waxy coat on your hair if you've ever tried it. Not good for long term use on hair, but FANTASTIC for keeping chlorine at bay! :)

Hi, I'm a Cosmetologiest. What you need to do is put conditioner in their hair before going into the pool. When you get home you need to wash it with Tea Tree Paul Mitchell shampoo. The reason this happend is because the Chloring in the water gets attached to the hair and bond. So you need to be able to make a negative attachment. That is why you add a light conditioning to their hair and comb it so it gets all over their head.

We used to get a lot of kids on Sat at the salon with their mom for the same problem


My daughter and I have been swimming (taking swim courses) since she was six months old. She's five now. I have a swim cap for her. However, I continue to wash her hair with Creme of Nature shampoo. It's excellent. It cleans and moisturizes the hair without stripping it. It's good for everyday use too.

Happy shampooing!!!!

S. M.

My daughter has very dry hair to begin with and we have struggled with this also. First, it is very important to use a shampoo that is specifically made to remove chlorine. Not all shampoos naturally do this. My daughter's current favorite is "ultrswim" shampoo. We found this at Walgreen's. Second, and this came from our hair stylist, is to put on a conditioner to wet hair _before_ swimming. It can be the cheapest conditioner you can find (suave?) and use it as a leave-in. Our stylist explained that the conditioner will bond to the hair cuticle and block the chlorine from attaching to the cuticle and drying out the hair. Also, after shampooing with the "ultraswim" my daugher likes aussie 3-minute miracle. Good luck!

Have the girls wet their hair before getting in the water and comb it into a smooth/tight bun in back. I was a swimmer for many years and have very curly hair that would be a disaster if I didn't slick it back. You also may want to run a little conditioner through their hair without rinsing before pulling back.

there is a shampoo that is specifically for swimmers. I did find this on the internet: Swimmers Hair Conditioner
by California Baby. I know that when I was young I was always in the pool and the chlorine just demolished it. You can also do a search in google under swimmers hair shampoo, there is a lot of information there that might help you as well!

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