3 Steps to Saving Your Hair While Swimming

In our recent blog about summer hair damage, we shared all the different kinds of damage your hair can suffer from during hot summer days, from sun damage to salt water and chlorine!

Now we want to deep dive into a simple three step routine you can do before swimming to keep your hair protected from harmful chemicals or minerals in the water. Follow these steps to prep your hair and do a protective swimming hairstyle, and you’ll come out of the water with healthy, happy locks that aren’t dried out or damaged!

Step 1: Pre-soak with Fresh Water

Do you remember going to the local pool for open swim or lessons as a kid? They always ask you to rinse off in the showers before diving in so that all the oils and dirt in your hair and on your skin don’t get in the pool.

It’s not just for keeping the pool clean, though! Thoroughly soaking your hair in fresh water before getting in the pool fills your strands up with chemical-free liquid rather than chlorinated pool water, leaving less room for chlorine to soak in and cause damage.

Woman showering before swimming to protect hair

Step 2: Apply Protective Oil

Once your hair is fully soaked in fresh water, apply either Moroccan, argan, or even coconut or olive oil to your hair to create an extra waterproof barrier against the chlorine.

If you have really oily or fine hair, you may want to skip this step or experiment to see which oil works best for you. Either way, be sure you read our after swim care section at the end so you don’t leave these thick oils on your hair when you’re done swimming!

Step 3: Wear it Up with PONY-O

Now that your hair is soaked and treated, it’s time to put it up in a protective hairstyle! It can be as simple as a ponytail, but if you have really long hair we recommend a braid or bun to keep your hair out of your face and tangle-free!

Woman by the pool wearing PONY-O

This is where, of course, PONY-O comes in. PONY-O is completely waterproof and non-damaging, which is super important when putting up wet hair! Have you ever tried taking an elastic hair tie out of wet hair? It’s not fun, and usually results in some serious damage and hair loss!

Wet hair is extremely fragile, so you need to take extra care when brushing or styling it. Elastic hair ties are a definite NO when it comes to wet hair! PONY-O gently hugs your hair and keeps it up securely without any tugging or pulling on those delicate wet strands. Wet or dry, it will protect your hair and hold your style in place!

Black woman wearing hair in braid with PONY-O in the pool

Bonus: Wear a Swim Cap

If you want to keep your hair extra protected, try embracing your inner 1920s pin-up girl and invest in a swim cap! We still recommend pre-soaking your hair in fresh water before applying the swim cap so the silicone slides on over your hair easier without snagging and pulling.

woman swimming while wearing swim cap

After Swim Care

When you’re all done with your dip, just go through the same three steps in a slightly different order:

1. Remove your PONY-O and let down your hair
2. Wash out the protective oil, along with any chlorine that managed to get through
3. Apply protective post-swim product, like a leave-in conditioner, to give your hair back any lost hydration

Blue PONY-O by poolside with sunglasses

Looking for more hair health hacks?

How to Protect Against Summer Hair Damage

Heatless Hair Tutorials That Won’t Damage Your Hair

How to Wear Your Hair to Bed