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Curly Nikki

Summer Hair Survival Tips

By January 27th, 202124 Comments

Summer Hair Survival Tips
Joya writes:

I big chopped (it was more of a mini chop because I transitioned for such a long time) two months ago and this will be my first summer natural. I have around 4 inches of beautiful coils that unfortunately, are prone to shrinkage and frizz. Summers past, I head straight to the pool for aquatic workouts and I’m at the beach at least twice a month. Between the salt water, chlorine and sweat, I honestly have no idea what I’m going to do. Things are already difficult because I feel so brand new. I don’t even have a routine yet.

What tips do you have for keeping my hair healthy, strong and growing throughout the heat and humidity of the summer?

Weigh in!


  • DecemberPumpkin says:

    i love swimming but in the end i rinse out the pool water and moisturize :o)

  • Unknown says:

    Moisture Moisture and more moisture! I strongly recommend Oyin Handmades "Juices" (Juices n Berries, Greg Juice (my fave) or Frank Juice) They are herbal "juices" that are light (perfect for summer time heat) and nourishing- filled with wonderful goodness that your hair will thank you for…it may also be time to get into a hair health routine now…hope this helps :)

    ps…it also helps to define the mess outta some curls! (oh and it detangles like nobodies business too…and! Its affordable)

  • Sulphate free shampoo says:

    Tips of moisturizing extremely dry hair are very complicated to find and implement and good to see answers which contains these tips.

  • Fatima says:

    I don't think it's necessary to load your hair up with conditioner before swimming. That just leaves alot of conditioner floating around in the water. But definitely soak your hair with water before getting in the pool. Your hair is like a sponge and it can only hold so much water. If it's already full of water not much chlorine can get in.

    Then after swimming of course, shampoo and deep condition. Or just wear a really good swim cap.

    And try finger coils. Since your hair's not that long yet finger coils would be a nice style that should last about a week or so.

  • adrien says:

    1. apply conditioner

    2. rinse conditioner OUT! this is important b/c your hair will soak up what it needs so you don't need to leave it in. leaving it in can cause the hair to swell excessively then shrink when it dries and cause breakage/fraying.

    3. coat hair thoroughly with some sort of oil. it will keep the fresh water and conditioner in, and the bad water out.

    4. when you finish, wash with shampoo, acv, or co wash.

    5. do an acv rinse to restor ph balance (if you didn't already wash with it).

    6. re-moisturize, seal and style hair. i'd suggest doing protective styles if you swim cuz its easier to fit a swim cap over it (if you choose) and so you don't put any extra stress on your hair during the swimming season.

  • Lisa says:

    Protect and moisturize. Every two weeks, use a sulfate-free clarifying shampoo to remove any chlorine buildup, then always follow with a deep-conditioning treatment and nourishing creams. In between, co-wash and keep hair in good condition. Avoid styling products that dry the hair (contain drying alcohols). Use a swim cap, but realize that the chlorinated water still reaches your strands. These are tips I learned from working with Sofn'free and Nothing But products.

  • Anonymous says:

    IMHO, I'm with those who don't like how conditioner clouds the pool water. I think it's insensitive to put all this stuff on your hair just to have it rinse out and cloud the water. The 'protective conditioner' technique is a useless marketing ploy promoted by the hair care industry. Water is "the universal solvent", and the pool chemicals are designed to break down lipids.

    Although the chemicals and filtering take care of the water to protect our skin and eyes from harmful bacteria and toxins, the chemicals will negatively affect the hair. Unfortunately, If you wanna swim in a pool, you gotta take the good with the bad.

    I have no problem with conditioner at the beach.

    There was a controversial news article about African Americans being banned at a Cincinnati, Ohio swimming pool due to conditioner clouding the water. I think that action was extreme and racist, and they used the cloudy water to promote their segregationist agenda.

    I saw photos of ladies in a lighted pool taken during an evening natural hair meetup. That water was so cloudy – urk! – I don't know how they wanted to get in that pool at all!

    I think the standard pool etiquette should not be changed. Shower before you get into the pool, and wear a swim cap if you want one.

  • ChrLvsBks says:

    I recommend doing what most have written. Apply conditioner to your soaking wet hair. If you can, don a swimming cap. Immediately after, rinse your hair with tepid water. Add a little oil to your hair and then more conditioner and/or leave in.

    I highly suggest deep conditioning at least twice a week using a moisturizing treatment, mask, masque, etc. When in the sun, you can also add shea butter and/or aloe vera to your hair after the conditioner. Both have some uv protection, not much but some.

    When not in the water, put on a cute hat to protect your hair from the sun’s harsh rays.

  • Anonymous says:

    Summer months are really the best months IMO for my hair. The humidity draws moisture to my hair especially if I aid it by using a humectant like glycerin or honey. Using shea butter is helpful because it is a natural sunscreen. When I go swimming I don't load my hair with conditioner because I agree no one wants to swim in hair film. I just make sure I rinse really well and remove the chlorine/salt water using my ORS Aloe Shampoo.

  • Sophie says:

    I read that if you apply some oil that absorbs (like olive oil) to your hair that works. I don't like swimming really… although I took lessons and can doggy paddle for my life if need be… so I'm not too much in the know about natural hair and chlorine. I'm also taking notes on what you all are saying just in case! Good question!

  • Anonymous says:

    I wash my hair more frequently to put the moisture(water) back in my hair. Also I wear buns and ponytails more often. Wearing a hat is also smart to keep your hair from getting sun damaged. Eventhough I haven't flatironed my hair in over a year, when I did, I would almost never flatiron in the summer. The humidity causes it to get poofy and frizzy which causes for frequent "touchups" of the flatiron aka damage

  • StephanieC says:

    The chlorine in the pool should keep any major germs away. Plus hair conditioner is the least of my worries in a public pool.

  • Anonymous says:

    LOL @ Anonymous 4:04!!

    I'm the same way…I'm not one for swimming pools b/c of the child urine/spit/etc, and only the Lord know what else, that they hold. And yes, I know chlorine kills the germs, but still….

  • Anonymous says:

    Sometimes I forget about all of the product that is swimming in the pool from other peoples hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think its pretty selfish and quite disgusting to put conditioner in your hair before getting into a pool which is why I havent been in a public pool in 20 yrs. The idea of swimming in peoples filth is too much. I know majority of people dont wash their hair of product (some people dont wash anything) before getting into a pool but wouldnt it be nice if they did. Geez.

  • KChloe says:

    When I know I'm going to swim often in the summer, I braid my hair up. before entering chlorine or salt water, I thoroughly wet my hair and slather it in conditioner. Afterwards I rinse like crazy and shampoo every 3 days to prevent dryness.

  • clc says:

    I try to protect my hair before getting in the water (pool or beach). I moisturize with a deep conditioner and coat my hair with a thick emollient (shea butter) to minimize interaction between my hair and the chlorine/salt water. I found this works better than using a swim shampoo (which I find quite harsh). I rinse my hair with water once I get out the pool, and maybe follow up with a co-wash. I definitely wear a swim cap, because this helps minimze the "physical" damage caused by swimming. I of course deep condition, etc. and cleanse with a moisturizing shampoo as needed. I tend to swim quite a bit: in the pool about 3 times a week for 1 hour sessions, and also swim in the open water as well.

  • Anonymous says:

    When I go to the pool I wet my hair and add conditioner in it before I get in. It doesn't matter what type of conditioner. Any cheap one will do. It helps to kee moisture in your hair and protected from the chlorine since it already has conditioner in it. I put it in a high ponytail or bun… Swim caps never stayed on my hair. I swim laps so it would always fall out. Afterwards I rinse it out and then shampoo with a clarifying shampoo or add more conditioner.

  • Anonymous says:

    I usually try to wet my hair n apply conditioner before swimming. That blocks out a lot of chlorine and salt water. Then right after I get out I wash with a shampoo and finish with condish n deep condish. Then style as usual.

  • Anonymous says:

    Before you get in the pool, saturate your hair with tap water to help keep chlorine out of your hair. Once you have finished swimming, you need to immediately wash your hair– I would suggest a swimming shampoo/conditioner. The great thing about swimming shampoo/conditioner, is it protects your hair from the sun, salt and chlorine. If you are into natural products Aubrey makes a nice one. Good Luck!!

  • Anonymous says:

    What I do is make sure to thoroughly rinse hair out as soon as possible after to beach or pool and apply conditioner (I have a swim cap I use on occasion but still wash/cowash after a swim). I tend to wear more wash n go's when I know I'll be at the beach and pool frequently. That makes it easier for me to rewash and style.

  • Anonymous says:

    What I do is just get my hair braided around this time of year because summer dessert Cali weather dries out my hair and faster if it was unbraided. Also I make sure I keep it moisterized.

  • Anonymous says:

    Wear a swim cap!

  • Anonymous says:

    well if your getting in chlorine & salt water ALWAYS make sure you use an herbal cleanser to get out the build up . KEEP a spray bottle with water & your favorite oil to keep it moist . & make sure you do a deep condition at least once a week or two weeks . & do some research on summer regiments for your hair type & just ask question to all the natural ladies you see i find that to work best for me :)

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