Outdoor pools across the country are opening for summer. While we’re super psyched to make a splash, we’re not so eager for the dreaded hair damage that comes with water, sun, and chlorine. So before you take the plunge, here are some steps you can take to ensure your hair is safe, poolside.

[Image Source: Aqualillies]

Before you dive in…

Wear a cap

We know it’s not always pretty --  and you can feel downright silly when you wear one — but it works as the best protection. If you’re clocking a lot of hours in the pool, we recommend embracing the look entirely. Hey, maybe you could bring back the flowered style cap for an ultra-retro-chic look.

Get wet before you dive in

This is for the times you really can’t commit to the cap. It may sound redundant, but wet hair soaks up fewer chemicals than dry. So hop in the shower for a quick rinse just before you jump in.

 

Keep it secure

Hair texture changes in the water, making it more prone to tangling and breaking. So if your hair is long enough, secure it in a braid. Buns and ponytails can actually cause breakage because of the severe angle of your hair, especially when wet.  

Skip a shampoo 

Shampoo can strip hair of the natural oils that create a barrier against chlorine. So if you know you’re going to be taking a dip, you can hold off on washing your hair until after your swim.

Slather on the oil

By using a natural oil, such as coconut, argan, or jojoba, you can seal your hair’s cuticle, creating a physical barrier between your hair and the pool’s chlorine. It will make it harder for hair to absorb the chemicals while keeping hair ultra-moisturized.

Use more conditioner

Like oil, conditioner can seal the hair cuticle and make it less susceptible to chlorine absorption.

After you swim…

Treat yo'self 

Hair starting to feel like straw? Treat it to a little R&R with a hair mask. You can easily throw one together with some items from around the house, just remember to make it moisturizing.

Use a specialized shampoo

Find a shampoo specially formulated for hair exposed to chlorine on the regular. It might be a good idea to invest in one.

A little bit of extra care before and after you hit the pool, means healthier hair for long-term fun in the sun!