Should I Wear My Hair Up When Swimming?

With summertime fast approaching, temperatures are climbing, and more and more people are cooling off in the pool. But if you know anything about public pools, you know that the water is usually treated with chlorine, which can dry out your hair and even change its color. Because of this, some recommend that people should wear their hair up when swimming – should you, really? That’s what we’ll address in this article. By the end, you’ll know exactly what you need to do.

 You Don’t Have to Wear Your Hair Up When Swimming

To cut to the chase, you don’t necessarily have to wear your hair up when swimming. This is optional. But there are cases where you’ll definitely want to do so to protect your hair from the pool water. The thing about wearing your hair loose and flowing is that the water can very easily get into your hair that way. If you’re concerned about your hair getting wet or coated in chemicals, wearing it up will limit the amount of water your strands come in contact with.

Some styles that work well for swimming include:

  • Messy bun

  • High ponytail

  • Bun

Alternatives to Wearing Your Hair Up While Swimming

Sometimes, wearing your hair up isn’t ideal. Maybe you don’t have a scrunchie, or you just don’t want to pull your hair up. Either way, you don’t have to do it. You can take another route to give your hair some protection.

Pre-swim Rinse

Instead of wearing your hair up, drench your hair in clean water prior to getting into the pool. Hair can only hold so much liquid. If you fill your hair with water, it won’t be able to absorb much of anything else – in this case, the bad stuff in the pool water. Of course, this will only work if you don’t mind your hair being in its natural state.

Swimming Cap

If you don’t like the thought of wetting your hair down, you can always put your hair in a swimming cap. Just make sure that the one you choose is the right size for you. Going too tight will result in your cap slipping off mid-swim, and one that’s too large won’t seal properly with your skin.

Use a Leave-in Conditioner

Leave-in conditioner is for much more than moisturizing your hair in the morning. It can protect your hair from the chlorine in the water and even shield it from the sun. Use it if you plan on going to the pool but won’t be doing any heavy-duty swimming.

Post Swim Hair Care is Important

After getting out of the swimming pool, it’s essential to wash your hair thoroughly with a clarifying shampoo, follow that up with a hydrating conditioner, and then apply a leave-in conditioner for an extra dose of moisture and replenishment.

So, there you have it – you don’t have to wear your hair up while swimming, but it’s an option that you should definitely consider. We hope that you found all the information you were looking for, and we wish you the best with your hair!


Author: Andrea Reyes

Andrea is a mother, wife, writer, and natural hair enthusiast of 15 years. Currently on her natural hair journey, she’s been trying countless products and techniques to understand and embrace her natural hair. She is the creator of, a new website featuring informative articles that share tips, tricks, and techniques aimed to help others learn to love their hair through proper hair care. She writes with the hope of making hair care easier to understand and implement.

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