Updated: May 17
Locs are a wonderful style for active swimmers. All you need is a little TLC and you can enjoy the water and the freedom that your gorgeous locs have to offer.
During the summer months, my clients often ask me how to care for their locs, especially when they're swimming more frequently. This is what I recommend.
1. Moisturize your locs before you get in the water.
Jinsa Essentials Honey & Shea Oil Spray
Our hair cuticle is like wings on a pine cone when raised. You want to get your moisture in first. This way you don't have thirsty strands absorbing chlorinated water or salt water rapidly, which can dry your hair out. Wet hair with clear water first, then follow with a good leave paraben-free leave in moisturizer and seal with a botanical oil. I recommend Jinsa Essentials Spray Oils blends. They smell divine, are all natural and can also be used on the body.
2. Use a swim cap designed with your hair in mind. Try to get a swim cap that is designed for holding locs if you're frequently swimming in chlorinated water or if you're uncomfortable with your hair getting in your face while you swim. Swimma is featured above. A standard size speedo cap is usually fine if you you've just started your locs and they're relatively short. This will also protect baby locs from coming untwisted.
3. Shampoo with a product that removes chlorine and salt deposits in the hair. Gail Mitchel from Loc'd Life recommends these brands. I'd stick with Aubrey Organics Swimmers Shampoo but try what works best for your hair. Now you have options. Use the swimmers shampoo first, then follow with a Swimpoo Recipe that you keep in a spray bottle. See Recipe Below. Spray It on your wet locs. Squeeze and massage it in. Rinse thoroughly.
4. Towel dry with a cotton t-shirt if you have one. Why? It reduces frizz and you're less likely to get lint from the towel that you can't see, embedded in your locs.
CleanerMe Leave-In Scalp Cleanser and Refresher
*In a time pinch or have baby locs? Rinse locs thoroughly yet gently with clear water. Towel dry as noted above and cleanse scalp with CleanerMe Leave-In Scalp Cleanser & Refresher. If you have adult or mature locs, do the previous steps mentioned as soon as possible.
5. Don't Skip Conditioning your Hair (only for adult or elder locs. People with baby or teen locs should use a botanical oil spray.) Do this after you shampoo. I like to mix CleanerMe with about 1 tablespoons of Melanin leave in conditioner on locs. Shake vigorously and spray. This can be used daily. Deep conditioning should be done once a week or twice a month depending on how often you're swimming. Do not use synthetically based cream conditioners on your locs.They can attract lint, get embedded in locs and prove difficult to remove. I prefer botanical conditioners without parabens.
6. Try to swim during the day time so you can let your hair air dry. Let's face it. Sleeping on wet locs continuously can lead to flattening of the locs as well as mildew smelling locs. However, if you swim early enough for you hair to air dry, this won't affect you. Also, constant exposure to UV rays, chlorine and salt can be drying in and of itself. This helps to keep moisture in as long as possible.
7. Try spacing or ditching the hair color, especially high lift colors when swimming frequently. The combination of ammonia and chlorine can stress your tresses. Semi-permanents will fade fast too. If you're committed to coloring your loc, please don't ditch steps 1 and 2 in this blog. Use a sulfate-free, color safe shampoo to remove chlorine and salt if your hair gets wet or co wash your locs.
8. Lastly Enjoy the water! Doesn't it feel great to not have to worry about your straightened hair reverting? Gotta love the freedom of being natural!
Naturalista Swimpoo Recipe
What you'll need:
1 Spray bottle
2 Tbs of your favorite Sulfate free Shampoo
8 oz. Water (Distilled water optional)
1 tsp olive oil or oil light oil of you choice (optional) recommended if you are swimming daily
Swirl it baby. ....Swirl it, to mix. If you shake it too much, you'll end up with tons of suds depending on the shampoo.
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