Swimming with Braids and Guides to Protection

This guide unlocks everything about swimming with braids ? Let’s learn all the tips to keep them healthy and stylish with Jen Hair!

Are you looking forward to summer events but aren’t sure how going to the pool or beach will affect your braids? Don’t worry! This complete guide will teach you everything you need to know about swimming with hair.

Many braid fans are afraid that going swimming will mess up their styles, make them dry, or make them lose their color. We’re going to show you how to keep your braids healthy, safe, and looking great all summer.

We have tips and tricks for all braid styles, whether you wear your hair in cornrows, box braids, or wavy braids. So put on your swimwear and let’s learn how to take care of your braids with Jen Hair’s tips!

 

Everything you need to know about swimming with braids (Source: Freepik)
Everything you need to know about swimming with braids (Source: Freepik)

Can I Swim With Braids?

Of course you can swim with hair on! In fact, braids can make swimming a lot easier, whether you’re just going to the pool for fun or doing a lot of laps. 

Why Is It Possible? 

With braids, your hair is like a cover that keeps it safe. You don’t have to worry about damage while you swim because they protect it from chemicals, saltwater, and the sun. Plus, braids are very easy to take care of. Loose hair can get twisted and messy, but braids stay neat, which makes swimming a joy. The best part? There are many braid types to pick from, so you’re sure to find the right one for you. There is a braid type for everyone, whether you like simple knots, fancy twists, or something in between.

What Could Go Wrong If You Swim With Braids On?

Bear in mind that it can get dry and break. Even though braids can protect your hair, they can also hold on to water if you don’t dry them properly after swimming. This can dry out your hair and make it break in the end. It’s important to rinse and dry your braids well after swimming to keep them healthy.

Another thing to think about is itching of the scalp. When your hair has been in water for a long time, tight knots can be painful and irritate the skin. You could get swelling, burning, and in the worst cases, hair loss. You can stay relaxed and avoid these problems by making sure your braids are not too tight.

Tight braids can sometimes cause discomfort and irritation to the scalp (Source: Freepik)
Tight braids can sometimes cause discomfort and irritation to the scalp (Source: Freepik)

It’s also possible to change weight and balance. When your braids get wet, they can get heavy. If your braids are long or thick, this could affect how you float and swim. If you’re not a good swimmer, pay attention to how your braids feel in the water and change how you swim if you need to.

And finally, braids are usually easy to take care of, but swimming can damage them. If you go to the beach or pool a lot, you may need to touch up your braids more often to keep them looking good.

What Are The Best Braid Styles For Swimming?

Are you eager to combine fashion with functionality during your aquatic adventures? Look no further than these top braid styles that are tailor-made for swimming.

Box Braids:

Box braids are more than just a fashion statement – they’re a lifesaver for your hair in the water. Made up of individual sections of hair braided into square shapes from the scalp down, box braids create a barrier against chlorine, saltwater, and harmful UV rays. Plus, their versatility allows for various styling options, ensuring you look fabulous both in and out of the pool.

Box braids are a lifesaver for your hair in the water (Source: Instagram @boxbraidsinspiracoes)
Box braids are a lifesaver for your hair in the water (Source: Instagram @boxbraidsinspiracoes)

Ponytail Braids

When simplicity meets style, you get the ponytail braid. This sleek and sophisticated braid gathers all your hair into a ponytail at the back or top of your head, keeping it secure and out of the way while you swim. Say goodbye to tangled hair and hello to effortless elegance.

When simplicity meets style, you get the ponytail braid (Source: Freepik)
When simplicity meets style, you get the ponytail braid (Source: Freepik)

Dutch Braids

If durability is what you’re after, Dutch braids have got you covered. By crossing the hair strands under rather than over, these braids create a raised effect that keeps them intact even during vigorous swimming sessions. Their tight weave and close-to-the-scalp design ensure maximum protection against water damage, so you can swim with confidence.

If durability is what you're after, Dutch braids have got you covered (Source: Freepik)
If durability is what you’re after, Dutch braids have got you covered (Source: Freepik)

Cornrows

Cornrows aren’t just a hairstyle – they’re a swimmer’s best friend. These tightly woven braids lie flat against the scalp, offering superior protection against water damage and minimizing frizz. Plus, their versatility in design allows for endless styling possibilities, making them a go-to choice for poolside glam.

Cornrows aren't just a hairstyle – they're a swimmer's best friend (Source: FroHub)
Cornrows aren’t just a hairstyle – they’re a swimmer’s best friend (Source: FroHub)

Ghana Braids

Looking to add some volume and flair to your swim look? We highly recommend Ghana braids. Also known as feed-in braids, these braids keep your hair safe while adding volume and style. Their intricate patterns and close-to-the-scalp construction ensure minimal water penetration, keeping your hair healthy and vibrant.

 Ghana braids - also known as feed-in braids (Source: Instagram @braidsby_veronica)
Ghana braids – also known as feed-in braids (Source: Instagram @braidsby_veronica)

Braided Bun

Keep your hair off your face and neck while swimming with the braided bun. This classic hairstyle involves twisting or braiding the hair before wrapping it into a bun shape, ensuring you look chic and put-together whether you’re swimming laps or lounging poolside.

Keep your hair off your face and neck while swimming with the braided bun (Source: Hadviser)
Keep your hair off your face and neck while swimming with the braided bun (Source: Hadviser)

Senegalese Twists

Lightweight and versatile, senegalese twists offer excellent protection without weighing your hair down. These twists involve twisting extensions around your natural hair to create long, rope-like twists that are customizable to suit your swim style preferences.

Senegalese twists offer excellent protection without weighing your hair down (Source: Byrdie)
Senegalese twists offer excellent protection without weighing your hair down (Source: Byrdie)

How To Go Swimming With Braids?

Choosing the Right Braids

Not all braids are suited for swimming. Opt for smaller or medium-sized box braids, cornrows twisted into a bun, or Ghana braid for a style that can handle the water.

Ensure the ends of your braid extensions are securely fastened. You can use rubber bands, a hot water dip, or a gentle burn to keep them in place.

If you’re braiding your own hair without extensions, neatly tie off each braid at the ends using rubber bands or secure them with bobby pins or clips. This prevents your style from unraveling, even after a day of splashing.

Preparation

Before your swim day, give your hair some love. Massage coconut oil onto your hair and scalp the night before. Coconut oil forms a protective barrier on your hair, giving it strength and acting as a natural sunblock. If you plan to stay at the beach after swimming, bring some coconut oil to shield your hair from the sun’s rays.

Shampoo and Conditioner

Before swimming, don’t forget to wet your hair. Doing so helps minimize the amount of chlorine or salt that your hair absorbs. After wetting your hair, apply conditioner for added protection and moisture. Once you’re out of the pool, avoid wringing your hair, as it can cause breakage. Instead, softly squeeze out any extra water.

When showering, rinse your hair with water and then use a potent shampoo like clarifying or anti-residue shampoo to eliminate chlorine buildup from your hair and scalp.

Before swimming, don’t forget to wet your hair (Source: Freepik)
Before swimming, don’t forget to wet your hair (Source: Freepik)

Before and After Rinsing

Before you jump into the pool, dampen your hair with clean, gentle water. This helps reduce the amount of chlorine or saltwater your hair and extensions can soak up, preventing potential damage. After swimming, give your hair another rinse to wash away any leftover chemicals – and be sure to use the appropriate shampoo.

Hair Protection Essentials

Consider investing in protective hair products like leave-in conditioners, serums, or oils designed specifically for swimmers. These products offer an additional layer of defense against chlorine or saltwater, ensuring your hair remains nourished and moisturized. If you’ll be under the sun, opt for formulas packed with UV protection factor to safeguard your hair and scalp from sun damage.

Consider a Swim Cap

Think about using a swim cap to shield your braids while swimming. Although they may be pricier than standard swim caps, investing in one designed for braids is worthwhile if it helps maintain your style.

Investing in one designed for braids is a worthy idea (Source: Freepik)
Investing in one designed for braids is a worthy idea (Source: Freepik)

Scrub and Hydrate Your Scalp

Chlorine from the pool can leave your scalp feeling itchy or irritated. To combat this, thoroughly rinse and gently scrub your scalp to remove the chlorine. We stress “gently” here because scrubbing too hard can disrupt your roots, leading to frizz or minor cuts on your scalp. Once your scalp is clean, treat it to some moisturizing love with your favorite soothing oil. Whether it’s vitamin E oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, or olive oil, the choice is yours.

Ensure Your Braids Are Thoroughly Dry

No one wants moldy, mildewed braids, yet it’s a common issue after braids get wet. Mold and mildew can set in just one to two days after swimming, but preventing it is simple.

Here’s how to ensure your braids dry properly after swimming:

  • Let Them Air Dry: After leaving the pool, gently squeeze out excess water and allow your braids to air dry freely. Avoid wearing hats or tying your hair into a ponytail, as this can trap moisture.
  • Use a Hooded Dryer: The quickest and most effective way to dry your braids is with a hooded dryer. Pile your braids on top of your head and sit under the dryer until they are completely dry. Typically, it takes about 30 minutes, but thicker or longer braids may take longer.
  • Avoid Styling Until Dry: Refrain from styling your braids until they are completely dry. Styling while they’re drying, such as putting them in space buns or a ponytail, can trap moisture and encourage mold and mildew growth.

FAQs:

Does Pool Water Mess Up Braids?

Yes, pool water can potentially affect braids by causing dryness, brittleness, frizz, tangling, discoloration, and damage. However, taking preventive measures like rinsing with clean water before swimming and thoroughly washing and conditioning afterward can help minimize these effects.

Can I Swim With Curly Braids?

Yes, swimming with curly braids is generally okay because the braids themselves provide some protection for your hair. The braids act as a barrier between your natural hair and the pool water, helping to minimize direct exposure to chlorine or saltwater. Additionally, curly braids are often made with synthetic or natural hair extensions that are less prone to damage from water compared to untreated natural hair. As long as you take basic precautions like avoiding excessive manipulation or styling while your hair is wet, swimming with curly braids should not cause significant harm to your hairstyle.

The braids act as a barrier between your natural hair and the pool water (Source: Freepik)
The braids act as a barrier between your natural hair and the pool water (Source: Freepik)

Is Chlorine Bad For Braids?

Absolutely, chlorine can potentially have negative effects on braids, primarily due to its drying properties. When braids are exposed to chlorinated water, the chlorine can strip moisture from the hair, leading to dryness and potential damage. This can result in the braids becoming brittle, frizzy, or prone to breakage over time. Additionally, chlorine may cause discoloration of the braids, particularly if they are light in color.

Can You Go Swimming With Fake Hair Braids?

Certainly, you can go swimming with fake hair braids, but it’s important to take precautions to protect them from damage. Fake hair braids, such as those made with synthetic or human hair extensions, are generally more resistant to damage from water compared to untreated natural hair. However, chlorine or saltwater can still have some negative effects, such as drying out the hair or causing tangling.

Final Thoughts

You’re all set to rock your braids poolside with confidence! By mastering proper care and choosing the right braid style, you can enjoy summer swims without worrying about your hairstyle. Ready for swimming with braids? Contact Jen Hair salon today to make your poolside look a reality!

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