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Swimming + Scalp

UnderdogUnderdog Registered User regular
edited November 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
Ok so I'm looking to get back into swimming routinely (3 to 4 times a week) and I'm worried the constant water + chlorine is gonna dry my scalp out like crazy. Does anyone swim regularly here? Do you use any special shampoos/conditioners? Conditioners don't actually do anything for the scalp do they? It's just for the hair? Any general tips on avoiding the dryness?

Underdog on

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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I know a lot of women's shampoos help with this immensely. I've switched to them because they make my scalp and hair so much better (I had REALLY bad dandruff until I started using a "women's" shampoo and conditioner). Look for shampoos and conditioners that are hydrating and repairing. There's a few, I think suave has one of the better ones.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    evilthecatevilthecat Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I have bleached white hair and swim 3 times a week.
    chlorine tends to make my hair .. sticky.
    I don't find that I need any additional hair products to maintain my hair or head.

    then again, bleached hair!

    evilthecat on
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    VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Back in the day I swam competitively and up until recently I trained a few times a week for fitness and such.

    Basically, yes, chlorine WILL rape the shit out of your hair. If you have dark hair to begin with, it will eventually lighten the shade of your hair (at my peak my hair was a noticeable brown rather than the deep black it is now).

    The easiest solution is to wear a swim cap. It protects your scalp from overexposure to the sun (if applicable) and also keeps the chlorine away from your roots.

    For specific shampoos, I actually used a shampoo that was designed for swimmers but that ended up making my hair even LIGHTER in shade because it had so much shit in it to flush the chlorine out. Stopped using that immediately.

    My shampoo of choice back then and even now is Pantene. Any of their lines will do, but if you are planning on swimming heavily then a moisturizing one will be your best best, as chlorine dries out your scalp. Conditioner IS more for hair repair, but the Pantene conditioners can be massaged into your scalp to lock in moisture. This will make your hair heavier and limper, but it will keep your scalp moisturized.

    Alternatively, use hydrating shampoo and then post-shower, use a leave-in moisturizing conditioner that you can massage into your damp hair and roots.

    That all said, 3-4 times a week for (let's say) 1 hour at a time is not enough to seriously fuck with your hair. For my hair to get badly damaged back in the day, I swam four hours a day, 5 days a week, under bright sunlight... and this was WITH my shower cap. That's because of repeated exposure to chlorine. With 3-4 days, you've got gap days that are pretty valuable in letting your scalp "heal" itself, especially if you do not wash your hair on those gap days.

    Vivixenne on
    XBOX: NOVADELPHINI | DISCORD: NOVADELPHINI #7387 | TWITTER
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    RookRook Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Just a ditto on the swim cap recommendation.

    Rook on
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    Alex SummersAlex Summers Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Swim cap is a great recommendation if you can stand to use one (personally, I cannot). As far as a shampoo, I would suggest Ultraswim (http://www.swimoutlet.com/product_p/2674.htm). It has always worked fairly well for me when I use it consistently. For me though I don't usually worry about my hair in season, as I just shave my head for championship meets generally.

    Alex Summers on
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    VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    HOLY SHIT Ultraswim is EXACTLY the shampoo that had me running around with brown hair back in the day!

    hopefully they've changed their formula, but holy SHIT that brand became unpopular among our team very quickly, but to be fair it could have something to do with Asian hair

    Vivixenne on
    XBOX: NOVADELPHINI | DISCORD: NOVADELPHINI #7387 | TWITTER
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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Yeah salt strips color from your hair.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    i n c u b u si n c u b u s Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I have seen a few shampoos over the years that are designed for pool water and say something like (pool proof or chlorine tested) on the bottle. These work fine I guess but in order to really cut out the damage to your hair you simply need to wear a cap in both workouts and races. As much as I LOATHE wearing one it really does help with not only your hair but speed too.

    i n c u b u s on
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    UnderdogUnderdog Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I think you have me confused with the people giving advice in the thread but I'm just swimming for exercise, not part of a team or anything so I don't really care about my speed :) I had thought about swimming caps but assumed they'd make me look weird. However, it WILL eliminate the chlorine + hair/scalp so I guess I'll forget about looking funny.

    What's leave-in conditioner? I just worry cuz I think I've got dandruff going on (plus some other weird skin thing that makes my scalp itchy whenever I get warm/hot) so I wanted to make sure my attempts to get into shape didn't fuck my scalp all up.

    Did you guys shampoo and clean up right after? Like in the changeroom? Cuz I usually don't, since I tend to swim in the evening (6 or 7) and figure I'll just shower at night (10 or 11). That's not a good thing huh? Kind of a hassle to shower in the changeroom...

    I'll look at picking up a bottle of Pantene at Shoppers. I'm getting the feeling that the head and shoulders I'm using (ostensibly for the dandruff till it proved a big failure) isn't going to cut it in the moisture department.

    Underdog on
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    VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I tend to shower right away. The longer the chlorine stays on your skin, the more it will fuck up your skin and scalp. At least take a rinse in the changeroom shower and get out of your suit right away and do a full-blown shower right when you get home.

    Leave-in conditioner is basically conditioner that is meant to be used in your hair AFTER a shower, not during. From my understanding it can come in lotion form and you basically massage it into your hair and scalp. Not sure how it does on dandruff.

    Vivixenne on
    XBOX: NOVADELPHINI | DISCORD: NOVADELPHINI #7387 | TWITTER
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    UnderdogUnderdog Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I'll do the full blown shower at home, right after then.

    Does it matter if my hair normally ranges from short to very short?

    Underdog on
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    ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Narp, if anything that just means you have to focus on making sure your scalp is moisturized rather than your hair as your scalp will be more exposed to the elements than with longer hair.

    As everyone has said, just stick with a moisturizing shampoo of some kind, and you should be good.

    Thegreatcow on
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    ThylacineThylacine Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I wouldn't worry about a swim cap making you look weird. Yeah, you would look like a freak if you're walking around in it at the grocery store but at the pool you will look normal.

    Thylacine on
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