Swimmingfilter: looking for tips to look good for and after my swimming lessons
April 11, 2012 4:38 PM   Subscribe

Swimmingfilter: looking for tips to look good for and after my swimming lessons

I have taken up swimming lessons three times a week, which is great!

What is not so great is the state of my hair after the lessons. I have rather thick hair that needs conditioning and a blowdrying to stay put, I have to go to work straight after the lesson and don't have a lot of time to tame my hair. Does the hive mind have any suggestions of things I can do to reduce the amount of hair-hassle after my swimming sessions?

Also, what do you normally wear (clothes & shoes) for your swimming lessons? Dresses? Crocs? I need things I can wear to work and would be too complicated to put on, like jeans. It can be pretty informal clothing. Also, what do you normally carry in your necessaire/washbag? Multipurpose products or things like that? I always feel like I'm either inappropriately dressed or take too much/too little toiletries to the session.

This may sound a tad shallow, but I want to 1) reduce the amount of time I take to get ready 2) Make sure I take the right things/get dressed appropriately for and after the class. Thanks for reading this!
posted by heartofglass to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
For your hair: Braid or bun it (when dry) and put it in a cap. Depending on your hair you might want to double-cap. It won't be perfect, but keeping it out of the chlorine helps both right after and in the long run.

As for what to wear, I guess I don't understand -- I wear a bathing suit? I've never given much thought to what i wear before or after, just change your clothes as normal.
posted by brainmouse at 4:41 PM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think that the OP means that wearing tights, a pencil skirt, a button down shirt with a liner, heels, and a blazer is 1) a lot of clothing to bring to the gym, 2) would take a long time to put on after the swim.

I would love to add swimming to my routine but it's a huge hassle and takes much, much longer after the swim to get to "work appropriate" levels of appearance. I'm very interested in what ladies (particularly the more, uh, high-maintenance women?) have to say about their routine. To me, it would be like getting entirely ready at the gym in the morning: shower, make up, dressing.
posted by two lights above the sea at 5:02 PM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you thoroughly coat your hair in conditioner before swimming, it won't get as dried out when it gets wet.

I swear by Oyin products, so use their snak paks..
posted by spunweb at 5:16 PM on April 11, 2012

Best answer: I wish I could say that I had more advice for winter swimming, but the only times I'm able to commit to the extra work that a morning swim requires is in the summer, when I can get away with:

-shimmery cream makeups that I can swipe on with a finger + mascara + lipstain
-salt-spraying hair and letting waves air dry I have thick/dry hair too but somehow this works wonders
-throwing on a sundress + wedges and call it good

But two lights is right, it's basically getting ready from scratch in the morning. My gym has combination body wash/shampoo so I use that, dry off with their towels, and then get ready and head to work. I find it much harder in the winter because I'm not willing to let my hair air dry, plus I usually wear more makeup/clothes in the winter, which just means more to carry.

One of my girlfriends has had great luck with renting a locker at the pool and just leaving duplicates of all of her home products there, in addition to a few big pieces of costume jewelry for days when she needs a little extra. Another friend is a big fan of head wraps; perhaps if you work in a casual environment you could get away with a knit dress, a big necklace, and wet hair put up in a bun but offset by a colorful scarf?
posted by stellaluna at 5:17 PM on April 11, 2012 [4 favorites]

I like to wear sundresses and sandals (Tevas, maybe?) to the pool. Easy to get on and off, plus they look cute.

Wet your hair before the pool and run conditioner through it. Braid before swimming and after washing. This makes it 10x easier to deal with, IMHO.

Makeup should be like, a tinted moisturizer, mascara, tinted chapstick. You can use the tinted chapstick on your cheeks for easy blush.
posted by 200burritos at 7:04 PM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Seconding the swim cap. I have looooong hair so I got a special one with more room on top, and it works great, keeps my hair dry except around the edges.
posted by parrot_person at 8:26 PM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've learned that all swim caps are not the same. I much prefer the silicone caps over the latex ones because they're less grabby.
posted by funkiwan at 12:10 AM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Soak your hair in water - conditioner is just something else the pool needs to filter back out of the water and wear a cap and use lots of conditioner afterwards...trouble with chlorine water is that your hair basically absorbs water like a sponge and the pool water will damage your hair so you want it saturated before it gets in contact with chlorine water.

Adopt a hair style that means you can either just leave your hair to air dry (products may make all the difference here) or, if your climate does not allow you to do that, one where you can just blast your hair (again experiment with products).

Moisturise your body and your face.

Stay away from fiddly clothing like tights - loose and non clingy on slightly damp skin is probably easiest.

You need duplicate products in your gym bag and you never take them out - only replace once they run out.

And yes, you can probably just fall out of bed, put on your swim suit and a tracksuit type item and head to the pool but you will have to just accept that you are getting ready from scratch after the lesson.
posted by koahiatamadl at 1:18 AM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: In the fall I worked my post-swim routine down to about 15 minutes. I usually try to wear sundresses or shorts and a tshirt on days that I'm swimming just for ease of re-dressing.

French braid your hair if it's long enough and pull it up into a swim cap. If I double-cap, my hair will stay almost completely dry. Once you're done swimming, if you feel like your hair is still dry under the cap, leave it on when you shower! This completely eliminates the need to do anything with your hair and will cut your prep time down significantly. if you do need to wash your hair afterwards, shampoo quickly (I use Paul Mitchell shampoo 3, which gets rid of some of the chlorine) then wash your body while the conditioner is soaking in. If you wash your hair, it helps to have 2 towels- one to wrap your hair in while you get ready and one to dry yourself off with.

Dry off thoroughly before you get dressed. There is nothing worse than trying to function while still feeling slightly damp the rest of the day. Apply moisturizer wherever you need it-usually just feet and hands for me. Use a more minimal makeup routine- I've gotten mine down to under 5 minutes with just foundation, eyeshadow, mascara, eyeliner, and lipstick. If your hair is wet, brush it out and run some anti-frizz serum through it, then put it in a french or regular braid, or up into a bun, which I think are the easiest styles to wear with wet hair.

As for what to bring, my swim bag has the following: swim cap/goggles, 2 towels (a beach towel for drying myself off and a more lightweight towel for my hair), a washcloth, and a hanging cosmetics organizer. That's all. The organizer holds travel sized shampoo, conditioner, and moisturizer bottles, light hold hairspray and anti-frizz serum, a ton of bobby pins, hair ties, and a few large clips for when I'm too lazy to braid, and makeup that is only used after the gym. The organizer keeps everything nice and neat, and it's easy to see when I need to refill the travel bottles.
posted by kro at 10:33 AM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

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