Help my poor cholrine-damaged hair!
May 7, 2008 3:39 PM   Subscribe

Is there any shampoo + conditioner product that will help my hair not be so crappy after swimming?

I've been swimming a mile 3-4 days a week, and while I love what it does for my fitness and weight loss, I hate what it does to my hair. I also despise wearing a swimming cap, so I'm looking for some product advice. I've got medium length hair that varies between chin and shoulder length that was doing just fine with regular Pert Plus before I started swimming.

I've been toying around with various hair care products, and I'm wondering if there's any shampoo + conditioner combo that's strong enough to get everything at once (Pert Plus for dry and damaged hair definitely does not cut the mustard).

Alternatively, is there any specific kind of shampoo then conditioner pair that my fellow swimmers can recommend?
posted by loudguitars to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (16 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Are you swimming in chlorinated water? There are a number of products specifically designed to deal with chlorine that my old swim team used to use.
posted by restless_nomad at 3:47 PM on May 7, 2008

This is what UltraSwim Shampoo is for. The Amazon reviews are positive.
posted by GuyZero at 3:47 PM on May 7, 2008

2nding ultraswim. Additionally, while in the shower, rub the suds all over your body - it will remove the chlorine smell from your entire body. I'd say don't bother with the ultraswim conditioner, and instead use whatever you like most.
posted by nobeagle at 3:51 PM on May 7, 2008

Oh yeah, Ultraswim shampoo. But I use Paul Mitchell The Detangler (the orange stuff) in all cases. My hair cannot live without it; it's very thick but very fine; prone to frizzies, flyaways and tangles. The Detangler is the shit.
posted by peep at 3:55 PM on May 7, 2008

Response by poster: restless_nomad, yes, chlorinated water. Can't believe I forgot to mention that obvious detail in the original post.

Anyone who's used ultraswim - is it sufficient without the conditioner, or should I spring for the conditioner as well? Shame they don't make a shampoo + conditioner for the lazy :).
posted by loudguitars at 4:52 PM on May 7, 2008

I swim 2-4 days a week in a chlorinated pool. My hair is your length and I use Aubrey's Organics Swimmers Shampoo and conditioner. It's all natural, non-animal tested and vegan if you care about that sort of thing. I used to use just standard Suave clarifying shampoo and that was decent but not awesome. This stuff really seems to keep my hair looking decent and being easy to manage. I have not tried UltraSwim or any other shampoo+conditioner all in one product.
posted by jessamyn at 5:41 PM on May 7, 2008

Avoid the chlorine: before you swim wet your hair with tap water, rub some moisturiser through it (I use cocoa butter, sorbelene will do) and put a swimming cap on. I also hate wearing a swimming cap, but I hate the smell of chlorine more, especially when I can smell it after I have washed my hair. This way I just have to rinse the moisturiser out and I'm fine.
posted by Tixylix at 5:59 PM on May 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I don't much care about the smell, it's the weird cracky/greasy feeling that drives me nuts, so as long as I can find something to alleviate that, I'm cool skipping the swim cap. Thanks for the suggestion though.
posted by loudguitars at 7:20 PM on May 7, 2008

Back when I swam in pools a lot, I had good luck with Paul Mitchell Shampoo One. It's not specifically formulated to remove chlorine, but it always left my hair soft and un-sticky.
posted by workerant at 7:35 PM on May 7, 2008

In addition to the above, (as a hairdresser and someone who swims in chlorinated/saltwater pools at times) Always wet your hair and put conditioner in before swimming. This prevents the chlorine/saltwater from doing as much damage to your hair. Thoroughly rinse after swimming and shampoo + condition as normal.
posted by nikksioux at 7:39 PM on May 7, 2008

Please don't put conditioner in your hair if you don't wear a cap. It makes the pool gross for everyone else. (Likewise, wash off the perfume.) As to a cap, you may really want to reconsider: long term the chlorine will bleach your hair, regardless of color. I have so-dark-brown-it-looks- black hair, and in the back where the cap doesn't cover it is now blonde. I am not sure what you hate about caps, but if it is the way it pulls your hair, look into silicone--much nicer. If it is because you think you look like a dork, I can assure you no one at the pool notices or cares.
posted by dame at 8:14 PM on May 7, 2008

Loreal Mermade very under priced high performance conditioner.
posted by hortense at 8:28 PM on May 7, 2008

I used Loreal Kids Swim and Sport 2in1. It smells absolutely wonderful, it is tear-free, and it makes your hair all soft and chlorine free. And you can find it in nearly any local drugstore.
posted by nursegracer at 8:41 PM on May 7, 2008

Response by poster: I do definitely wet my hair down before and immediately after swimming, but they put an absolutely ridiculous amount of chlorine in the pool at my gym, so it's like trying to stop an avalanche with a volleyball net. It hadn't really occurred to me to put moisturizer or conditioner in before I swim because I figured all it would do is immediately wash off and make the pool gross (per dame's comment).

It's actually less that I don't like caps (although I do hate the way it gets all sweaty and gross if you're swimming hard) than that I really like way swimming feels without one. I just like the feel of the water. Call me a weirdo, but that's a big part of what I like about swimming for exercise. And honestly, I'm okay with it lightening my hair. Means I don't have to spend money on dye :).
posted by loudguitars at 8:47 PM on May 7, 2008

I haven't used it since my younger days when I swam regularly, but Nexxus Aloe-Rid used to be the shit, for post-swimming hair. I had quite light hair when I was a kid, and it would turn green from the chlorine and have a weird residue/texture; this stuff fixed it right up. They've changed their formulas slightly since going from salon-only to drugstore, but the other products I've used of theirs don't seem to have a noticeable/detrimental difference.
posted by the luke parker fiasco at 10:48 PM on May 7, 2008

House of four competitive swimmers here... 3x a week for 2hrs up to 2-a-days, 5 days a week for a total of four in-the-pool hours.

We use... normal shampoo and normal conditioner. Sometimes the kind for 'dry' hair for the extra moisture, but really, whatever we can get our hands on. The bid difference comes in using it religiously... or not.

Sometimes my youngest swimmer won't put conditioner in her hair - 'forgot', 'didn't have it' - whatever, and that's a biiiiiiiiiiig mistake.
posted by Incognita at 3:14 PM on May 8, 2008

« Older Disagreement with co-web developer about speed...   |   Trying to brainstorm for a one-person business... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.