How to Swim with Straight, Relaxed and Natural Hair (including Sisterlocks!)

I swim every other day.

You often ask me how I keep my hair hydrated and soft with my swim schedule and honestly it took some time and research for me to figure out the best approach.

Swimming often is great for my health, but it can be really hard on my hair if I’m not careful. I also have eczema on my scalp, so I have to balance that as well. Here is the easy process that I use to keep my hair healthy while I keep my body healthy in the pool.


Step One (Pre-Swim): Get in the shower before you get in the pool

Think of your hair like a sponge. If you take a dry sponge and put it in water, what happens? It soaks up as much water as it can and when it’s full of water, it won’t soak up any more.

Well, our hair acts the same way!

So, we want to let our hair soak up as much clear water from the shower as possible so that it won’t take in very much chlorine water. You may also want to coat your hair with conditioner, like SheaMoisture as a sealant. This is an optional step for me, but I find that when I do this it’s similar to giving myself a deep conditioner treatment under my swim cap.

If you have naturally straight hair, you can do one or both of these steps.

When I had chemically treated hair (color, relaxer, etc) I did both steps, religiously.

If you have naturally kinky hair, moisture is your friend, so I’d also recommend both steps.

If you have sister locks like me, you’re going to want to skip the conditioner step until you’re fully locked (you don’t want the conditioner to cause slippage). Secure your ends with hair ties in the beginning and just do the shower water soaking, pre-swim until you’re fully locked, then you can add the conditioner method when your lock-tician gives you the green light.


Step Two (Post Swim): Wash, Co-Wash, Repeat

At first I was bringing my prescription anti-dandruff shampoo with me to the pool, but I quickly learned that harsh shampoos after spending time in the chlorine was a horrible combination. It left my hair hard and kind of stiff.

I realized that I absolutely have to use moisturizing shampoo’s and conditioners to combat the chlorine and constant washing of my hair.

I know I have a super diverse group of readers that I connect with on this blog and just like makeup is for everyone, you just get the color/shade that works for you, skin and hair products have way more overlap than we think. I love SheaMoisture’s line and how they’re intentional about being an inclusive brand that we can all use.

It’s made for everyone, yay!

There’s a reason I rock with SheaMoisture so hard and it’s their connect to Target’s Made to Matter Program: Since Shea Butter is central to all SheaMoisture products, the brand proudly ethically sources its shea butter from 13 women’s cooperatives in Northern Ghana as part of its purpose-driven Community Commerce business model. SheaMoisture’s investments in these shea butter cooperatives help women entrepreneurs develop self-sustaining businesses. An ethical wage premium is paid to these enterprising women, and the brand aids in monitoring practices to ensure that the efficiency, health, profitability and quality of life is elevated for members of the co-ops. The women SheaMoisture works with in Ghana become partners, not just suppliers, and with their rise in income, they experience greater health, access to education and the benefits of financial freedom.

Pretty cool, huh?

Anyway, I went to the Target “Salon” Aisle to see if there were some products I could use after swimming. I grabbed SheaMoisture’s Argan Oil & Almond Milk….and the Almond Milk is just what I needed.

The Argan Oil is great for sleek, frizz free hair and the almond milk is just what I needed, protein and hydration.

Oh, and it smells yummy!


My wash schedule looks like this:

Monday: Co-Wash (Co-wash = Conditioner-Wash, without shampooing) with SheaMoisture Argan Oil & Almond Milk Smooth & Tame Conditioner

Wednesday: Wash and Condition with SheaMoisture Argan Oil & Almond Milk Smooth & Tame Shampoo & Conditioner

Friday: Co-Wash only with SheaMoisture Argan Oil & Almond Milk Smooth & Tame Conditioner

Saturday: Use my prescription shampoo

Once I’m done with this Smooth and Tame set, I’m going to try the Peace Rose Oil Complex Nourish & Silken Shampoo and the Sea Kelp & Pearl Protein Color Extend Conditioner.

I noticed you like when I give you coupons, so here’s one for ya: You can get $2 back on your next SheaMoisture Salon Hair Care purchase at Target with this coupon.

Which SheaMoisture products would you like to try?

#EveryBodyGetsLove @SheaMoisture


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SheaMoisture . The opinions and text are all mine.

32 thoughts on “How to Swim with Straight, Relaxed and Natural Hair (including Sisterlocks!)”

  1. Thanks for the tips! What type of rollers do you use for your set and do you use a setting lotion? I’m still trying to master getting my SLs to hold curls for more than 2 days. TIA


    Thanks for the tips! What type of rollers do you use for your set and do you use a setting lotion? I’m still trying to master getting my SLs to hold curls for more than 2 days. TIA

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