The No Poo method is about using natural ingredients to clean your hair rather than traditional shampoo. But what about the No Poo method after swimming?
Going swimming is one of the best forms of exercise we can have. There is less strain on our joints as the water aids buoyancy. Getting chlorine and other chemicals in your hair though when trying to go No Poo though can make life difficult for your hair. Wear a swimming cap to limit chlorine damage.
Trying to No Poo and still continue doing all that you used to can be a challenge, so this article looks at how to follow a No Poo haircare regime whilst still swimming on a regular basis.
Chlorine in swimming pools can dry out your hair and leave it feeling rough, dry, and tangled. Read on to discover the best ways to have beautiful No Poo hair and still keep on swimming.
No Poo Method After Swimming
The growing trend of avoiding chemicals, especially when washing hair, is called No Poo.
This is a shortened form of no shampoo. This method of hair care uses only natural ingredients to keep hair healthy, nourished, and easy to manage.
Although No Poo can easily save you time and effort, there are occasions when you will need to make changes to your hair care regime to take into account the stress you put on your hair; swimming is one such example.
For the sake of this article, I am assuming that when swimming it is in a ‘normal’ commercial swimming pool or sea, rather than a natural pool or river.
Commercial pools will use many chemicals to keep the pool clean and regulate bacterial growth.
Chlorine is incredibly damaging to your hair as it strips out the natural oils and leaves your hair dry and prone to breakage.
Swimming in the sea or ocean means that your hair will be subjected to high salt levels. Salt draws out the moisture from your hair, leaving it dry and brittle.
All is not lost though since it is not a case of one or the other. You can No Poo and swim successfully, it may just take a little forethought and adjustment.
Read on to find out my top tips for the best No Poo method after swimming, and the issues you may face if wanting to swim regularly:
1. Chlorine Drying
Chlorine breaks down the natural oils.
2. Salt Dryness
Salt is similar to chlorine in that it leaves hair dry by pulling out moisture.
3. Chlorine Coloring
Those with lighter colored hair have recorded that their hair can end up tinted green with chlorine.
If you have dyed your hair, chlorine may alter the color.
4. Chlorine Build-Up
Chlorine build-up in hair can cause it to look dull and be harmful to your scalp, reducing growth.
No Poo dandruff after swimming is caused by the drying of the scalp and the change in pH.
6. Hair Loss
Chlorine build-up can ultimately lead to hair loss and breakage, inhibiting growth and drying out the hair so that it snaps off prematurely.
Salt and chlorine affect the cuticles of the hair so that your hair tangles more easily.
Since the cuticles are opened by the pool chemicals, your hair is more open to environmental moisture and can frizz up as a result.
9. Waxy Hair
No Poo waxy hair after swimming is possible but is often linked to oils that are put on hair before swimming to lessen the chlorine and salt damage.
Best No Poo Method After Swimming
If you are planning to swim on a regular basis, or even if it is just an occasional dip, it’s a good idea to keep as much chlorine or salt from your hair as possible.
Here are the best ways to carry out your No Poo method after swimming:
1. Wear A Swimming Cap
This may sound obvious, but this simple trick is often overlooked, especially as some people do not like the way swimming caps look.
However, there are some wonderfully designed caps available now and this is by far the simplest way to keep your hair in great condition and swim regularly.
2. Water Drench
The more chlorine or salt that gets into your hair the more damage will be done.
Therefore, drenching your hair with clean water before you swim will lessen the amount of chlorine and salt that can enter your hair whilst swimming.
3. Braiding And Buns
Tie up your hair to stop water from getting into the very middle of your hair.
In the same way as drenching with water will stop so much chlorine enter your hair, so will oiling your hair before entering the pool.
No Poo castor oil would work well for this.
Once you have finished your swim the first thing to do is to fully rinse your hair with clean water. This will rinse your hair of the chlorine that has managed to get into your hair.
Always use a comb or your fingers to tease out tangles from your hair.
Brushing wet hair to remove tangles can lead to more breakage.
If you are only thinking of swimming irregularly, them swimming on your wash day could be the best option.
If your hair is slightly greasy this will help keep the chlorine and salt away from your hair.
8. Egg Wash
Eggs are high in protein and will help strengthen your hair and leave it silky smooth.
Mix your egg wash with a small amount of honey and oil, and leave it for around 20 minutes before rinsing out with cool water.
Read my article ‘No Poo Egg Wash Recipe‘ for details.
Different No Poo Methods You Might Like To Try
The No Poo method contains many different ways of keeping your hair clean. Some will work better than others, if you want to swim on a regular basis:
The No Poo Water Only method of washing your hair with water only and going swimming can work effectively.
Make sure though that you fully drench your hair with water prior to swimming, and rinse hair thoroughly afterwards.
With this method, waiting until your hair is in need of a wash before swimming would work well.
If you want to swim more regularly, other No Poo methods may be worth a try.
Unless you wear a swimming cap, swimming and sebum only hair care are mutually exclusive. Strict sebum only followers do not allow water to touch their hair.
No Poo Baking Soda
Baking soda with an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse is a popular No Poo recipe.
For many people though this method will be too harsh for use after regular swimming.
Used to excess, baking soda and ACV can itself be harsh and drying to your hair, this in addition to chlorine can cause many hair and scalp problems.
This is also known as the conditioner only No Poo method, where you wash your hair with conditioner only.
This method can work with regular swimming.
Just make sure the conditioner used does not contain sulphates or silicons.
Using a No Poo clay mask after swimming can help repair the damage done to your hair by the chlorine.
Bentonite clay is well known for its restorative powers.
As you can see, it is definitely possible to swim and No Poo, it just takes a little more effort (source 1).
How Often Should Swimmers Wash Their Hair?
There are no hard and fast rules as to how often swimmers who are No Poo should wash their hair.
It all depends upon how often you swim, what No Poo method you use, and how your hair reacts to swimming.
If you only swim once per week or less, then you shouldn’t find that your normal No Poo regime is altered.
Should you wish to swim more often though, you will need to find the right No Poo method for you.
You may find that simply rinsing before and after a swim is enough to ward off any chlorine damage.
Otherwise, you could try a deep conditioning mask once a fortnight to keep your hair in tip-top condition.
How To Get Chlorine Out Of Your Hair Without Shampoo
It is not necessary to use a traditional shampoo to rid your hair of chlorine. There are plenty of No Poo recipes that will clean your hair effectively.
Can you just rinse the chlorine out of hair is a question that is often asked by water-only followers.
Whilst you can rinse the majority of chlorine out there will still be some build-up from the chlorine that has been absorbed by the hair shaft. This could lead to a dry flaky scalp, with dry and brittle hair.
You can use any No Poo method to wash the chlorine out of your hair:
- Rye Flour: This is a simple DIY recipe that is strong enough to clean chlorine out of hair.
- Soapnuts: Easily made beforehand and able to be kept in the fridge before use.
- Baking soda: Takes out chlorine effectively, but may be too harsh to use regularly.
- Egg Wash: Used intermittently this will strengthen hair and remove chlorine. Too often though and it could overload the hair with protein so that it becomes stiff.
There are similar ways how to get the chlorine out of natural hair.
As natural hair is usually drier, it may be better to use a conditioning treatment more regularly or consider using oil before swimming.
Using a pre-poo conditioning treatment is probably the best way to keep natural hair healthy before and after swimming.
What Happens If You Don’t Wash Your Hair After Swimming?
Not washing your hair after swimming could have major side effects on your hair and scalp.
Thus, if you do not want to wash your hair, then rinsing at the very least, is advisable.
These are some of the problems that you could encounter if you do not wash your hair after swimming:
- Scalp Dryness: Chlorine and salt are drying and remove natural oils and moisture.
- Hair Dryness: Chlorine might suck the moisture out of your hair will leave it dry and dull.
- Brittle Hair: Dry hair will become brittle if not re-moisturized.
- Increased Breakage: Dry and brittle hair will be more prone to breakage.
- Increased Hair Loss: A scalp in poor condition will mean less growth and increased hair loss.
- Dandruff: A dry scalp may lead to dandruff.
- Scalp Conditions Including Infection: Chlorine and salt will alter the pH of your scalp and may reduce the good bacteria, allowing infections to set in.
These will all be lessened by wearing a swimming cap, or drenching your hair before swimming, and rinsing thoroughly afterward.
Using oil on your hair before you swim will help keep the chlorine or salt away from the hair, but you should not leave this on without washing afterward.
If oil is left on, your hair may look greasy, but more importantly, it may cause a build-up that will eventually be damaging to your scalp.
As with all No Poo methods though, trial and error is the best way of finding out what works for you to keep your locks in fabulous condition.
It might take a few different recipes, or you may find that what you already do is perfect, even if you swim on a regular basis.
The important thing is that you are happy with the No Poo recipe you use and that your hair is happy too.
No Poo Method Step By Step
There are many No Poo recipes that you can use after you’ve been swimming, but this rye flour and honey recipe is brilliant for cleaning out the chlorine, whilst putting back the moisture that has been lost:
Rye Flour And Honey Wash
Below is a rye flour and honey wash recipe:
- 2 tbs Rye Flour
- Cupful Of Warm Water
- 1 tbs Honey
- 2 Drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
- Mix: Mix rye flour with warm water.
- Add: Add honey and tea tree oil.
- Paste: Mix thoroughly into a thin paste with no lumps.
- Wait: Leave mixture to sit for at least 10 minutes so that the flour mucus forms.
- Wet Hair: Wet hair completely.
- Apply: Run mixture through hair, concentrating on the scalp first.
- Distribute: Pull wash down hair lengths with fingertips.
- Rinse: Rinse with warm water to remove all flour.
- Cold Water: Rinse with cold water to close the cuticles (source 1).
Another great way of strengthening your hair after swimming is to use an egg wash.
Egg Wash With Lemon
Below is an egg wash with lemon recipe:
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tbsp Honey
You can also add fresh herbs like rosemary for dandruff or peppermint for an oily scalp (source 2).
- Mix ingredients together.
- Wet hair with cold water.
- Massage into wet hair.
- Leave the mixture in your hair for a couple of minutes.
- Wash out with cold water.
These are just two recipes that are good for hair if you are swimming regularly.
Your hair type will define which recipes work best for you, so if you already have a No Poo recipe that you are happy with, then give that a try first.
In case your hair is still feeling a little dry after all that swimming, here is an easy deep conditioning recipe that will allow you to go swimming as often as you like without ruining your hair:
Coconut Oil And Honey Conditioner
Below is a coconut oil and honey conditioner recipe. This mixture should be used after washing your hair:
- 4 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 2 tbsp Honey
- Mix together both ingredients.
- Place mix in a bowl over a saucepan of hot water until warm.
- Run through hair making sure every strand is coated.
- Leave for 20 minutes.
- Rinse out most, but not all of the mixture, with warm water and leave to dry naturally.
Your hair should now be soft, silky, with no hint of chlorine or salt damage (source 1).
No Poo At the Beach
Going No Poo at the beach is similar to using the No Poo method after swimming.
The drenching and rinsing method should be used to stop the salt from removing the moisture from your hair.
This and the drying action of the sun will make hair brittle and unmanageable without improving the moisture levels after exposure.
If you rinse your hair after swimming, either in the pool or at the beach, then use a cotton t-shirt to dab your hair dry.
Try not to rub dry with a towel as this will further damage the hair cuticles and lead to more likelihood of frizz and breakage.
Doing the No Poo method after swimming is possible if you take care to re-moisturize your hair and scalp after each visit.
The best way to go No Poo and swim is to make sure that the salt or chlorine does not get to your hair in the first place.
This can be achieved by using a swimming cap, a pre-swim oil, or the drench and rinse method.
Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Which you choose is up to you, but wanting to keep swimming and go No Poo is perfectly possible.
No Poo Waxy Hair
Waxy hair can be a problem after swimming in a pool or the sea, but this is often due to the product you put in your hair before you swim to stop the chlorine or salt from reaching your hair in the first place.