There is a lot of theorys about natural hair and water, natural hair and sweat, hot water, pool water…. Chlorine could be my friend, but it is not…

Let me tell you a story. My mum enroll me in swimming classes since I was only 5 years old. I screamed and cryied back then but ended up swimming 3 times a week, 2 hour a day until I was 16.

From the time when water was my bf, my mum was also the other bf who took care of my curls. At 16 I told my mum that her wonderful service was no longer necessary (error number one in my life)

I going to tell you about my hair journey some other time, but for now what I really want you to understand is that gym, exercise and getting healthy is not a water monster.

I’m 25 now and this year I already started on the gym bandwagen. I have a lot of health issues, wich it was basicaly my main motiviation, but you know, those abs can come along no biggie. I decided to go the gym, and along classes, I also started swimming.

Imaan Hammam

In curl talk, i’m natural for about 3 years now, my curls were better than ever, until I washed my hair for the first time in the gym. I already noticed that something wasn’t right. And no, was not the eyes of the other women watching me doing my 3 lock method. My hair was dull, extremmly frizzy and dry. That first day definition was no longer at bay. I panicked, My first thought was “I am no longer washing my hair at the gym”

I decided to call my mum (off course you decided to call your mum *inner voice*) and asked her what kind of witchcraft did she make during all those years I was swimming and add curls to my butt.

She then tells me that the cure to my dilema is no more than 1€ bottle. Sweet Almond Oil… yes. I’ll explain. My mum said that before going into the water she saturated my hair in oil. Not saturated to the point on dripping, but enought to keep it moisturezed. We can say that the oil acts as some kind of barrier, fighthing that bad chlorine from ruinning my life.

I decided to also do some research through my natural curly gods and found this amazing tips and steps you can take, before and after pool session.

Imaan Hammam

by Curly Nikki

• Saturate your hair – sounds silly right? Why do I need to wet my hair BEFORE I get in the water? Quick answer – wet hair will soak up less chlorine (or sea salt) than dry hair will.

• Apply coconut oil (unrefined is best) prior to getting in the water (preferably the night before). Hair will absorb the coconut oil strengthening the hair shaft thus providing extra protection against the chlorine. Is there anything coconut oil can’t do?

• Coat hair with conditioner – this will seal the cuticle and help create a barrier between your strands and the chlorine. *some choose to forego this tip because fellow swimmers may end up wearing it and tasting it!

• Do not leave your hair out – one big braid or a bun will keep hair from becoming matted or tangled.

• Wear a swim cap – it may not be sexy and you can certainly skip it, however, the more barrier between your hair and the chlorine the better.

Post Swim:

• Rinse with water then shampoo – there are several swimmers shampoos out there.
Try Ions Swimmer Shampoo (100% vegan and sulfate free) or Triswim Shampoo (paraben free)

• Condition as normal (deep condition if you feel it’s necessary)

I hope this works and I hope it helps and I hope we can get healthy and became curly bombshells together

Now let’s shake it

Imaan Hammam


Photos by Vogue, Model Imaan Hammam

Written by Denise, with words and credits from Curly Nikki

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