Although the water might be tempting, many black women shy away from swimming because they’re afraid of salt or chlorine damage to their hair. But there are ways to avoid or minimize hair damage when taking a dip in the ocean or a pool. Real Health scoured a variety of online resources and found these simple, but effective tips to help do just that.

Apply conditioner and follow with a light oil to coat detangled hair before you dive in. The reason? This simple coating protects the hair and stops salt and chlorine from stripping away moisture in the hair.

Always wet your hair with fresh water before going swimming. The reason? Black hair is porous and when tresses are completely saturated with fresh water this stops the hair from absorbing salty ocean water or the chlorine in the pool.

Rinse and detangle hair thoroughly after swimming. The reason? Water flushes salt and chlorine from the hair after a dip and gently detangling tresses eliminates knots that might cause strands to lock.

After swimming, use a protein reconstructor followed by a deep condition. The reason? Chlorine disrupts protein bonding along the hair cuticle, but a reconstructor strengthens and protects hair. Deep conditioning restores moisture and elasticity to the hair.

Lay off the heat after a swim. The reason? Salty or chlorinated water can be drying to the hair. Heat is drying and can do additional damage. Who wants crunchy, crispy curls? Not you!

Click here for more on hydrating parched curls.