Like most women, I used to love lounging out by the pool. Playing Marco Polo with friends was a blast, but I wouldn’t dare dive in. You see, back then I was afraid of letting any of the water touch my hair.

I had long heard the tales of chlorinated water or even ocean water damaging locks to the point of no return. The relaxer (“perm”) I had been wearing since as far back as I can remember also came with a strong warning to steer clear of pools, hot tubs, and even the beach. The community of women I grew up around told me that the pool was a sure way to ruin perfectly good straight hair.

Looking back on it, now I am met with regret. I regret sacrificing fun in the sun simply because I was afraid of getting my hair wet.

But, eventually, I wised up. I took the time to educate myself on how to properly protect and prepare my mane for water fun. Nowadays, I’m a flexible kind of chick who is able to race her children into the ocean waters at the beach or dive into the deep end of the local pool. And, it feels great!

True, to many people this may seem like such a little thing. But being able to go all the way under the water is exhilarating to me. At the end of the day, it’s the little things that really matter. The time we have with our family and friends should not be spent in anxiety. Our time could be better spent making life-long memories. Maybe even getting dunked in the deep end every now and then? Trust me when I tell you that this is a small piece of freedom.

Below you will find tips that I share with my guests who come into the salon during the warm months seeking advice. Implementing these key steps will allow you to enjoy newfound freedom poolside.

• Use a good leave in conditioner. Chlorine and salt water both cause the hair shaft to swell which can result in dry hair and color fadage. Keep your colored tresses protected at all times.
• Wet your hair before entering the water. It’s always best to fill your hair with good water first. Your hair acts as a sponge and this will slow down the chlorine from getting into your strands.
• For maximum protection follow up your leave in conditioner with a silicone swim cap. This will not keep you completely dry but will slow down the process tremendously.
• Wash hair with a detoxifying shampoo and moisturizing conditioner soon after swimming. I prefer to use Eufora’s Urgent Repair Shampoo for a gentle clarifying effect. It’s important to not let the chlorine, salt, and other chemicals sit in the cuticle. This will help remove them.
• Follow up with UVA and UVB protected styling products. Remember the sun can be fun as well as taxing on your skin and hair. Always protect them.

Now that you are equipped with the knowledge of summertime hair protection go ahead and jump in! Take it from me, life is more exciting in the deep end of the pool.