Chlorine can do a number on your strands, and the equatorial sun and a sweaty scalp don’t help. Try these expert-recommended (and reader-tested!) tips.
1. “My colour-treated hair feels like straw”
First, don’t waste the money you spent on colouring your hair by diving in too soon. “Allow a minimum of seven days,” advises Visage The Salon owner Dominic Seow. Also try CAVIAR CC Cream 10-in-1 Complete Correction ($40 and up), which promises to help add smoothness, softness and strength; minimise breakage; provide UV protection and work as a styling product with light hold. “You can even use it on wet or dry hair,” says Rita Perna Allor, the Alterna Haircare Artistic Director. One tester with thin strands liked that it didn’t weigh down her hair. Another said, “My hair looked more ‘styled’ than usual with my normal amount of effort, which is minimal.”
2. “My hair is breaking off”
“After swimming, a good shampoo to wash away pool deposits, followed by a deep conditioner is necessary, if you have very dry or damaged hair,” says Dominic. To do: Take a wide-tooth comb into the shower, and run it through your hair several times to spread the conditioner evenly. Leave in the cream for at least 10 minutes. La Biosthetique’s Methode Soleil line has a shampoo and conditioner, which you can use daily or as a deep treatment. Our testers also liked spritizing on the line’s Vitalite Express Cheveux Sunshine Hair Lotion ($96 for the trio) before swimming. Its coconut scent “transports you to a happy place!” commented one tester.
Get the products at: La Biosthetique
3. “My hair is beyond frizzy”
Naturally curly, textured hair doesn’t retain as much moisture as straight hair, says Rita. Meanwhile, humidity can wreak havoc on Caucasian and African locks. Rita recommends the BAMBOO Smooth Kendi Dry Oil Mist ($38). “It’s a fine spray that absorbs instantly.” Dominic’s tip: Invest in professional keratin treatments ($90 and up) to relax your hair “so it’s not so difficult to manage.”
4. “My hair feels gunky”
“Humid weather can cause oily hair and dandruff,” says Mt. Sapola founder Cheryl Gan, who suggests her natural brand’s Bergamot Deep Cleansing Shampoo ($25.90). It was a hit with testers. “Where can I buy it in bulk?” one asked.
Get the products at: Mount Sapola
5. “My hair is… green?!”
Called “swimmers” hair – when locks take on a green tinge due to frequent exposure to chlorine, there are some surprisingly simple fixes:
Wet Hair Before You Plunge: “This ensures that the hair shaft is saturated with water and prevents chlorine from penetrating hair deeply,” explains Mt. Sapola’s Cheryl.
Coat Hair: “Apply a leave-in conditioner to block out chemicals when you swim,” suggests Dominic of Visage.
Wear A Swim Cap: “It adds another layer of protection,” says Alterna’s Rita. (Tip: Don’t put on so much conditioner that your cap won’t stay put!)
By Sara Lyle Bow & Hazel Joanne Vincent de Paul, The Finder, April 2016