Haircare for Swimming

Haircare for Swimming: Best Products to Protect Your Hair (2023)

Is your hair feeling frizzy and dry? If you like to swim regularly, it’s very important to protect your hair. This is true regardless of your age and race. Learning to protect your hair early will save you lots of headaches down the road. These hair products don’t need to be expensive. Once you select the right haircare for swimming products and use them routinely, you will have healthy and shiny hair without severe sun and chlorine damage. This is exactly what we are going to cover in this post.

I have always loved swimming and it has become a habit since my early 20s. Fast forward to 2022, we purchased a Kayak Pool for our backyard, and now I find myself swimming in it twice a day. I have never felt better, but new habits like this could come at a cost too. My hair and my skin are probably the most noticeable ones. At first, I didn’t pay much attention to my hair. After all, we opted for a saltwater pool and we barely feel or smell the chlorine. But it’s still there to keep the water clean of course. Within a week or so, I noticed how dry my hair felt even with wearing a swim cap and washing it regularly.

Then I began my research and was determined to test out a number of products and built them into my routine before and after I get out of the pool. What a difference they made!

Note: everyone’s hair is different. This is my experience and I hope you will find a combination of products that work for you too. I’m only recommending the products I love and use for myself.

Haircare for Swimming: All You Need To Know


This is the #1 tip and the one most people don’t talk about simply because they don’t know pre-shampoo exists!

About Aqua Guard pre-shampoo:

  • Better than Shampoo – it stops chlorine damage before it starts!
  • Prevents green hair; Protects natural color.
  • Smooths and protects from dryness and brittleness.
  • Maintains hair health.
  • Using AquaGuard is easy! Simply dampen your hair before swimming, and apply a generous amount of pre-swim hair defense- paying special attention to ends.
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Swim caps

Silicone swim caps are known to protect your hair best, and it’s waterproof too. When it’s worn correctly, you will notice that your hair is almost completely dry when you get out of the pool.

Swim Caps by Speed on Amazon

Got long hair? You will need a different silicone swim cap that has enough room to hold all your hair. Try this alternative swim cap to see if it works better.

The downside of silicone caps? They are not comfortable to wear. I know they look cool and you’ve probably seen swimmers wear them for practice and competitions. But for recreational use, they can feel really tight around your scull and sometimes they can give me a headache too. Instead, I often wear a silicone swim cap alternative that’s much more comfortable. They do come in different colors and sizes. In terms of their waterproof ability? It’s not quite the same as the traditional silicone caps but still pretty good.

Note: do NOT use fabric swim caps. Those aren’t waterproof at all, and they can make your head feel cold on windy days. Needlessly to say that your hair is fully soaked in water when wearing fabric swim caps.

Shampoo for Post Swim

Ultra Swim shampoo and conditioner (Best Price)

This is one of the most well-known brands and has been around for a long time. They work well, the price point also feels right to most. They have always been part of my rotation and choice for post-swim shampoos.

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Aqua Guard (Best Overall)

Remember Aqua Guard for pre-shampoo? They also have after-swim shampoo and conditioner available. Their products are not only effective but also gentle and perfect for everyday use.

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Tri Swim (Best Scent)

Another favorite brand of mine is Tri Swim. They have been advertised quite a bit by Swim Outlet, one of my favorite online shops for all things related to swimming. Tri Swim has shampoo, conditional, body wash, and lotion available. The scent of their products is always pleasant (think fruity and citrusy smells that make you excited to get into the shower). So yes, they are part of my rotation of products too.

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You can also try this Tri Swim splash box set of 6 products I love.

Malibu C Swimmers Shampoo and Conditioner (Best for Damaged and Colored Hair)

If you have chemically treated dry hair, I highly recommend Malibu C Swimmers’ products. Back in the day when I permed and colored my hair, I realized I was particularly prone to damaging my hair even more through chlorine. I decided to upgrade my hair products to Malibu C Swimmers.

I highly recommend this kit which comes with Anti Chlorine Shampoo, Deep Hydrating Conditioner & Deep Clean Remedy.

So Cozy Kids (Best for Kids, Best One-Step Solution)

I have been a big fan of So Cozy Kids for my own hair. After using regular shampoo to wash my hair every day for years, I decided to use kids’ shampoo every other day and saw a big difference. But not just any kids shampoo, SO Cozy Kids has the best scent and it’s so gentle when it comes to removing oil and dirt, leaving my hair so soft and manageable. Years later, I can’t believe they now have a line of swim shampoo and hair sprays – not only for kids, I believe are great for adults too.

For less than $12, you get shampoo, conditioner, and body wash all in one. This might make some of you question its effectiveness, and I was pleasantly surprised. Knowing their brand for a while now, I love their regular all-in-one shampoo, and this new product is no disappointment either. However, if you have colored, damaged, particularly long hair, I do recommend the 2-step system above (shampoo and conditioner as separate products) instead. However, if you want a quick, easy and affordable solution, So Cozy Kids might just surprise you.

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Fairy Tales Swim Shampoo for Kids

I had never purchased Fairy Tales products before and decided to give it a shot based on raving reviews. I’m glad I did! The shampoo feels quite gentle. However, I haven’t used it enough to quite make up my mind just yet. If you have tried it before, please let us know your experience in the comments below.

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Rotating your products helps

Rotating your hair products can be beneficial because it helps prevent product buildup, avoids sensitivities, addresses changing hair needs, and optimizes product effectiveness. As you can see, I love adding variety to my hair care routine especially when it comes to swim shampoo and conditioner. Because chlorine can do much damage over time, I’m willing to research more products and even invest a bit more money just to see which product works best.

Continue your regular hair routine

Using these new products doesn’t mean letting go of your regular hair routine. You got your favorite conditioner? Your favorite detangling spray? After shower leave-in conditioner? Use them! Your hair will only look better by incorporating both routine products and new ones that are designed for swimming.

Haircut? Yes, it helps too.

What does a haircut have to do with swimming? A haircut helps with damaged hair by removing split ends, eliminating dry and damaged hair, promoting hair growth, creating even hair health, and improving manageability. When you combine the products and routine with a haircut, you will notice an immediate improvement. When damaged and split ends are taken care of through a haircut, it can make your hair products work more effectively.


Taking care of your hair when you swim is important and essential. Choosing the right products and building new habits is key to beautiful healthy hair. This is not a definite guide, but hopefully, my knowledge and experiment can help you protect your hair sooner and better, so you can enjoy swimming in the long run. I believe swimming is hands-down one of the best workouts for anyone, don’t let damaged hair stop you from moving that body and having fun on your own and with friends. Haircare is possible for swimming! Please share your thoughts and tips with us in the comments below.

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