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What Are The Best Hairstyles For Swimming?

With summer in full swing, it’s time to get ready for the pool. Whether you’re a competitive swimmer or just like to do laps for fun, having the right hairstyle can make swimming more enjoyable, and protect your hair from damage.

Keep on reading for the best hairstyles for swimming recommendations and tips.

What Are The Best Hairstyles For Swimming?

Why Are Hairstyles Important When Swimming?

Swimming is a fantastic way to stay fit and healthy, but it can also wreak havoc on your hair. Choosing a suitable hairstyle when swimming is important for a variety of reasons.

Not only does it help keep your hair out of your face and eyes, but it also minimizes the risks of tangled sections of hair, hair damage, and even hair loss caused by the pool’s chlorinated water.

Your hair type and length matters when deciding the best hairstyle for swimming.

Long hair can easily tangle and become unmanageable if not properly tied or secured. A proper swimming hairstyle will help you avoid spending hours detangling your hair post-swim.

It will protect those precious strands from being damaged, especially if your hair is fragile or prone to breakage.

Furthermore, a good swimming hairstyle can offer a sense of comfort and confidence, allowing you to focus on your swim performance without constantly worrying about your hair.

Choosing a hairstyle that keeps your hair securely in place and out of your face will ultimately provide a more enjoyable swimming experience.

How Damaging Is Chlorine For The Hair?

Chlorine, a common chemical found in swimming pools, can be quite damaging to your hair.

When you expose your hair to chlorinated water, it strips away the natural oils, leaving your hair dry, brittle, and more susceptible to breakage.

The damage can be even more severe if your hair is color-treated, as chlorine can cause fading and discoloration.

When swimming, it’s essential to take steps to protect your hair from chlorine’s harmful effects. One tip is to thoroughly wet your hair before entering the pool.

When doing this, your hair becomes less likely to absorb as much chlorine as dry hair. You can also use specialized products, such as chlorine-fighting treatments, to help shield your hair from harsh pool chemicals.

It’s also a good idea to rinse your hair with cold water after swimming in a chlorinated pool. This helps to wash away any lingering chlorine, minimizing the potential damage it can cause to your locks.

Using a reparative leave-in conditioner can help moisturize and protect your hair from further damage caused by chlorinated water.

How Damaging Is Salt Water For The Hair?

How Damaging Is Salt Water For The Hair?

While it’s true that ocean water offers some benefits, such as exfoliating the scalp and providing a natural shampoo effect, it also has a downside. Overexposure to salt water can lead to dryness, brittleness, and even breakage.

Too much salt water can strip away your hair’s natural oils, leaving it dry and vulnerable to damage.

When you swim in the ocean, the salt in the water can also cause your hair to swell, making the cuticles more open and prone to frizz, tangles, and breakage.

To protect your hair from salt water damage, take these steps:

  • Wet your hair with fresh water before diving in, as this will help minimize the amount of salt water absorbed by your strands.
  • Apply a leave-in conditioner or hair oil to seal in moisture and provide a barrier against the salt water.
  • Rinse your hair with fresh water immediately after swimming to remove as much salt as possible.

How To Keep Short Hair Protected When Swimming?

Swimming is a fun activity, but it can be tough on your hair, especially if it’s short. No worries! Here are a few tips to help you protect your short hair while enjoying the water.

Wet your hair before jumping in. By doing this, you lessen the amount of chlorine or saltwater your hair absorbs. Simply rinse your hair with fresh water before getting into the pool or the sea.

Next, apply a leave-in conditioner or oil. A good leave-in conditioner or oil can create a barrier between your hair and the chemicals in the water. This is particularly helpful for protecting delicate shorter strands.

Now, let’s talk about hairstyles. When it comes to short hair, a sporty look might be the best option.

Opt for a slicked-back style, using water-resistant gel or hair cream to keep your hair in place. 

You can try a loose bun or ponytail if your hair is long enough, but ensure it is secured with a waterproof hairband.

Don’t underestimate the power of a swim cap. Although swim caps may not be the most fashionable option, they provide excellent protection for your hair.

Choose a silicone swim cap, as they are more waterproof compared to latex, rubber, or Lycra caps.

Lastly, don’t forget to take care of your hair after swimming. After your swim, rinse your hair thoroughly to remove any remaining chlorine or saltwater.

You should also wash and condition your hair with products specifically designed for swimmers to help restore moisture and prevent damage.

What Are The Best Hairstyles For Swimming?

There are several hairstyles perfect for keeping your hair out of your face and looking great both in and out of the water.

Classic Ponytails

A classic ponytail is an easy and fuss-free hairstyle perfect for swimming. Whether you have long or shorter hair, gather your hair back into a high braided ponytail and secure it with a hair tie.

This style will keep your hair out of your face and minimize tangles. Plus, it’s easy to throw on a swim cap if needed.

Bubble Ponytail

A bubble ponytail is a fun variation of the classic ponytail, and are good hairstyles for swimmers. To create this look, start by parting your hair down the middle and creating a ponytail at the nape of your neck, before wearing a swimming cap.

Use hair ties to section off parts of the ponytail, creating “bubbles” down the length of your hair. This style is perfect for a day at the pool and adds a playful touch to your swimwear look, for a dip in the pool, and low fuss hairstyles.

Fishtail Braid

For a chic and stylish look, try a fishtail braid. This braid is perfect for keeping your long hair neat and secure while swimming, and is always a chic style, before getting wet.

Start by gathering your hair to one side and dividing it into two sections. Take a small strand from the outer edge of one section and cross it over to the other side.

Repeat this process, alternating sides, until you reach the end of your hair. Secure with a hair tie.

How To Stop Frizzy Hair After Going Swimming?

Double Dutch Braids Or Double French Braids

Double Dutch braids or double French braids are a great choice for keeping your hair in place while swimming.

To achieve this look, part your hair down the middle and create two equal sections. Braid each section separately, ensuring the braids are tight and secure.

This hairstyle not only looks great for a day at the pool or beach, but it also helps protect your hair from salt water and chlorine.

Top Knot Bun

A top knot bun is a stylish and practical option for swimming. To create this look, gather your hair at the crown of your head and twist it into a bun, securing it with bobby pins or a hair tie.

This style keeps your hair out of your face and works well with swim caps.

Ballerina Bun

The ballerina bun is a chic and secure hairstyle great for swimming. To achieve this look, gather your hair into a high ponytail and then twist it into a bun.

Wrap the bun at the nape of your neck and secure it with bobby pins or a hair tie. This style is perfect for keeping your hair neat and out of your face while swimming.


Pigtails are a playful and practical hairstyle for swimming, especially for those with shorter hair. Part your hair down the middle and create two equal sections.

Secure each section with a hair tie to create two low pigtails. This style is cute and easy to manage, making it a great option for a day of swimming and fun in the sun.

Swimming Cap Friendly Hairstyles

Swimming Cap Friendly Hairstyles

One great option for long hair is the classic single braid. You can try various braid styles like the French braid or the fishtail braid.

Braiding your hair keeps it secure and makes it much easier to put on the swimming cap. Plus, once you’re done swimming, you can just unbraid your hair, and it will be tangle-free.

If braids aren’t your thing, you can also opt for a low bun or a twisted chignon.

Be sure to keep the bun low, near the nape of your neck, so that it fits comfortably under your swimming cap. To ensure the bun stays intact, use bobby pins or a hair tie to secure it in place.

For those of you with shorter hair, you can try a simple ponytail or pigtails. Tie your hair with a hairband or use mini elastics to make ponytails or pigtails that sit just below your ears.

These styles not only fit well under your swimming cap but also keep your hair from getting tangled in the water.

Some other swimming cap friendly options you might consider are flat twists, cornrows, or for natural hair, even box braids can work.

Remember to keep the style simple and compact, so it can be accommodated easily under your cap.

Tips For Maintaining Hair Health While Swimming

Choose a hairstyle that keeps your hair away from your face and reduces the chance of tangles. Some of the best hairstyles for swimming include topknots, French braids, Dutch braid ponytails, and boxer braids.

These styles not only keep your hair back but also offer extra protection against the harsh chemicals in pool water or salt from ocean water.

If you prefer to wear your hair down, use a hair tie or elastic band to secure it at the crown of your head.

Before diving in, be sure to prep your hair. Wet your hair with clean water before swimming; this helps your hair strands absorb less of the pool or seawater.

Another smart tip is applying a leave-in conditioner or coconut oil to lock in moisture and create a barrier against chlorine or saltwater.

If you have long hair, consider using a hairband or bobby pins to keep the style in place. This will help keep your hair away from your face and reduce the risk of tangled hair.

As you’re braiding your hair or putting it into a bun, ensure you keep the sections tight to avoid unwanted exposure to pool chemicals.

Once you’re done swimming, it’s essential to take care of your hair. Rinse your hair thoroughly to get rid of any residual chlorine or salt.

Follow up with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner specifically designed for swimmers or use your regular shampoo and conditioner if you don’t have a special one.

Detangling while your hair is wet and conditioned is much easier as it reduces friction and breakage. Avoid using a brush on wet hair; instead, use a wide-tooth comb and work from the tips up to the roots.

How Can You Keep Your Short Hair Protected While Swimming?


Swimming is a great way to stay fit and healthy, but it can be tough on your hair. Choosing the right hairstyle for swimming will help reduce damage caused by harsh pool chemicals or salt water.

When it comes to long hair, opt for a fishtail braid, double Dutch braids or double French braids, top knot bun, ballerina bun, classic ponytail, bubble ponytail or pigtails.

For short hair, try slicking your hair back with a water-resistant gel or going for a classic ponytail or pigtails. If you plan to use a swim cap, work with simple styles like flat twists, cornrows or box braids that fit comfortably underneath the cap.

To minimize chlorine damage pre and post-swim, wet your strands before entering the pool and rinse them immediately after leaving the water.

When styling wet hair post-swim go for an elegant French braid or bun at the nape of your neck. Conditioning treatments and deep conditioning masks should also become part of your post-swimming routine to restore moisture and shine.