Hair - Bleach - Hair Color

Swimming After Bleaching: Will It Ruin Your Hair?

Discover the dos and don’ts of swimming after bleaching hair. Preserve your hair health and color with our expert tips and tricks.

Written by Danish Bodycare
Swimming After Bleaching Hair

We may earn a commission for products sold through links on this page. Learn more.

Summer is the perfect time to hit the pool, but if you’ve recently bleached your hair, you need to be careful.

Bleaching can weaken your hair, making it more prone to damage from the sun and chlorine.

A study by the Journal of Cosmetic Science found that exposure to chlorine can cause significant hair damage.

To protect your hair, wear a swim cap and use a leave-in conditioner before and after swimming. Don’t forget to rinse your hair with fresh water after you get out of the pool.

This article will guide you on how to protect your hair while swimming.

Can You Go Swimming After Bleaching Hair?

Can You Go Swimming After Bleaching Hair

Yes, you can go swimming after bleaching your hair, but there are some precautions you should take.

Chlorine in pool water and salt in seawater can both damage bleached hair, making it dry and brittle. So, it’s better to be patient and wait a little before diving in.

Most experts suggest waiting 24-48 hours before swimming.

This allows your hair to return to a stable state. It also helps your hair recover from the bleach before exposing it to pool or sea water.

If your hair is in good condition, you can wait 72 hours before swimming.

But, it’s still not advisable to swim the same day you bleach your hair. Always wash and condition your hair after swimming to protect it from damage.

Here are some more tips to help you protect your bleached hair while swimming:

  1. Wear a swim cap: This protects your hair from the harsh pool chemicals and salty sea water.
  2. Wet your hair with clean water: This minimizes the absorption of chlorine or salt water.
  3. Apply a hair mask or conditioner: This creates a barrier between your hair and the water. It also maintains your hair’s health.
  4. Rinse your hair immediately after swimming: This washes away chlorine or salt water that has penetrated your hair.
  5. Use a leave-in conditioner: This keeps your hair healthy and less prone to damage.

How Swimming Impacts Bleached Hair

Swimming can have significant effects on bleached hair. The water type, whether it’s chlorinated or salty, plays a crucial role in this.

Here, we’re going to look at two specific areas:

  • Chlorine’s impact on bleached hair
  • Saltwater’s effect on bleached hair

Chlorine’s Impact on Bleached Hair

When you’ve recently bleached your hair, swimming in a chlorinated pool can be harmful.

Chlorine strips away natural oils. This makes bleached hair more prone to dryness and damage.

To protect your locks, wait at least 48 hours after bleaching before taking a swim.

Saltwater’s Effect on Bleached Hair

While saltwater is less harsh than chlorine, it can still affect your bleached hair.

The salt dries it out, leading to brittleness and breakage.

So, when swimming in the ocean, wet your hair with freshwater before diving in. This reduces the amount of salt absorbed by your strands.

Give your hair 48 hours to recover from bleaching before you swim in saltwater.

How to Protect Bleached Hair When Swimming

To protect your bleached hair when swimming, consider the following protective measures:

  1. Apply coconut or olive oil
  2. Use hair sunscreen
  3. Put up your hair
  4. Shampoo immediately after swimming
  5. Deep condition your hair
  6. Air dry your hair
  7. Wear protective gear

1. Apply Coconut or Olive Oil

Before swimming, apply a generous amount of coconut or olive oil to your hair.

This creates a protective barrier against the harsh pool water. It also prevents the chemicals from damaging or altering the color of your bleached hair.

2. Use Hair Sunscreen

Using a hair sunscreen is essential to protect your bleached hair from harmful UV rays.

It keeps your hair moisturized and prevents color fading. Apply it through your hair before swimming.

3. Put Up Your Hair

Keep your hair up in a bun, braid or a tight swim cap to minimize its contact with pool water.

This reduces exposure to harmful chemicals or salt that can harm your bleached hair.

4. Shampoo Immediately After Swimming

After swimming, wash your hair immediately.

Use a clarifying shampoo for chlorine or saltwater removal. This removes lingering chemicals and prevents further damage to your hair.

5. Deep Condition Your Hair

Deep conditioning is crucial for keeping bleached hair moisturized and healthy.

After shampooing, apply a deep conditioner or hair mask for color-treated hair. This replenishes lost moisture and keeps your hair smooth and soft.

6. Air Dry Your Hair

After washing and conditioning, pat your hair with a microfiber towel and let it air dry instead of using a blow dryer.

This reduces the heat exposure. It also prevents further dryness and damage to your bleached hair.

7. Wear Protective Gear

Wear a swim cap or a protective head covering while swimming to protect your hair. It reduces the contact between pool chemicals or saltwater and your hair.

How to Care for Bleached Hair After Swimming

How to Care for Bleached Hair After Swimming

After swimming, your bleached hair needs immediate care to reduce potential damage.

The following are crucial steps to take:

  • Rinse hair thoroughly
  • Avoid heat styling immediately after swimming

Rinse Hair Thoroughly

After swimming with bleached hair, immediately rinse your hair with clean water.

This washes away any chlorine or salt that can damage your fragile strands. Use lukewarm or cool water to avoid further damage.

Avoid Heat Styling Immediately After Swimming

When your hair is still wet from swimming, avoid using heat styling tools like hair dryers, straighteners, or curling irons.

These can cause more harm to your bleached hair. Instead, let your hair air dry and style it with your fingers or a wide-tooth comb.

DIY Hair Masks for Post-Swim Hair Care

Nourishing your hair with natural ingredients can do wonders for its health after a swim.

Below are some DIY hair masks that you can whip up at home with ease:

  • Coconut oil and honey mask
  • Aloe vera and yoghurt hair mask
  • Banana and avocado hair mask
Hair MaskIngredientsProcedureBenefits
Coconut Oil and Honey2 spoons of coconut oil and 1 spoon of honeyMix coconut oil and honey. Warm it a little. Put it on your wet hair. Wait 20-30 minutes, then rinse and use shampoo.It makes your hair soft and protects it from damage.
Aloe Vera and Yoghurt¼ cup plain yoghurt, ¼ cup aloe vera gel, and a few drops of your favorite scent oilMix yoghurt, aloe vera, and scent oil. Put it on your hair. Wait 20 minutes, then rinse with cool water.It calms and hydrates your hair after swimming.
Banana and Avocado1 ripe banana and 1 ripe avocadoSquish the banana and avocado together. Put it on your hair. Wait 30 minutes. Rinse with cool water and use shampoo.It brings back the softness and smoothness to your hair after swimming.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long after bleaching hair can I go swimming?

It is advisable to wait 24-72 hours before going swimming after bleaching your hair. This waiting period allows your hair to return to a steady state. It also prevents any potential damage from chlorine or salt water.

What happens if you swim with bleached hair?

If you swim with bleached hair, you expose it to harmful chemicals such as chlorine. These chemicals can strip away natural oils. This makes your hair dry, brittle, and more prone to breakage. It could also result in unwanted color changes as the chemicals may react with the bleach.

Will my bleached hair turn green in chlorine?

Yes, bleached hair can turn green in chlorine. Chlorine in the pool can mix with metals and other substances in the water. This mixture can stick to your hair and make it look green. This doesn’t happen to everyone or every time, though. There are protective measures you can take. For example, you can wet your hair with clean water before swimming and use a swim cap.

How do I protect my bleached hair in the pool?

To protect your bleached hair when swimming, you can take several precautions. Wet your hair with fresh water before swimming. This minimizes the amount of chlorine your hair absorbs. Apply a leave-in conditioner or hair oil to provide a protective barrier. Wear a swim cap to reduce contact between your hair and the pool water. Rinse your hair with fresh water after swimming.

Does chlorine lighten bleached hair?

Chlorine can lighten bleached hair and cause further damage. It strips away the hair’s natural oils and makes it more porous and vulnerable to discoloration. Rinsing your hair with fresh water before and after swimming minimizes this effect.

How long should you wait to go swimming after highlighting your hair?

You should wait 24-48 hours to go swimming after highlighting your hair. This gives your hair a chance to stabilize and allows the highlights to set. By waiting, you prevent any undesirable color changes. You also maintain the health of your hair when exposed to chlorine or salt water.

Photo of author

Danish Bodycare

The Danish Bodycare editorial staff consists of beauty experts, hairstylists, makeup artists, and models with years of experience in the personal care space.