05 May, 2011

Swimmer's Hair (aka, Capt'n Crunch Or Simba Helmut)

Hi Alice! I have a question and I thought you might be able to help. My daughter has just started swim team and she is so excited about it although, I am a little worried about her hair. She is already getting split ends and it's impossible to comb. We're getting it cut to chin length sometime this week and I was hoping you could point me to a shampoo and/or conditioner that might also help fight the damage. Her hair isn't like yours and mine. It's light brown and wavy, not straight and blondissime. So if you have any advice I would surely appreciate it!

Thank you,
Mamacita (your friend in Houston)

What Would Jane Austen Do

Ahhh, yes. The ole swimmers hair o'straw. Remember it well. Although, back then my Dad bought whatever shampoo/conditioner was on sale at the time which, made for a mostly Breck, Finese and Pantene rotation. Not to mention, we dried our post pool hair under those horrid wall mounted locker room dryers. Thank goodness by the time I took up Masters Swimming and Beach Patrol I knew better...

I highly recommend Kiehl's Olive Fruit Oil Collection...

As well as their Amino Acid Collection which, has been in my haircare lineup for nearly 20 years...

You must incorporate a bi-weekly deep conditioner. I used Kérastase Masquintense for fine hair ritualistically every Monday and Friday for yeeeaaars and, just recently switched to their version for highlighted natural blonds. Although, if she's swimming outdoors you might consider the one they make specifically for sun and chlorine exposed locks...

And, all us beach babes in the family use either this wide tooth Mason Pearson comb...

Or this one, in the shower to gently comb our conditioner through. She'll have nary a knot, I promise...

And, be a generous Mummy and spring for the T3 Tourmaline Overnight Dryer. Those wall mounted things should be outlawed...

Kindness of Babe who now finances all my fancy hair care needs. Although, if I'd had a nickel for every lady that stopped my young chlorine helmeted self to tell me my hair looked like spun gold, Babe would be freed up to funnel those funds towards more pertinent items of the Hermès sort...XXOO


  1. oh darling, I love coming over here for all your great suggestions -- I adore Kiehls and I see from your last post we are both fans of Bar Keepers Friend! Hope you are having a fabulous spring. All the best, Coryanne

  2. ...and oh I see I made your lovely blog list -- MWAH, thank you darling. Coryanne

  3. Good recommendation Alice! I had the same problem when I was a swimmer and I used to go to the hair dresser regularly in high school for deep conditioning treatments which seemed to help.

  4. dyyyyyyyyyying over capn crunch- though a sick part of me loves the crunchy straw tresses that happened c/o a summer lived in speedoes, too much chlorine and too much sun of my childhood :)



  5. My hair is wavy and thin (it has been known to dreadlock underneath over the course of a careless weekend)and I was also a swimmer until the end of high school. Johnson's No More Tangles (found in the baby section) was a real savior at that time- just spray it on before she puts on her cap, before showering, after showering... I still keep that on hand but as a treat now I use Kiehl's Hair Conditioner and Grooming Aid Formula 133.

    And I totally agree with Alice about the Mason Pearson combs- they are fabulous. And when in a real pickle, you can wait for her hair to dry and bruch it out with a MP brush.

    Have fun- swimming is such a great sport!

  6. Good to know for my goldy locks swimmer!
    I also love Wella rosemary hair oil.....

  7. To avoid chlorine-green hair, I always used cheapo Ultraswim shampoo when I was little. Now I am just an old lady who won't get her hair wet...

  8. You have the best advice. Because of your previous blog posts, I purchased a shower filter and started on GP's pre-natal vitamins to help with my over-highlighted blonde hair. For product; I will always be a loyal Pureology fan.


  9. Thanks for the great product suggestions!


  10. Love Kiehl's and your hair of gold stories. My SIL works for them, be still my heart. xoxo

  11. My cousin was a hardcore swimmer and had very blonde hair that was severely sun and chlorine dried and damaged; when she was about nine or ten, she decided to put an ENTIRE bottle of baby oil on her hair. Her wasn't dry but she did look a bit odd for the rest of the summer.

  12. Thanks for all the recommendations, y'all! My daughter thanks you, too.