How Long After Dying Hair Can I Swim?

Coloring your hair can be an exciting way to change up your look.

But if you enjoy swimming, you may be wondering—how soon after a color appointment can I safely get my hair wet?

The chlorine and sun exposure involved in swimming can cause your new hair color to fade quickly if you don’t take the proper precautions.

 

How Long After Dying Hair Can You Swim In a Swimming Pool ?

The time you need to wait before swimming after coloring your hair depends on the type of hair dye you use. Permanent dyes, semi-permanent dyes, and temporary dyes all require different waiting periods to ensure the color lasts and doesn’t quickly fade in the water.

If You Used Permanent Hair Dye

With a permanent hair dye, it’s best to wait a full week (7 days) before getting your colored hair wet while swimming. Permanent dye opens up the cuticle layer of your hair and deposits color that is oxidized and develops within the hair shaft. This needs adequate time to set and fully process.

Developers contain hydrogen peroxide to open the cuticle and allow deeper dye penetration. However, the peroxide can continue reacting with pool and ocean water, leading to faster fading. Jumping in a chlorinated pool or saltwater too soon can dilute and oxidize permanent color, causing rapid fading.

If You Used Semi-Permanent Hair Dye

For semi-permanent hair dye, a wait time of 72 hours is recommended before going swimming. Semi-permanent color coats the outside of the hair strands but does not penetrate the cuticle. The dyes are smaller molecules that can be more easily rinsed away with water exposure soon after coloring.

While not as crucial as with permanent dye, giving semi-permanent color at least 48 hours before swimming helps the color fully deposit and set on your hair’s surface.

To keep your hair color looking beautiful, it’s important to wait some days after coloring before swimming, depending on the dye type. Taking precautions like wearing a swim cap and using conditioning products will also help extend the life of your color. With some simple steps, you can confidently rock colorful hair at the pool or beach.

How Hair Dye Reacts to Swimming In Chlorine Water?

Chlorine is added to pool water as a disinfectant and to destroy microorganisms. But the same properties that make it a good cleaning agent also make it very harsh on hair.

Chlorine binds to and opens up the outer cuticle layer of your hair. This allows the chemicals to penetrate deep into the hair strand, stripping away oils and proteins that keep hair healthy.

With color-treated hair, opening the cuticle makes it easier for dyes to escape from the hair shaft. Chlorine also oxidizes and degrades hair dye pigments, causing them to fade at an accelerated rate.

How to Protect Your Dyed Hair From Chlorine In a Swimming Pool Water?

Oil Hair Before Swimming

Pre-treat your dry hair with a nourishing oil like coconut, argan, or jojoba oil before swimming. Focus on coating the ends and avoiding the roots. Oils seal the cuticle and prevent chlorine from penetrating into the hair shaft.

Tie Your Hair Up Or Cover It

For longer hair, braid tresses first before putting on your swim cap to get all the strands neatly secured under the cap. A tight braid helps prevent the ends from splaying out in the water. You can also wrap longer hair into a bun on top of your head before covering with a cap. Containing dyed hair in a tied up style minimizes contact with damaging chlorine.

Limit Your Swimming Time

The longer your dyed hair is submerged and saturated, the more damage from chlorine. Try to limit swim sessions to 30 minute increments. Take frequent breaks by hopping out of the pool and reapplying leave-in conditioner as needed.

Rinse hair periodically in tap water to dilute accumulated chlorine if spending longer periods swimming or playing in the pool.

 


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4 responses to “How Long After Dying Hair Can I Swim?”

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