Swimming After Bleaching Hair

Chlorine, lurking in inviting pool waters, can turn your freshly bleached locks into a brittle mess. Whether you’ve just undergone a dramatic hair transformation or are considering taking the plunge, the thought of swimming after bleaching might send shivers down your spine.

In this post, we’ll navigate the murky waters of post-bleaching swimming woes. From understanding the impact of chlorine and saltwater to unveiling expert-recommended protective measures and post-swim care routines, you’ll emerge with vibrant, healthy locks. 

Let’s go!

Can I Go Swimming After Bleaching Hair?

Absolutely, you can go swimming after bleaching your hair. However, you must proceed with caution to safeguard your hair’s health and vibrancy. The chemicals present in pool water, particularly chlorine and saltwater, can pose significant risks to bleached hair. 

It is only through diligent pre-swim preparation and thoughtful post-swim care can you mitigate potential damage and enjoy your aquatic adventures with confidence.

How Long to Wait

Wait at least 2-3 days before swimming with bleached hair. During this time, your hair cuticles fully close, and the bleach stabilizes, reducing the risk of damage from chlorine or saltwater exposure. 

Do not be in so much hurry. You must prioritize your hair’s health and integrity by giving it adequate time to recover before subjecting it to the harsh effects of pool or ocean water.

How Swimming Impacts Your Bleached Hair

Swimming, while refreshing, can have significant effects on bleached hair. In this case, the major elements to be worried about are saltwater, metal deposits, chlorine, and other chemical additives. 

Effects of chlorine

Nearly every swimming pool is treated with chlorine. It strips away natural oils, leaving hair dry and prone to breakage. Chlorine can also interact with the chemicals in bleach, causing further damage and altering hair colour.

chlorine effects on bleached hair

Effects of salt water

Saltwater contains high salt content and can dehydrate hair, making it brittle and dull. Furthermore, saltwater can exacerbate any existing damage. So, if you are going to swim in the ocean or sea, you’ll likely experience frizziness and loss of colour vibrancy on your bleached hair. 

Effects of chemical additives 

Other than chlorine, some pools may contain additional chemicals or additives. These include algaecides and clarifiers, which can exacerbate the detrimental effects on bleached hair. They strip away moisture and natural oils from the hair, leading to increased dryness, brittleness, and colour fading. 

Effects of metals

The seafloor contains deposits of minerals that we use in everyday life, such as copper, zinc, nickel, gold, silver, and phosphorus. These metals can interact with bleach residues in the hair, resulting in discoloration and a greenish tint.

How to Protect Bleached Hair When Swimming

Wear protective gear

Wear a swim cap made of silicone or latex to create a physical barrier between your bleach. This simple measure significantly decreases the contact between pool chemicals or salt water and your hair. 

Use coconut or olive oil

Before swimming, apply a generous amount of coconut or olive oil to your hair. These natural oils create a protective coating that helps repel chlorine and saltwater, reducing their absorption by the hair shaft. 

Apply hair sunscreen

Choose a hair sunscreen specifically formulated to protect against UV rays and environmental damage. Apply it evenly throughout your hair before swimming to shield your bleached locks from the sun’s harmful effects, which can cause dryness, brittleness, and colour fading.

Put up your hair

Tying your bleached hair in a bun or braid before swimming can help minimize exposure to pool water. This reduces the surface area of your hair that comes into contact with chlorine or saltwater, decreasing the likelihood of damage. Secure your hair with a non-damaging hair tie or scrunchie to avoid breakage.

Deep condition your hair

This helps strengthen and moisturize your hair. It also creates a protective barrier against the harsh elements in pool water.

Ways to Care for Bleached Hair After Swimming

Rinse and wash with shampoo

Hop into the shower and give your hair a thorough rinse with lukewarm water and shampoo. This helps remove any lingering chlorine or saltwater, preventing them from wreaking havoc on your bleached locks. Focus on massaging your scalp and running your fingers through your hair to ensure every strand gets a good rinse.

Avoid heat styling immediately after swimming

Steer clear of heat-styling tools like blow dryers, straighteners, or curling irons right after swimming. Your hair is already vulnerable post-swim; subjecting it to additional heat can exacerbate dryness and damage. Embrace your natural texture or opt for heat-free styling methods until your hair has had time to recover.

Air dry your hair

Give your hair a break from heat and let it air dry naturally after washing. Avoid rubbing your hair vigorously with a towel, as this can cause breakage and frizz. Instead, gently squeeze out excess water and wrap your hair in a soft, absorbent towel to remove moisture before allowing it to air dry completely.

Natural Remedies for Protecting Bleached Hair

Using natural remedies can be a game-changer in protecting your bleached hair from damage. With ingredients readily available in your kitchen, these DIY treatments offer a gentle yet effective way to nourish and strengthen your locks.

DIY treatments using household ingredient

Avocado’s rich oils moisturize, while honey’s humectant properties lock in moisture. Coconut oil strengthens and protects, and yogurt’s proteins help repair damage, leaving your bleached hair silky and resilient.

DIY TreatmentProcedureBenefits
Avocado Hair Mask-Mash ripe avocado in a bowl.-Apply the mashed avocado to damp hair.Leave on for 20-30 minutes.– Deeply moisturizes hair- Restores shine and softness
Honey Hair Mask-Mix equal parts honey and water in a bowl.-Apply the mixture to clean, damp hair.Acts as a natural humectant, locking in moisture.-Adds shine and smoothness t-o hair
Coconut Oil Hair Mask-Warm coconut oil until liquid.- Apply warm coconut oil to dry hair.-Seals moisture into the hair shaft– Reduces protein loss, keeping hair healthy

Signs of Damage to Bleached Hair After Swimming

  • Dryness
  • Brittleness:
  • Colour fading
  • Frizziness
  • Tangling


How long after bleaching hair can you go swimming?

Wait at least 48 to 72 hours after bleaching your hair before swimming. This waiting period allows the hair cuticles to close and the bleached hair to stabilize.  You reduce the risk of damage from exposure to chlorine, saltwater and other water elements.

What happens if I swim with bleached hair?

Swimming with bleached hair can lead to various forms of damage. These include dryness, brittleness, colour fading, frizziness, and increased susceptibility to tangling and breakage. The harsh chemicals in pool water, such as chlorine or saltwater, strip the hair of its natural oils and moisture, resulting in these adverse effects.

How to protect bleached hair in the pool?

Wear a swim cap or protective head covering to protect bleached hair while swimming to minimize direct exposure to pool chemicals. You can also apply a leave-in conditioner or hair oil before swimming to create a barrier that helps repel chlorine or saltwater. After swimming, rinse your hair thoroughly with fresh water and follow up with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner to replenish lost hydration and nutrients.

Can chlorine lighten bleached hair?

No. Chlorine does not lighten bleached hair, but it can exacerbate the effects of bleaching by further drying out and damaging the hair shaft. Chlorine strips away the hair’s natural oils and moisture, causing bleached hair to become more brittle, prone to breakage, and susceptible to colour fading. Luckily, you can still dye your hair after bleaching it.

Ready for the Pool?

Enjoy the thrill of aquatic adventures while keeping your bleached locks radiant and healthy. Remember, with proper pre-swim preparation, thoughtful post-swim care, and a touch of creativity with protective measures, you can make a splash without compromising your hair’s vibrancy. 

So, don your swim cap, soak up the sun, and revel in the joy of swimming with confidence. Your bleached hair is protected and ready for whatever the water brings.

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