By Leah Fletcher
During the summer months, some women of color frequently forego the joys and benefits of swimming because the hair often requires an extensive styling process after becoming wet. This is important for those who swim frequently as the constant styling after swimming can weaken their hair follicles. For this reason, covering the head or selecting a certain hairstyle becomes very important. There are styles that hold up well during swimming and other water-based activities and are aesthetically pleasing.
Buns: Simple and convenient
If you are planning to take a quick dip and don’t plan on extensive underwater swimming, the bun is a great style. A simple bun not only prevents hair from getting wet, but also makes it easy to brush back and re-style your hair. Brush your hair into a ponytail at the top of your head and wind it into a bun. Use bobby pins to hold it in place and a headband to catch and hold any stray pieces. If your hair is short, there are bun extensions that can help you achieve the look.
Cornrows offer numerous styling options
Cornrows are a solid hairstyle option for black women who swim often. They not only stay in place, but they can be worn for several days at a time. This style can be achieved easily by parting the hair into four or five large pieces. Starting at the front, braid toward the back, pulling the pieces into place along each larger section as you go. Try to keep the parts even so the cornrows look neat and fasten the ends with a small rubber band or ponytail holder. You can wash your hair after swimming. This particular style will hold and it works well with any length of hair. There also are numerous cornrow styling options including braided buns and ponytails, flat twist combos, and fancy cornrows.
Wraps ensure easy styling
If you want to preserve a straight style, it is best to wrap the hair when thoroughly wet and apply a moisturizer before tucking it into a swimming cap. This not only prevents the hair from getting wet, but allows you to easily brush and style it when you are done swimming. Brush the hair around your head in a clockwise motion. Start at the middle of the scalp until all of the hair is laying down flat in a circular shape. Spay on some wrap spray and smooth it down further with wrapping lotion to hold the hair in place. Put the swimming cap on, which will hold your hair in place until you are finished swimming.