Chlorine and Curls: Why Many Black Women Won’t Go Swimming

I was just talking with my friends the other day about how many black/african american women are out shape because they don’t want to sweat and mess up their hair. It’s the craziest thing but that’s an example of the level of brainwashing that has taken place with us & our hair. This article touches on this subject through swimming and women with relaxed hair.  Mind you, chlorine is terrible for any hair weather relaxed or natural, but it’s easier to heal natural hair after swimming than it is relaxed hair because it’s not processed. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Healthy Scalp, Healthy Locs

Nyesha Samuel, Publisher/Master Loctician for

Chlorine and Curls: Why Many Black Women Won’t Go Swimming

Swimming is a great form of exercise, a refreshing summer activity and an important life skill. Yet African American women seem to be, let’s say, less than enthusiastic.

“Oh no, black women don’t swim.” Michael Hawkins, an instructor at Hair Design Institute in Manhattan, often hears that from clients, students and some stylists when the subject of swimming comes up. “She’s not getting her hair wet. No that’s not gonna happen.”

Most African-American women wear their hair chemically straightened or relaxed.

To get that look, stylsts often use a chemical called sodium hydroxide to re-shape black hair into a straighter form. But pool water can be detrimental to that.

“A lot of the chlorine in the water, sometimes the salt or whatever works against the actual relaxer that you put in the hair. So over time you end up having breakage or hair shedding, coming out, things like that.”

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3 thoughts on “Chlorine and Curls: Why Many Black Women Won’t Go Swimming

  1. Believe it or not there is a such thing as over conditioning your hair. That sounds like waaaaaay too much conditioning on your hair. You should just doing the wash and then the deep conditioner post swimming. Your hair would still be as healthy as it can be with a relaxer in it and not be drowned in conditioners.

  2. I swim and I have relaxed hair. What I do is I put oil or conditioner in my hair before I go in the pool, and then co-wash it as soon as I get out and then deep condition.

  3. I don’t swim because I don’t know how. Has never been about my hair. If its hot I had no problem getting in the water when I had relaxed hair. But now I have locs and I still need to learn how to swim.

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