Can You Go Swimming After Dyeing Your Hair?

Summer is considered a time of fun and bustling activity, and it’s also the perfect moment to try out a whole new look that encapsulates what the summer season is all about.

Dyeing your hair a new color or adding some highlights can be a simple yet effective way to enhance your appearance without making too drastic changes.

However, one common hair question people have is whether or not they can go swimming after recently coloring their hair. So, can you go swimming after dyeing your hair? How does swimming affect your new look?

Find out more about it in this article.

Can You Go Swimming After Dyeing Your Hair?

No, you shouldn’t. You’ll ruin your new hair color if you do it too soon after dyeing.

This is because the water you’ll be swimming in won’t just have plain water in it; it will also have other components like chlorine or salt. They’ll make your new color fade and look duller.

That’s why if you have recently dyed your hair, you may want to skip out on this particular summer activity if you want to enjoy your new look for a more extended period.

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Don't go swimming immediately after dyeing your hair 
Don’t go swimming immediately after dyeing your hair

Effects of Chlorine and Salt in Pool Water on Dyed Hair

These two are abrasive components that don’t just dry out your strands, causing your hair to become brittle and susceptible to more damage, but they can also strip out the pigments in your locks.

This results in your newly dyed hair’s color quickly fading and losing its vibrancy and shine, which makes your dyed hair look dull and lifeless.

Apart from that, another reason you may want to skip out on swimming after dyeing your hair is that the dye might run in the water if you do. Again, this is because salt and chlorine draw out the pigments in your strands, which causes them to lose their color.

In the case of dyed hair, this means that the dye’s pigments will bleed out into the water, mainly if they haven’t settled in your hair yet. Moreover, chlorine can also interact badly with the dye’s chemicals, causing your hair to turn a different color, often resulting in a greenish tone.

Lastly, chlorine and salt water can also damage your hair’s keratin and dry it out, which makes it more susceptible to damage from the sun’s heat and harsh UV rays. In turn, this makes your locks more fragile and prone to further damage like breakage.

So, regarding the question of “can you go swimming after dyeing your hair,” the answer is generally, no, you can’t. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t do so the entire summer.

When Can You Swim After Dyeing Your Hair?

Again, while it’s generally not advisable to swim in either saltwater or chlorinated pool water after dyeing your hair, this doesn’t mean you can’t swim the entire summer. You just have to wait the appropriate amount of time before you can do so.

So, when can you swim after dyeing your hair a new color? How long do you have to wait before you can enjoy that fantastic pool or seawater? The answer depends on what type of dye you used for your hair – permanent or semi-permanent.

Swimming with Hair Colored Using Permanent Dyes

Permanent dyes are best for those who prefer something that will last longer once applied since you can’t really go back to your natural hair color once you dyed it with this type of hair dye. The only way to do so is to let your locks grow longer and cut off the dyed ends.

However, these dyes typically contain harsh chemicals like hydrogen peroxide and ammonia that open up your hair’s cuticles to deposit the pigments instead of just coating your strands with color.

With that said, if you choose to color your hair with a permanent dye, you’ll need to wait an entire week or 7 days before you can even consider taking a dip in the pool or ocean.

This is because the salt and chlorine in the pool or seawater can interact badly with the dye’s chemicals, which won’t just ruin your new color but also potentially damage your hair even more.

Moreover, waiting a whole week before swimming will also make it less likely for the dye to bleed out while you’re in the water.

Swimming with Hair Colored Using Semi-Permanent Dyes

If you’re not too keen on changing your hair color permanently or waiting for your hair to grow longer to return to its natural shade, semi-permanent dyes can be the ideal alternative for you.

Semi-permanent dyes often contain fewer harsh chemicals than their permanent counterparts, so you don’t need to deal significant damage to your locks just to change their color.

These dyes also have a shorter lasting time than permanent dyes, so they will eventually wash out, usually around 4 to 6 weeks.

With that said, if you choose to color your hair with this type of dye, you’ll need to wait around 72 hours or 3 full days before you can swim in the pool or ocean. This would have given the color some time to settle in your locks, preventing it from running in the water.

Helpful Tips to Protect Color-Treated Hair When Swimming

Of course, simply waiting for the dye to settle in your locks isn’t enough to keep the chlorine or salt from stripping the pigments out of your hair when you swim. You still run the risk of ruining your new hair color if you don’t take the necessary precautions.

With that said, here are some helpful tips you can follow to minimize the effects of salt or pool water on your newly dyed hair.

Soak it beforehand

Regardless of whether you’re taking a dip in the ocean or your local pool, pre-soaking your recently dyed locks with clean water is critical if you want to minimize the effects of pool or saltwater on your hair.

Soaking it with clean water beforehand means that your strands now have less room to absorb chlorine or saltwater. In turn, this means that your dyed hair is less likely to fade or change color since it minimizes the interaction between the dye and salt or chlorine.

However, don’t forget to rinse off the pool or saltwater after you get out of the water as well to avoid ruining your new hair color.

Apply some oil

Another way you can minimize the damage is by applying some oil, such as coconut or olive oil, to your strands before taking a dip. How does this help?

Well, the oil serves as a slippery but protective barrier between your locks and the damaging pool or ocean water, which allows you to preserve your new color. Coconut oil even helps bring back some of your hair’s lost moisture, which can make it look more vibrant and healthy.

Keep the water out of your hair

If you’re not looking to swim, just wade around or float in the water; it might be better to just keep your hair dry the entire time.

Keeping the harsh salt or chlorinated water out of your newly dyed hair is the best way to ensure the color won’t fade or damage your locks.

Of course, this is easier said than done, but you can use several methods to do so successfully. One is by putting your hair up in a topknot or bun. Not only will this serve as a cute hairstyle for your summer outing, but it will also help keep the water away from your hair as much as possible.

If that won’t work, putting your hair in a high-quality swim cap can do the job. A swim cap will minimize the amount of water coming into contact with your hair, and it will also help keep it out of your eyes while you swim.

Shampoo and condition afterward

Lastly, if you want to preserve your new hair color for as long as possible, make sure you don’t forget to shampoo and deep-condition after swimming in the pool or ocean.

Shampooing your hair will help remove some of the leftover chlorine or saltwater in your strands, preventing them from further damaging your dyed hair.

Meanwhile, deep conditioning your hair afterward can help restore some of the lost moisture to your locks, and it can also protect your dry hair from becoming even more damaged after swimming.

Take Care Your Color-Treated Hair When Swimming 
Take Care Your Color-Treated Hair When Swimming

Final Thoughts

Summertime is the perfect season to try out something new and debut a whole new look, whether it’s by bleaching your hair, adding some highlights, or changing your hair color altogether.

However, you may want to skip out on the new hair color if you’re planning on swimming, as the chlorine and salt in the pool or ocean water can be damaging to colored hair. Of course, you can still enjoy the water if you have dyed hair, as long as you observe the proper precautions.

With that said, hopefully, this article has helped you better understand whether or not you can swim after dyeing your hair, as well as what you can do to minimize the damage to your newly colored locks.

Edna Feber

I’m Edna. I'm here to guide you about hair products and maintenance tips. You'll fine here product reviews regarding hair tools, hair color, hair care and more along with tips to keep your hair healthy!

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