Raise your hand if you love the thought of a good swim during summer! Ha, thought so. Swimming truly is amazing – not only does it provide an almost full-body workout, but it’s also incredibly soothing for the mind. However, when it comes to your hair, a midnight splash at the beach or jumping in your swimming pool can be quite taxing. Chlorine, saltwater, and overexposing your tresses to moisture can all be wreaking-havoc factors for your strands – including hair extensions! That said, there are a few things that you can try to protect your hair whilst going full mermaid, in order to maintain your tresses healthy, shiny and beautiful. In this blog, I will explore with you the best hairstyles for swimming, along with essential tips for hair care and maintenance. Let's dive in!

Factors to Consider When Choosing Swimming Hairstyles:

There two main different things you’ll need to consider when it comes to swimming and finding the best hairstyle for you. Let’s see them together so that you can find the best option for your own look!

Hair Length: How long your tresses are is a determining fact that will help you with versatility. Longer hair gives you more braided, plaited and updo options, whilst shorter hair will require different styling techniques.

Hair Texture: Whether your hair is wavy, curly, or straight can have a huge impact on the type of hairstyles you can do to keep it healthy and sheltered – and it also plays a huge role in how it reacts to being exposed to water. 

Perfect Hairstyles for Swimming:

Now, back to the good part. If you’re looking for a great hairstyle to look fabulous whilst going for a swim, this is the right place for you.


High Bun: This hairstyle is quite a classic, known for its versatility and easily achievable with or without hair extensions – depending on the length of your natural hair, of course. To achieve this hairdo, simply gather your hair up in a ponytail that you can then tuck into a bun and secure with a hair tie and, if necessary, a few bobby pins. 

Top Knot: Trendy and useful at the same time, the top knot is an established hairstyle in the hall of fame of updo’s. Perfect for keeping your hair out of the water, but also to hold it together in case you decide to dive in. Gather your hair into a high ponytail and twist it into a “knot” on top of your head. This style works well for medium to long hair, and provides excellent protection.

French Braid: An all-time classic, the French braid is worldwide renowned for its stylish and practical characteristics. There’s a reason if even Lara Croft made it her hairstyle of choice! Perfect for many different outdoors options including swimming, you can easily achieve this hairdo with your Remy hair extensions by parting your hair down the middle and braiding each section tightly. Remember that the French braid is plaited towards the “inside” rather than the outside. Secure the ends with hair ties and tuck them under to prevent snagging. This hairstyle works best for long hair and offers great protection against tangles and knots.

Dutch Braid: Unlike its cousin, the French braid, this hairstyle is all about braiding “outwards”, with the plait standing out from your scalp rather than going inwards. Dutch braids are a popular look not only for the sporty type, but also for those looking to add an extra kick to their festival outfits.

Swim Cap-Friendly Styles: If you prefer using a swim cap, opt for low ponytails, braids, or small buns that can easily lay flat against your head. This ensures a secure fit and minimises water seeping through. Avoid high-volume styles that can interfere with the cap's fit! (although yes, they are very glamorous.)

Tips for Swim Caps:

Wearing a swimming cap can help you to reduce the contact between hair and water, chlorine absorption, saltwater, etc. Silicone or latex swimming caps offer the most secure fit and have an increased durability. Check out your local sportswear shop for the best options!

Last but not least, applying some leave in conditioner can help you provide an additional layer of protection for your tresses – further minimising chlorine et similia from getting absorbed in your strands. You can read more about the effects of saltwater and chlorinated water in our dedicated blog: Why Does Hair Get Lighter In Summer?

Swimming with Hair Extensions:

Swimming with permanent hair extensions on is fine, as long as you take the necessary precautions. However, clip in hair extensions are a big no no – here’s why. First of all, the clips on wet natural hair can be extremely damaging, and pulling or tugging on them (even by accident, or with the natural traction of water whilst swimming underwater) can lead to snapping and breakage.

Secondly, temporary hair extensions are usually made of a slightly lower quality type of hair – to protect your investment and be a more cost-effective choice – therefore, they may dry out quite quickly if exposed to chlorinated water. Find out everything you need to know about this in our post: Swimming With Hair Extensions: A Guide To Protecting Your Extensions.

Hair Care Tips for Swimmers:

Decided to go on a swim? Well, whilst you now know all the basics, here’s an extra bit of info.

Rinse Before And After: Prior to entering the pool, wet your hair with clean, soft water. This will help minimise the absorption of chlorinated or saltwater that can potentially damage your hair and hair extensions. After swimming, rinse your hair again to remove any residual chemicals – and make sure you use the right type of shampoo.

Use A Clarifying Shampoo: Clarifying shampoo isn’t just great against grease and product build up, it can also be a great way to remove chlorine, salt, and other chemical buildup from your hair. OUAI Detoxifying shampoo is one of my favourites!

Deep Conditioning: Give your tresses some good dose of TLC and indulge in some deep conditioning after a good swim to replenish moisture, softness and shine in your hair. Look for products that target dryness and brittleness! 

Avoid Heat Styling: Minimise the use of heat styling tools like hair dryers, straighteners, and curling irons/wants – as they can further damage already vulnerable hair. Instead, embrace natural hairstyles or opt for heat-free styling methods. Find some damage-free inspiration on our blog: How to Get Heatless Curls in 12 Easy Ways.

Protective Hair Products: Invest in protective hair products such as leave-in conditioners, serums, or oils formulated for swimmers. These products can provide an extra barrier against chlorine or saltwater, keeping your hair healthy and hydrated. If you’re going to expose your hair and scalp to the sun, make sure the formulas are packed with UV protection factor!


Ready to take a dive? Whilst you probably can’t wait, your hair needs the right care routine before being exposed to all of your mermaid needs. The right hairstyles and products can help you maintain your tresses look fab and flawless whilst going for a swim this summer (or any other time of the year, really)!

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