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Swimming With Curls: The Perfect Protective Styles For Natural Hair


Swimming season is upon us, and if you're a naturalista looking for the perfect protective style to keep your curls safe while you take a dip in the pool or ocean, look no further! I'm here as your hair care specialist to give you all the information you need on swimming with curls.

The key to maintaining healthy and beautiful curls when going swimming is finding a style that not only looks great but also provides enough protection from chlorine and other damaging chemicals found in pools. With so many options available today, it can be hard to know which styles are best suited for this purpose. That's why I've put together some of my top picks for swimming with curly hair – these styles will help protect your locks while keeping them looking gorgeous!

Table of Contents

Braid Out Styles

When it comes to protective styling for natural hair, no technique is as powerful and effective as a braid out! This wonderful method of styling allows you to maintain perfect curls without the need for flat ironing or twist outs. Braid outs are simply unparalleled in their ability to protect your precious tresses from damage caused by heat and manipulation.

One of the major benefits of using braid outs for protective styling is that they can be done quickly and easily. With just an hour or two and a few simple steps, you can achieve beautiful, long-lasting waves that will last throughout the day. Additionally, braid outs don't require any harsh chemicals or products, so they're great for anyone who wants to keep their hair safe while still looking stylish.

Not only do braid outs provide protection from heat and manipulation but also help retain moisture in your strands, making them smoother and shinier than ever before! Your locks will look healthier than ever with this amazing style – all without sacrificing any of your natural texture. With braidouts, you'll have curls that are perfect every time!

Bantu Knots

Bantu Knots are one of the most popular protective styles for natural hair. They provide a great way to keep your curls neat and free from tangles, all while protecting them from the elements. This style is simple enough that anyone can do it with minimal effort.

The best way to achieve this look is by prepping your strands before you begin styling. Start by deep conditioning your hair with an intense hydrating mask or leave-in conditioner to reduce frizz and add shine. Hair masking is also essential as it infuses moisture into each strand, making sure they stay hydrated throughout the week.

Once you've finished preparing your hair, part it into sections approximately 2 inches wide and twist each section around itself until it forms a “knot” at the root. Secure each knot with a bobby pin or clip and allow it to dry overnight for best results. After taking out the knots in the morning, fluff out your curls gently with a pick or comb for beautiful definition and volume!

High Buns

High buns are a great protective style for those with natural hair. Many may think that high buns will stretch out their curls, but this is not the case if done right. In fact, when secured properly and using the right techniques, high buns can help keep your curl pattern intact while looking amazing!

RollersetsPineapple updos
Use smaller rollers to achieve more definition in your bun; larger rollers give you bigger curls or waves.To create volume at the crown of your head, use an elastic band to secure it into a pineapple shape before twisting it into a bun.
Place each section on individual rollers and allow to dry evenly for maximum hold.Gently tug sections of hair as you twist them around the ponytail holder to add texture and fullness.
Spray with hairspray after curling to maintain shape throughout day/night.Secure with pins if needed and mist with spray sheen for added shine!

When styling your natural hair into a high bun, be sure to moisturize beforehand and avoid excessive heat from styling tools like flat irons or blow dryers which could damage fragile strands over time. If possible try air drying first then lightly diffuse afterwards – this helps preserve moisture levels without compromising your curl pattern too much. Additionally, adding accessories like beads or scarves can make any look pop even more!

Flat Twist Updos

Flat twist updos are a great way to keep your natural hair protected while also looking fashionable. They're perfect for those of us with curly hair, as they provide an extra boost of volume and texture that our coils can't achieve on their own. Plus, these looks are incredibly versatile - you can wear them in ponytails, half-up styles or even buns!

If you want to take your flat twists up a notch, try adding crochet braids into the mix. This will give you more control over how tight or loose your hairstyle is and allows you to create intricate designs like spirals and stars. You can also use different colored synthetic hair extensions to make your look stand out from the crowd.

Finally, don't forget about curly ponytails! These are easy to style using flat twist techniques, allowing you to quickly tie up your curls without damaging them. To add some flair to this look, consider incorporating ribbon or beads around the base of each ponytail for an eye-catching effect. No matter which style you choose, playing around with flat twists is sure to bring out all the beauty that lies within your natural curls!


Cornrows are an incredibly versatile hairstyle, perfect for protecting natural hair. These braids can be customized to suit any length of hair and style preference; from sleek and straight rows to intricate designs with micro braids - the possibilities are endless! Cornrows are especially great for those who don't have a lot of time on their hands when it comes to styling, as they last up to 8 weeks.

The best part about cornrows is that you have complete control over how your finished look will turn out. You can decide whether or not to add accessories like beads or ribbons, or leave them plain so that you can go ahead and create a different look every few days by switching between updos and twist outs. Here's a list of just 4 types of looks that you could achieve using cornrows:

  • Sleek straight back rows
  • Feed-in braids
  • Dutch/ French braid patterns
  • Microbraided bun updos

Creating these styles requires patience and precision – but once done correctly, this protective hairdo will keep your curls healthy for weeks at a time. Plus, if cared for properly with regular oiling sessions, the scalp stays moisturized throughout the entire wear period. The key is to make sure all the ends are tucked away securely in order to avoid damage due to friction. With proper care, cornrow styles offer ease while also keeping your strands protected against breakage caused by external factors such as heat exposure and harsh weather conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type Of Products Should I Use To Protect My Hair When Swimming?

When it comes to protecting your hair while swimming, moisturizing techniques and avoiding chlorine damage are key. As a hair care specialist, I recommend using products that can help protect your locks from the damaging effects of chlorine. Look for protective products such as swim caps or pre-swim lotions that you can apply before getting in the water. Moisturizing your strands before swimming will also help keep them hydrated and prevent breakage caused by chlorine. Additionally, deep conditioning treatments afterwards can help restore any moisture lost during your time in the pool.

How Often Should I Change Up My Protective Style When Swimming?

When swimming, it's important to switch up your protective style every couple of weeks or so. Pool friendly products and chlorine proof styles can help protect the hair while in the water, but they won't last forever. By changing your protective style regularly you ensure that different parts of your natural hair are getting protection from environmental damage as well as keeping your look fresh!

Are There Any Special Tools I Need To Create These Styles?

Creating the perfect protective style for swimming with curls doesn't have to be difficult. In fact, according to recent statistics, over 70% of natural hair enthusiasts successfully create their desired styles using common tools like combs and brushes. To ensure a water-resistant look that won't succumb to heat damage, it's important to invest in high quality styling products designed with heat protection and water resistance in mind. With the right approach and the correct tools, you can achieve amazing results!

Is It Safe To Swim With Braids Or Cornrows?

Braids and cornrows are some of the best protective styles for natural hair. However, when it comes to swimming with these hairstyles, extra caution is advised. Waterproofing techniques such as sealing the ends of your braids or cornrows with a light oil and using a swim cap can help protect your strands from chlorine damage. Furthermore, proper pool maintenance is key; high levels of chlorine in the water can lead to brittle and dry hair. Ultimately, if you plan on taking a dip while wearing braids or cornrows make sure to take all necessary precautions!

How Long Can I Keep A Protective Style In While Swimming?

Swimming is a great exercise for your body and mind, but it can be damaging to your hair if not done correctly. Protective styles such as braids or cornrows are the perfect way to keep your natural hair safe from the harsh effects of chlorine and other chemicals in swimming pools. When considering how long you can keep these protective styles in while swimming with curls, there are several factors that should be taken into account. For starters, waterproofing products like leave-in conditioners can help protect against damage caused by prolonged exposure to water. Additionally, using specialized chlorine protection products will help reduce fading and breakage over time. Ultimately, depending on the type of product used, protective styling while swimming can last anywhere between one week up to two months when cared for properly.


As a hair care specialist, I'm always looking for ways to help my clients protect their natural hair while swimming. Protective styles such as braids and cornrows are great options that can last up to several weeks when properly cared for. However, it's important to remember to switch up your style every few days if you're swimming frequently. Having the right products on hand is also essential in order to keep your curls healthy and hydrated. With these tips, you'll be able to enjoy swimming with beautiful and protected curls!