Saltwater and swimming pool chemicals can leave your hair feeling dry and brittle if not properly protected.

Now that we are in the midst of summer, you may be spending time in the sea or in a pool. Although swimming is a great summer activity, it can be bad news for your hair.

Consultant Trichologist Eva Proudman from has shared a few tips to help you keep your locks looking luscious and full of life over the warmer months.

Eva has successfully treated numerous men and women suffering with hair loss and is the resident trichologist on “The Hair Loss Clinic”, which can currently be streamed on Discovery plus.

Conditioning masks

Keep your hair protected by slathering on a conditioning mask before going for a swim.

“Use a protective conditioning mask before you go into the water to coat and protect the hair making it less easy for the chlorine and salt to penetrate into the hair’s core,” Eva suggests.

Alternatively, you could use coconut oil, which will “repel the water and provide protection from the drying effects”.

Wear a swimming cap

If you thought swimming caps were a thing of your primary school years, you are wrong. They are an effective and easy way to protect your hair from harmful chemicals that are often in pools.

“Hair can take on a greenish tinge after swimming in a chlorinated pool, this is due to the copper algaecides that are used to prevent algae growing in the pool water,” the expert explains. “To avoid this problem, you can wear a swimming cap, keep your hair out of the pool water or wash the hair well immediately after you get out of the water.”

Don’t forget the aftercare

It is important to wash your hair after you swim to get rid of anything that might dehydrate or damage your hair or scalp.

Eva recommends, “Wash your hair when you come out of the pool and reapply a mask with sunscreen or your SPF protection spray.”

The consultant insists that it is important to add an SPF to your haircare routine, explaining, “The sun’s rays weaken the hair’s protein structure, cause dehydration and dryness and reduce the natural elasticity of the hair making it more prone to breakage.”

Are there particular treatments and styling techniques that can make black hair more susceptible to breakage?

Afro hair needs hydration more than anything else, so using products that bring moisture into the hair is advisable, steaming is also good for the hair.  However, chemical relaxing of the hair, wearing tight braids, lock weaves and hair extensions, can all cause breakage and damage and in some cases lead to permanent hair loss.

When treating black hair loss are there any particular considerations and differences to treatments for Caucasian hair?

In clinic we see the same conditions in all hair types.  However, with afro hair there is an additional condition called Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia, (CCCA), which can start as a patch to the back of the head and spreads outwards.  It is a scarring condition that can have many causes, some relating to chemical relaxers; unfortunately, once the hair has been lost we cannot get it back, but there are prescribed treatments and changes in hair care that can slow and stop further loss to this condition.