How Soon After You Get Highlights Can You Swim?

It may not be time to be seen poolside after highlighting.

Photo: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

You've finally gotten those highlights and you are ready to show them off poolside. After all, your sexy hair hue will shine best when you are in a sassy bikini in full sun and alongside bright blue water. Before you take the plunge off the diving board, though, consider whether your hair is ready for some direct interaction with chlorine.

Initial Time Period

So here's the skinny on swimming with highlights: You shouldn't leave the salon and head to the nearest swimming pool to show off your fabulous highlights. Give your hair some time to rest after the processing of the hair dye before subjecting it to the harsh conditions of chlorinated water. If you want to sit poolside and look fabulous, enduring nothing more than a few splashes, then make that an alternative.

Condition of Hair

The amount of time you need to wait depends on the condition of your hair. For example, if your hair was already brittle, dry and damaged, and you got it highlighted anyway, you need to show it some TLC before swimming. A few days of extra conditioning and as little stress as possible will have your hair ready for swimming without incurring any extra damage.

Before and After Care

If you are going to swim after highlights, then rinse your hair with cool water immediately after exiting the pool and be sure to add a conditioning treatment to it to combat the dryness that may result from the exposure to the chlorinated water. If you are unable to condition, then at least rinse the chlorine out of your hair upon getting out of the water to limit your newly highlighted hair's exposure.

Additional Considerations

Remember, every time you process your hair in any way, you weaken it substantially. This means that when you expose it to chemically-charged conditions, you may weaken it further. Highlights may look fabulous, but if you don't care for highlighted tresses properly, then you are going to end up with a head full of damaged — and possibly broken off — locks.

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