We all know swimming can be fun and gets you out of the sun – but, it can also wreak havoc on your hair if you let it.  So, while you’re taking a dip this summer, considering being extra careful by adding a few things to your hair care routine.

Chlorine, which is a common chemical added to pool water to kill bacteria, can quickly strip the natural oils from your locks, according to Live About writer, Kendra Aarhus.  There are normally very high levels of this chemical in public pools which can lead to instant irritation.  To avoid excessive dryness, rinse your hair as soon as you’re out.  If there are showers nearby, great.  Otherwise, do so as soon as you get home.  Consider applying moisturizing shampoo and conditioner for added protection and using a “leave in” treatment at least once per week.

Not only can pool water dry out hair, but it can change blondes and reds to much-less-desirable shades.  Chemicals can turn lighter manes orange, leaving you with rust-like locks.  Well-water will do the same with its unavoidable mineral deposits, such as copper.  Try using a swimmer-specific “clarifying” shampoo during the summer months.

Be cautious of ponds, as well, as these are also often treated to reduce algae and bacteria.  And, the salt in ocean water will also cause dryness.  So, even if you’re not swimming in a pool, it’s ideal to give hair some extra care.

Steer clear of bleaching or highlighting your hair during the summer, too, as tough has this may seem.  Your summer hair is already susceptible to becoming brittle and doing so will only accelerate this.  You can opt for natural lightening options, if desired, such as lemon juice.  You should also avoid over-use of hair spray or any related products that ultimately damage ends.

Cleansing with olive or coconut oil is a natural way to lock in moisture and add shine.  Applying oil to your mane and allowing it to sit for several minutes, like any other leave in conditioner, before rinsing will help.

Skip showering on days you’re not at the pool and tie hair back in a loose ponytail.  This will restore a healthy pH balance and has actually been proven to reduce oil build up over time.  So, while, at first, your mane may appear to be oily at the roots, opting against washing hair every day will, in time, minimize this and allow it to look healthier.