Can You Swim With Hair Extensions?

There is nothing quite like a refreshing dip in the pool, especially during those scorching summer afternoons when there’s seemingly no relief from the sun’s wrath. But if you just got hair extensions installed, you might wonder if it’s okay to bust out your bikini and start soakin’.

If you’re an undercover mermaid and want to spend the majority of your summer swimming through the sea or pool, you’re in luck – you can still do this with hair extensions installed. You’ll need to be extra careful, as sea and chlorinated water can wreak havoc on your extensions.

Alright, divas. If you’re planning a trip to the beach or want to splash around with your pals in the pool, read this article before you do! I’m sharing the very best ways to keep your hair extensions in tip-top shape, even with multiple trips to your favorite waterhole.

Let’s dive in (get it?)!

Can You Swim With Hair Extensions?

If you opted for semi-permanent or permanent hair extensions, like tape-ins, i-tips, or k-tips, then you know that they’re designed to look, feel, and behave like your natural mane. That said, you shower, sleep, and style without taking them out.

Well, it’s no different when it comes to swimming.

Since these hair extensions are designed to act like your natural strands, you can certainly take them for a swim.

However, you’ll need to take extra care of them before, during, and after your swim sesh. Otherwise, the water’s chlorine or salt can negatively impact the hair and/or the adhesive, leaving you with so-so extensions.

How to Swim With Hair Extensions

Nobody wants their hair extensions to get damaged. After all, these beauties aren’t cheap, and they take quite a significant amount of time to install. The good news is that you won’t have to fear hair extension failure with proper care. Here’s what to do.

1. Keep Hair Out of the Water

The very best way to keep your extension safe from the potential harm of the water is to keep it out of the water. You can put your hair into a high ponytail or a bun. Style it any way you please. For instance, you can make a beachside style with lovely French braid pigtails!

Want to take protection a step further? You can also wear a shower cap. This will ensure that no water droplets reach your mane, leaving you with the confidence you need to enjoy your swim from start to finish.

2. Wear Heat Protectant

Okay, so water isn’t the only thing you need to be worried about when you’re going for a swim. You also need to think about the sun. The sun’s UV rays damage natural strands, so you can imagine how perilous they can be for your hair extensions.

What’s the best way to avoid damage from the sun? With your favorite hair heat protectant, of course! Slather or spray it on your entire mane to keep your strands in premium condition – no matter how long you decide to splish and splash around.

Want more protection? Then wear an adorable sun hat while you’re sauntering through the shallow end!

3. Rinse Before Going Underwater

Staying above the water isn’t feasible for everyone. Trust me, I know – I unleash my inner Ariel from Little Mermaid every time my toes hit the water. But you shouldn’t just jump in without a second thought – this can be quite damaging to your locks!

Instead, get your hair wet with regular water before diving into the pool. This will help to block your mane from soaking up the chlorine, salt, and other potential chemicals that cause damage to hair extensions and their adhesives.

4. Braid or Put Hair in a Ponytail Before Going Underwater

While you’re at it, you should also place your hair into a braid or ponytail. Hair extensions are highly prone to getting tangled and matted in water. Keeping the loose strands in one uniform spot can help cut down on knots and make your extensions easier to manage.

5. Limit Underwater Swim Sessions

Try to keep your underwater adventures to a minimum. The more time your hair extensions spend in the water, the more potential damage can be done. 

6. Shampoo (If Possible) and Dry Right After Swimming

When you’re ready to pack up for the day, don’t let your hair extensions dry naturally. This can be detrimental to the health and strength of your hair extensions.

The better option? Hit the showers ASAP. Shampooing with a mild shampoo will ensure all of the chlorine, salt, and other impurities are removed, leaving less damage. Then, dry your locks and style as usual.

If you’re nowhere near a shower or shampoo, don’t panic. It’s not essential to shampoo right after swimming, although it is beneficial. 

Your next best option is to dry your extensions thoroughly. Use your towel to squeeze out moisture. Release your braids, ponytail, etc., and brush your strands gently to remove any potential tangles. Use a little detangler or conditioner if needed.


Thank goodness your summer plans for all-day, and all-night swimming adventures don’t have to be canceled! (Go ahead and send out those pool party invitations, girl!). But if you want to learn a little more before inviting your buddies over, here are a few FAQs.

Does swimming ruin hair extensions?

Swimming can damage hair extensions if you don’t care for them properly. If you use the techniques mentioned above, you won’t have to worry about much damage. If you jump into the deep end or ocean without a second thought, your extensions and their adhesives can get damaged.

Can you wear hair extensions in the ocean?

You can wear hair extensions in the ocean, but you need to follow the same care routine for the pool. That’s because the extensive amount of salt in the ocean can dry out your extensions, leading to undesirable knots and mats. The water itself can impede adhesive effectiveness.

Can you wear hair extensions in the shower?

If you have semi-permanent or permanent hair extensions, they can be worn in the shower. However, most extensions require you to wait around 48 hours before getting them wet. After the two-day mark, you can wash, dry, brush, and style them like your regular locks!

Swimming With Hair Extensions is A-OK With Proper Care!

You shouldn’t forget your sunscreen when swimming, so you shouldn’t forget to care for your hair strands, either! The best way to keep them “safe” is to keep them out of the water. However, you can always rinse and braid before exploring under the sea. Just dry afterward!

Do you swim with your hair extensions in?

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