Can You Swim With Hair Extensions? A Comprehensive Guide

A woman wearing hair extensions, standing by the sea, wondering: can you swim with hair extensions?

Summer is just around the corner, and many can’t wait to make a splash at the beach or pool and get tanned. But here is a big question many female clients might have been pondering: Can you swim with hair extensions? The short answer is “yes.” Though a few types of extensions aren’t suited for water, they can still enjoy most other types that will last the entire summer.

This post is a comprehensive guide that covers everything you need to know about swimming with hair extensions. If you are a hair professional, share these tips to ensure your clients’ extensions stay fabulous throughout the season of water activities.

Can You Swim With Human Hair Extensions?

Can you swim with hair extensions based on hair type and quality? Unfortunately, not every type of extension hair suits swimming in water. Human hair is more resilient to chlorine and saltwater than synthetic hair. Due to the chemicals and synthetic fibers in its strands, synthetic hair is more susceptible to tangling. If you are wearing synthetic extensions, use a swimming cap and do not get it soaking wet.

Can I Swim With Hair Extensions in Any Water?

Can you get hair extensions wet? Again, it’s a “yes.” You can give this answer to your clients. But before taking their first summer dive, they must know what water they dive into because not all swimming water is ideal for the hair.

A girl with long hair enjoying swimming in the water

Does the Sea Ruin Hair Extensions?

“Can you swim with hair extensions in the ocean?” Next time a client asks you this, you can give her this answer: “Unfortunately, the answer is ‘no’ or maybe ‘not recommended,’ to be exact.”

Seawater is very salty; it constantly removes hair moisture, leaving it extremely dry. It won’t totally destroy the hair, but it will give you a hard time detangling and restoring it. As a professional extension manufacturer, we wouldn’t recommend clients swim in the ocean.

Can You Swim With Hair Extensions in Chlorine?

Can you swim with hair extensions in a pool? Pool water is chlorinated and can harm extension hair, but not as much as seawater. But be sure to get your client to prepare the hair well before swimming and maintain it after.

Can You Swim With Hair Extensions in Fresh Water?

Not a fan of beaches and pools? The picturesque lakes and estuaries of North America are more your style. Keen on some cliff jumping and lake diving from incredible heights? No worries; fresh water is the friendliest for your hair. But get your clients to check your bond before they dive.

The table below is a reference that helps you understand the water types for your clients when swimming with hair extensions.

WATER TYPE

CAN YOU SWIM WITH HAIR EXTENSIONS?

Sea Water

YES (with caution)

Chlorinated Water

YES

Fresh Water

YES

What Kinds of Hair Extensions Can I Swim With?

When we talk about hair extension methods, we’re looking at how the extensions attach to your client’s natural hair. We want to know if the extension bond is strong enough to keep the extensions in place so they don’t fall off. Not every method works well with water. Let’s go through each one, so you will know how to answer your clients.

1. Can You Swim With Clip in Hair Extensions?

“Yes, you can.” You can reassure your client with this answer. However, clip-in hair extensions are clipped to the client’s natural hair with pressure-sensitive clips. So, the bonding wouldn’t be as strong as professional extensions, such as K-tips. A high dive or a splash may cause the clips to loosen up and the extensions to fall off.

A full set of clip in hair extensions lying flat

What to keep in mind before swimming with clip-ins:

  • Wear a reasonably tight swimming cap to stabilize the hair before diving in or doing a speedy lap.
  • Most clip-ins are easy to attach and remove without a third person’s assistance. You are better off just removing them before going into the water and putting them back on to retain their best state.
  • Remove the pieces clipped to the top and bottom of your head, as these areas get the most stress, and the natural hair is the thinnest in these areas.
  • Braid your hair into ponytails for extra support.

2. Can You Swim With Halo Hair Extensions?

You’d better not. Unlike other hair extension types, halo hair extensions are more of a sit-on than an attachment. You put it on the hair, and it hangs on the head by the thin wire and is stabilized with two or three comb clips in the back. The bonding can never be strong enough for water activities. So it’s better to remove it before diving in.

A one-piece halo hair extension in different angles

3. Can You Swim With Tape in Hair Extensions?

Yes. Tape-in extensions are one of the best hair extension methods for swimmers. Extension tapes form a solid bond to the natural and are unlikely to fall out like clip-in, halo, or band-style extensions do.

A pile of tape-in hair extensions

However, you can’t swim too often with tape-in extensions (like every day) with the hair loose. All swimming water types (seawater, pool, or freshwater) will likely weaken the adhesive tape. Also, only stay in the water for up to two hours.

What to remember before swimming with tape-in extensions:

  • Put your hair up and wear a reasonably tight swimming cap to keep the tapes dry.
  • Do not swim too often (like every day), as chlorinated water, salt water, and daily showers will weaken the tapes.

4. Can You Swim With Weft Hair Extensions?

Yes. Weft hair extensions are also known as sewn-in hair extensions or sew-in or weft extensions (including hand-tied, machine, or genius wefts). They are hair wefts sewn to the already braided natural hair using threads. As a result, the bond is solid, and no chemicals in the water can affect it much, causing it to fall out.

sewn in weft hair extensions

5. Can You Swim With Beaded Hair Extensions?

Yes. Beaded hair extensions include nano-ring and micro-link extensions. They get attached to the client’s natural hair by tightly squeezing the tiny rings with pliers (for that matter, some specialists also put i-tips in this category) to grip the keratin bond.

nano-ring hair extensions

However, seawater or chlorine may remain inside the beads and are hard to wash out. It will weaken the bonds without being washed out, leading to extensions falling off. A weak keratin bond can also cause hair to mat or tangle up.

What should your client keep in mind before swimming with beaded extensions?

  • Wear a tight, water-proof swimming cap to keep the bonds dry.
  • Try not to wet your extension bonds if you don’t have to, or convince your companions to go for freshwater.

6. Can You Swim With Keratin Bond Hair Extensions?

Yes. However, salt water or chlorine can also loosen keratin bonds, like with nano-bead extensions and most cold-fusion hair extensions. So, be sure to swim as sparingly as possible.

Keratin bond hair extensions

What should your client keep in mind before swimming with keratin-bond extensions:

  • If your client doesn’t have to swim with her hair set loose, tie it up or wear a reasonably tight swimming cap so the bonds don’t get wet.
  • Make freshwater lakes and rivers a priority.

7. Can You Swim With Ponytail Hair Extensions?

Yes. But remember that ponytails are a hair bundle with a nylon headband attached to one end. Your clients can attach them by putting their natural hair into a top knot bun and wrapping the nylon band around it. Going underwater won’t affect the bond much. However, cliff-diving or a big splash can easily flip it off, as the bond isn’t that strong.

Ponytail hair extensions

How to Protect Your Extension Hair When Swimming

How can you swim with hair extensions without caring for the extension hair? You can’t. Premium hair extensions are premium mainly because their hair quality is good. With any kind of hair extension, look after the hair before heading to the pool so the hair may last.

A woman with her hair extensions wet, swimming towards the deep

1. Wet Your Hair With Fresh Water

Did you know that when your hair is dry, there are heaps and heaps of tiny crevices between the hair strands? As soon as you make your first dive, the water you swim in will instantly occupy these tiny crevices.

Before jumping into the pool or ocean, wet and saturate the hair with fresh water. This step reduces the absorption of chlorinated or salty water. So harmful chemicals from the pool or salt from the sea will be less likely to damage the extension hair.

2. Condition the Hair Before Swimming! It’s Super Important!

Leave-in conditioners (preferably those made for extensions) may keep your client’s hair smooth while they swim. Apply the conditioner about 2″–5″ from the attachment points (especially for fusion, nano-bead, and tape-in extensions) because extensions may cause the bonds to get slippery and the extension hair to come off.

3. Secure the Hair Before Swimming

Braid or tie the hair to prevent tangling and reduce stress on the hair and bonds. Braiding is particularly effective, as it keeps the hair compact and less likely to tangle. Also, it provides extra support, so the extensions are less likely to fall off.

4. Use a Swimming Cap

Can you swim with hair extensions and a swimming cap? Ideally, it’s one of the best choices. Get your client to invest in a quality swimming cap if she is a weathered swimmer who frequently does her laps.

Swimming caps these days can block most of the water. So when your client finishes swimming, her hair is still relatively dry, saving her heaps of effort in sorting out the water harm.

5. Avoid Rough Water Activities

Tell your client to avoid rough water activities that might tug on her extensions when they are in the water. Even though we did mention that some hair extensions are fit for activities like cliff-diving or even water polo matches, it is better not to engage in rough activities and be gentle with their extensions.

6. Swim no More Than 2 Hours

Can your client swim with hair extensions for a whole afternoon? No, full stop. She doesn’t want the salt or chlorine to continuously bite on her extension hair. From a professional point of view, most hair extensions can tolerate seawater or chlorinated water for a maximum of 2 hours; beyond that, the hair and bond will deteriorate. So put on a timer: No more than 2 hours!

How to Look After Extensions After Swimming

What happens if your client doesn’t wash her hair after swimming? Simple. The chlorine or salt remaining in the hair will continue their harm. They can’t leave their hair like that. They must do their best to restore their hair to its original state.

A woman is conditioning her extension hair

1. Rinse the Hair Immediately

Straight out of the pool, a considerable amount of chlorine or salt is still in your client’s hair, removing all its moisture. Their first priority is to rinse their hair thoroughly with clean, fresh water to remove chlorine and salt before perpetrators thoroughly dehydrate their hair.

2. Gentle Shampoo and Conditioner

Give the hair a good wash with gentle sulfate and paraben-free shampoo to remove excess salt and chlorine. Then, condition the hair with a sulfate- and paraben-free conditioner to restore moisture.

Note: Stick to products that are sulfate- and paraben-free. These chemicals, like chlorine and seawater, will strip natural oils and moisture from the hair.

3. Dry the Hair Properly

They can pat their natural and extension hair dry with an absorbent towel (preferably cotton) to remove excess water and leave it air dry. If they are in a rush and have to use a blow dryer, they must remember to keep it on low heat because too much heat will weaken the bond and cause the extension to slip.

Additional Tips on Swimming With Hair Extensions

Here are some additional tips that are not just beneficial for swimming with hair extensions. You may also get your clients to follow them for daily hair protection.

A woman moisturizing her hair extensions

1. Protect Hair and Bonds from the Sun

Can you swim with hair extensions? Sure, you can. But how about a sunbath? Sure, the client can let the sun tone your skin, not her hair or too many UV rays will cause the hair to look dull and its color to fade.

Suppose your client has had a swim and comes out of the water to enjoy some sunshine. If that is the case, even worse, the sun will make the hair more susceptible to damage from chlorine or saltwater.

Be sure to get your client to apply UV protection sprays to shield her hair from sun damage.

2. Maintenance Appointments

Regular check-ins with a stylist throughout the summer months are advisable. They are the ones who will provide professional treatments and adjustments to keep hair extensions in optimal condition.

Can You Swim With Upgraded Newtimes Hair Extensions?

Ordinary hair extensions often undergo acid treatment and coloring, which makes them prone to frizz and tangling, especially with frequent swimming. Newtimes Hair’s upgraded Remy hair extensions retain 100% of their cuticles. This means your client can swim without any worries—the hair will stay smooth, shiny, and free from dryness and frizz (but make sure they are well maintained after swimming).

Newtimes Hair new hair extension collection banner

Conclusion

Can you swim with hair extensions in the ocean, a pool, or freshwater? Yes, but you need to know what water you can swim in with what type of extensions, with appropriate preparation and post-swim care. By following this post, you or your client can enjoy swimming through the summer.

RELATED:

Frequently Asked Questions on Hair Extension Care

What can’t you do with hair extensions?

Try to stay away from products like wax, gel, mousse, or hairspray. They can damage extension hair by drying it and causing tangles. These products can also clog up hair extensions, so extensions won’t last for too long. If you or your client must use these styling products, ensure they are alcohol-free to prevent drying and damage. Wash the hair, but not too often.

What happens if you leave hair extensions wet?

Tell your clients to never do that. As described in the article, if the person comes out of the pool or the ocean and doesn’t wash her extensions properly, the chlorine or salt water will continue harming the hair and the bond. If the hair isn’t dried properly after washing and before bed, then the whole night’s sleep could get the hair tangled up. Let your client know that they should dry their hair properly before bed.

What are the best hair extensions for swimmers?

When swimming with hair extensions, human hair extensions are much better than their synthetic counterparts. Bonding-wise, the best are beaded and weft hair extensions, which don’t easily slip off. Their beads and threads physically hold the natural and extension hair together in a solid bond that is hard to detach. Tape-ins and fusion extensions are also considered among the best extensions for swimming due to their bonding strength. However, swimming too frequently or staying too long in the water will cause the chlorine and sea water to weaken the bond.

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