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Best Shampoo For Swimmers With Curly Hair (Top 10)

Swimming is an amazing activity. Whether recreational or competitive, it is an effective way to burn off some calories. It also strengthens the heart and increases your flexibility. However, your hair suffers after regular exposure to chlorinated pool water. As someone whose hair is naturally curly, I wondered what was the best shampoo for swimmers with curly hair.

The thing is, when you go swimming in a pool, chlorine is there to protect you and keep the water healthy.

It kills dirt and germs that can get into the water when people swim in it. It also kills microorganisms that can be present in the pool water.

However, prolonged exposure to chlorine damages our locks, and for curly hair, it can totally dry it out.

The structure of curly hair makes it more susceptible to dryness, as the natural oils produced by the scalp face challenges in reaching the entire hair shaft.

This can result in frizz and heightened vulnerability to environmental factors, including humidity.

The twists and bends in curly hair strands render them more prone to breakage, split ends, and other types of damage.

best shampoo for swimmers with curly hair

Here are my top three picks for the best shampoo for swimmers with curly hair:

  1. Malibu C Swimmers Wellness Shampoo
  2. Paul Mitchell Shampoo Three
  3. Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo

Best Shampoo For Swimmers With Curly Hair – Comparison Table

Brand ImageDetails
Malibu C Shampoo. Color-safe
. Hydrating shampoo
. 100% vegan
Paul Mitchell Shampoo Three. Protects against chlorine damage
. Deeply cleans the hair
. Leaves hair looking shiny
Bumble & Bumble Shampoo. Removes all build-up
. Stimulates the scalp
. Nice herbal scent
Zealios Shampoo. Color-safe
. Moisturizes the scalp
. Strengthens hair follicles
AquaGuard Pre-Swim. Prevents mineral build-up
. Color-safe
. Prevents hair from getting dry and brittle
Tri Swim Shampoo. Prevents discoloration
. Suitable for all hair types
. Moisturizing shampoo
UltraSwim Shampoo. Can be used on children
. Removes chlorine
. Color-safe
Intelligent Nutrients Shampoo. Strengthens and moisturizes hair
. Suitable for all hair types
. Color-safe
Babo Botanicals Shampoo. Organic
. Suitable for everyone, including babies
. Eliminates chlorine
Christophe Robin Shampoo. Restores pH level
. Fights effects of chlorine
. Deeply cleanses the hair


What Swimmers With Curly Hair Need To Know

Though chlorine harms all hair types, its impact on curly hair is quite adverse because curls have a natural tendency towards dryness and frizz.

When exposed to chlorinated water, these problems can worsen, resulting in additional moisture depletion.

Curly hair has a distinctive texture and pattern, but chlorine exposure and excessive dryness can flatten the curls and diminish their shape.

Due to its delicate nature, curly hair is also more prone to damage compared to straight hair.

Swimmers with curly hair frequently encounter tangled hair after swimming, necessitating good products to detangle and preserve the hair’s overall well-being.

best shampoo for swimmers with curly hair

Harsh shampoos have the potential to strip away the hair’s natural oils, resulting in dryness, brittleness, and increased susceptibility to breakage.

By selecting a suitable shampoo specifically formulated for swimmers with curly hair, one can effectively provide deep hydration and aid in moisture retention.

The right shampoo will also help in enhancing and defining your hair’s natural curl pattern, restoring bounce and vitality.

See: How To Get A Curl Pattern For Natural Hair

This guarantees effective cleansing while preserving the hair’s overall health.


Best Shampoo For Swimmers With Curly Hair

If you are a regular swimmer, you’ll agree with me that sometimes swim caps do not offer full protection against chlorinated water.

In the event that your hair comes into contact with this water, your best bet is to cleanse your hair immediately after you leave the chlorinated pool, a saltwater pool, or a water body (it might be an ocean that has salty water).

Fortunately, manufacturers know your plight and have developed shampoos specially designed to tackle this particular problem.

Here are ten products that I highly recommended as the best shampoo for swimmers with curly hair:


Malibu C Swimmers Wellness Shampoo

best shampoo for swimmers with curly hair

This is a sulfate-free shampoo recommended for daily use.

It protects the hair against dryness and damage resulting from exposure to pool chemicals, the ocean’s salty water, and hard water minerals.

See: What Are The Signs Of Hard Water On Hair?

The shampoo is ultra-mild and can be used by both recreational and professional swimmers.

It is formulated with natural UV inhibitors that preserve hair color and shine.

It also contains plant-based proteins that condition the hair and make the hair soft and manageable.

Rice protein, for instance, provides a protective barrier against damaged, weak hair.

These proteins also provide luster and smooth the hair cuticle.

Another ingredient, Pro-Vitamin B5, is an antioxidant that helps to protect the hair against the damaging effects of the environment such as water and UV rays.

Malibu C Swimmers Wellness Shampoo is also sulfate-free and 100% vegan.


  • Preserves hair color
  • It moisturizes the hair 
  • Leaves hair soft and manageable
  • Has allantoin which helps prevent scalp inflammation and irritation
  • Retains the texture of the hair
  • It prevents hair damage
  • This shampoo is 100% vegan


  • The fragrance is not appealing to some people


Paul Mitchell Shampoo Three

best shampoo for swimmers with curly hair

This was the first swimmers’ shampoo I used back in high school when I used to swim regularly, especially during summer.

This cleanser is great for swimmers who are always exposed to chlorine.

It also removes iron and minerals found in hard water.

It deeply cleans the hair and removes impurities while keeping the hair strands strong.

Regular use of this shampoo will result in soft and bouncy hair.

For best results, apply a small amount of the shampoo and massage it into your hair and scalp.

Rinse after you’re done with the massage.

This shampoo is suitable for daily use except on color-treated hair.


  • Protects swimmers’ hair from chlorine damage
  • Deeply cleans any build-up on your hair
  • It gets rids of metals that cause hair discoloration
  • Brightens the hair
  • Leaves hair soft, silky, and shiny


  • Fades color-treated hair


Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo

best shampoo for swimmers with curly hair

Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo is a weekly-use clarifying shampoo.

It’s specially formulated to effectively remove product build-up and hard water minerals that make your hair look dull and lifeless.

This shampoo contains sage that helps to clean and stimulate the scalp and the hair shaft.

It also has the Ginseng root extract that invigorates both the hair strands and the scalp.

This product hasn’t been tested on animals and is free from parabens, phthalates, mineral oils, and formaldehyde.


  • Removes all product build-up and pollutants
  • Stimulates the scalp
  • Has a pleasant herbal scent
  • Excellent choice for thick hair that is prone to frizz
  • Restores your hair’s fullness and sheen


  • Not suitable for color-treated hair


Zealios Swim & Sport Shampoo

best shampoo for swimmers with curly hair

Zealios Sulphate-Free Swim and Sport Shampoo is gluten-free and safe for daily use.

It is recommended for both female and male swimmers.

It’s formulated to protect your hair from chlorine, salty water, and hard water minerals.

The product’s moisturizing formula helps to hydrate the hair and repair damaged locks.

It is rich in vitamin B and aloe vera which help to strengthen hair follicles.

The shampoo also moisturizes your scalp and acts as a good detangler.

It is a good cleanser to use after swimming in a chlorinated pool and a saltwater pool or in the ocean’s salty water.

This product can be used on all hair types including colored-treated hair and permed hair.


  • It’s vegan and gluten-free
  • It’s color-safe
  • Removes sun and saltwater damage
  • It moisturizes the scalp
  • Strengthens hair follicles
  • It is excellent for daily use since it is chemical-free
  • Leaves the hair looking shiny


  • Can dry out some hair types


AquaGuard Pre-Swim Hair Defense

best shampoo for swimmers with curly hair

AquaGuard Pre-Swim Hair Defense is an excellent product that’s different from any other shampoo on this list.

This is because it’s applied before you go swimming.

It protects your hair and prevents damage before it occurs, while other swimmers’ shampoos attempt to repair the damage that has already been done.

The shampoo is made from a remarkable formulation that dissuades your hair from losing its natural oils.

This helps protect your hair from getting dry, brittle, and fading.

This is especially great for curly hair whose porosity is generally higher, making it more susceptible to penetration of chlorine, salts, hard water minerals, and other elements.

That’s why it’s important to take extra care of your curly hair when you go swimming in pools and water bodies.

The AquaGuard Pre-Swim cleanser is also great for moisturizing and strengthening your locks.

It’s also highly recommended for color-treated hair.

It also protects your hair from salt, hard water, chlorine, and other harmful chemicals that are out to harm your hair. 


  • Deters your hair from losing its natural oils
  • Prevents chemical and mineral build-up in the hair
  • It prevents your hair from getting brittle or dry
  • Suitable for color-treated hair
  • Hydrates the strands
  • Leaves hair looking silky and vibrant


  • It is not advisable to be left in the hair for too long, rinse it off immediately after your swimming session


Tri Swim Chlorine Removal Swimmers Shampoo

best shampoo for swimmers with curly hair

Another incredible addition to this list is the Tri Swim Chlorine Removal Swimmers Shampoo.

It’s specially formulated for swimmers who are constantly exposed to harsh drying elements.

The shampoo is made from rich herbal extracts such as chamomile and watercress which are known for their unique property of relieving symptoms of dandruff and an itching scalp.

Not only does the shampoo detoxify, it also hydrates and nourishes your hair.

This Tri Swim swimmers’ cleanser tackles chlorine and fights other elements such as bromine and salt.

Like many other swimmers’ shampoos on this list, this top-rated shampoo also contains aloe vera, vitamin A, Vitamin E, as well as vitamin B5 which will leave your hair healthy and vibrant.

The cleanser is also safe for chemically-treated locks.


  • Restores hair from damage caused by chlorine
  • Helps soothe an itchy scalp
  • Suitable for all hair types
  • Contains beneficial herbs
  • Moisturizes the strands


UltraSwim Chlorine Removal Shampoo

best shampoo for swimmers with curly hair

This shampoo has been around for years.

UltraSwim Chlorine Removal Shampoo is specially formulated with ingredients that help restore lost moisture.

The rich combination of vitamin E and aloe vera removes traces of chlorine and oxidized metals such as iron, copper, sodium, and magnesium deposits in your hair, thus eliminating discoloration.

An added bonus is that this shampoo can be used by swimmers with colored hair, as well as children.

It is suitable for daily use.


  • Can be used on children
  • Eliminates chlorine from the hair
  • It’s color-safe
  • Helps to nourish the hair
  • It repairs hair damage
  • Easy to comb through after washing


  • Contains parabens


Intelligent Nutrients PureLuxe Replenishing Shampoo

best shampoo for swimmers with curly hair

This shampoo works like a charm.

It helps reinvigorate dry and damaged tresses, particularly high porosity hair.

Overly porous hair is like a sponge with more little holes in it.

These holes can easily soak up water and chemicals, like chlorine from swimming pools.

When high porosity hair absorbs chlorine, it can cause more damage and make the color of your hair fade away, especially if you have dyed it before.

The magic in this shampoo is achieved from a rich blend of ingredients that boost your hair’s health.

With about 94% of this product naturally derived, it is ideal for sensitive scalps and works extremely well on coarse hair types.

Moreover, this shampoo helps to reduce frizz, aids in detangling, and keeps color-treated hair looking shiny, healthy, and manageable.

Thanks to its refreshing blend of ylang-ylang, geranium, and lavender, it sure leaves your hair smelling just as clean as it feels. 


  • Moisturizes and strengthens hair
  • Suitable for all hair types
  • Cleanses without leaving residue
  • Reduces frizz
  • Safe for colored-treated hair
  • It’s vegan, gluten-free and sulfate-free


Babo Botanicals Swim & Sport Shampoo

best shampoo for swimmers with curly hair

If you intend to keep yourself and the environment free from toxic chemicals, then Babo Botanicals Swim and Sport Shampoo is the right product for you.

This shampoo could be used both on your hair and your body.

It is suitable for everyone, including babies, because it’s formulated from herbs and plants only.

This blend ensures similar effectiveness as other shampoos listed here, without any kind of damage.

Each ingredient is specially chosen for the tremendous role it plays on the skin and hair.

Aloe vera – one of the ingredients – is a natural antiseptic that can kill bacteria and fungi.

Another main ingredient, cucumber, has moisture-binding and softening qualities that are good for both the hair and skin.

This product is excellent in eliminating chlorine.

It also deeply cleanses your hair eradicating dirt, product build-up, metals, and other impurities.

If you have thick hair that is prone to frizz, this product comes highly recommended.


  • Completely organic
  • Suitable for everyone, including babies
  • Fights chlorine and chlorine odor
  • It contains extracts that soothe the scalp and skin
  • Rids the hair of metals that cause discoloration
  • Great for thick, frizzy hair
  • Leaves your hair soft and shiny


  • Doesn’t foam as well as what most people are used to


Christophe Robin Purifying Shampoo With Jujube Bark Extract

best shampoo for swimmers with curly hair

This shampoo is suitable for daily use and is recommended for both natural and chemically-treated hair.

It’s formulated with jujube bark extract which helps in soothing the scalp, eliminating dandruff and regulating excess sebum production.

This cleanser is particularly targeted at people dealing with greasy roots and dry ends.


  • A little goes a long way
  • Makes hair light and shiny
  • Fights the effects of chlorine
  • It is excellent for oily scalps
  • It deeply cleanses your hair


  • May dry out some hair types


How To Use Swimmers’ Shampoos Effectively

When you go swimming, your hair can get dirty from the water in the pool. 

Here are some tips for using shampoo effectively if you’re a swimmer with curly hair:


Wet Your Hair Before Swimming

Before you swim, it’s a good idea to wet your hair with clean, non-chlorinated water.

This helps reduce the absorption of chlorine and other pool chemicals into your hair.


Use Swimmers’ Shampoo

After swimming, use shampoos that are specifically designed for swimmers.

These shampoos effectively remove chlorine, mineral build-up, and impurities from your hair.

Massage the shampoo gently into your scalp and throughout your hair.


Handle With Care

When you use the shampoo, remember to be gentle and massage it into your hair and scalp.

Curly hair is delicate, so avoid rough scrubbing or aggressive washing.

Instead, use gentle massaging motions.


Pay Attention To The Roots

It’s important to focus on the roots, which are the parts close to your head, because that’s where the dirt and pool chemicals like to hide.

Gently massage the shampoo into your scalp to remove any buildup.


Condition Properly

After shampooing, use a moisturizing and nourishing conditioner formulated for curly hair.

Conditioner helps make your hair soft, smooth, and easy to comb.

It’s like a special treat for your hair.

Remember, always rinse your hair really well after using shampoo and conditioner to make sure all the soap and pool water is gone.


Try Deep Conditioning Treatments

If you want, you can also use extra special treatments for your hair.

These treatments give your hair even more love and help repair any damage caused by the pool water or the ocean.

Incorporate regular deep conditioning treatments into your hair care routine to provide extra moisture and repair any damage from chlorine exposure.

Look for treatments designed for swimmers.

Recommended Post: Best Deep Conditioner For Swimmers


Protect Your Hair

Consider using a leave-in conditioner or hair-protectant product before swimming.

These products create a barrier between your hair and pool water, reducing chlorine absorption.

See: Best Leave-In Conditioner For The Beach



Understanding the unique characteristics of curly hair is essential for proper care and maintenance.

It allows individuals to choose appropriate hair care products and adopt suitable techniques to enhance the health, appearance, and manageability of their curly hair.

Swimming is definitely fun but it is advisable to safeguard your curly hair from chlorine and other harmful chemicals.

Yes, a swim cap does protect your hair but it doesn’t offer full protection.

Swimmers with curly hair need to use appropriate hair care products, adopt a suitable hair care routine, and take steps to protect and nourish their curls before and after swimming sessions.

Hopefully, this article will make it easier for swimmers with curly hair to make the perfect choice when trying to decide on the product to use for their hair.

Overall, using the right shampoo for swimmers with curly hair is essential to maintain the hair’s health, hydration, and natural curl pattern, while also protecting it from the damaging effects of chlorine and other pool chemicals.

If you have dyed your hair, you might want to look for the best shampoo for swimmers with color-treated hair.

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