Swimming is fun but makes your hair brittle, crunchy, and dry. All thanks to the chlorine present in pool water. The chlorine reacts to the keratin in the hair exposing the cuticles and stripping off the natural oil and moisture from the hair. The trace minerals in pool water can also settle on the tresses, causing buildup and potential hair loss. And when swimming outdoors, the UV rays coupled with chlorine can lighten your hair color, leaving your tresses brassy. Also, chlorine can make your scalp sensitive and itchy.

To protect your hair from the unpleasant Swimmers Hair, you need an aftercare strategy and a dependable leave-in conditioner. These no-rinse stylers gently detangle your hair, seal the open cuticles, and add a layer of protection against potential environmental aggressors. We have scoured the internet to find the 6 best leave-in conditioners for swimmers that keep your hair soft and nourished. So, scroll down, and pick up the one that suits your hair the best.

6 Best Leave-In Conditioners For Swimmers

1. Best Overall: Kenra Professional Daily Provision Leave-In Conditioner

This rich, lightweight leave-in spray from Kenra Professional hydrates and detangles your hair while adding a healthy shine to the tresses. Plus, you can use this multipurpose leave-in as a heat-protecting spray before blow-drying. Its hair-loving formula is infused with nourishing ingredients that protect the tresses from chlorine, heat, humidity, or sun damage.

Antioxidant-rich ingredients like rosemary and matricaria protect the hair from environmental aggressors, while antibacterial cetrimonium chloride shields your scalp from infection. In addition, the blend of hydrolyzed silk, nettle, lemon balm leaf, and coltsfoot flower extracts add moisture to the hair. Plus, benzophenone-4 protects your hair from UV rays.

How To Use: Spray the leave-in through the damp hair and brush lightly through the hair with a wide-toothed comb. Use it as a style refresher throughout the day when required.

Key Ingredients: Cetrimonium Chloride, Hydrolyzed Silk, Benzophenone-4, Rosemary leaf extract, Sage leaf extract, Matricaria flower extract, Nettle extract, Lemon balm leaf extract, Coltsfoot flower extract, Field horsetail extract, and Horse chestnut seed extract

Pros

  • Lightweight formula
  • Protects from environmental aggressors
  • Shields from UV damage
  • Helps manage static
  • Prevents color loss

Cons

  • Overpowering scent
  • Expensive

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2. Best Protein-Rich Leave-In: Carol’s Daughter Almond Milk (Daily Damage Repair) Leave In Conditioner

Chlorine exposes your hair cuticles, leaving them dry and brittle, and prone to breakage. The protein-rich Almond Milk Leave-In Conditioner from Carol’s Daughter gently seals the open cuticles, tames frizz, and slowly reverses the damage. Plus, this lightweight leave-in creates a protective layer over the tresses, preventing potential damage.

The sweet almond oil, coconut oil, aloe vera, and shea butter hydrate the hair, while hydrolyzed vegetable protein and wheat protein strengthen the hair strands. In addition, lactic acid is a potent exfoliant that washes off the mineral deposits in the hair. Plus, retinyl palmitate – a mild form of vitamin A – improves cell turnover rate and promotes new hair growth. And lastly, calendula extract, vitamin E, and grape seed oil provide vital antioxidants to the tresses and prevent free radical damage.

How To Use: First, hold the leave-in 6 to 8 inches away from damp hair and spray lightly. Leave it for two minutes before detangling the tresses.

Key Ingredients: Aloe vera, Shea butter, Calendula extract, Coconut oil, Sunflower seed extract, Hydrolyzed vegetable protein, Hydrolyzed wheat protein, Retinyl Palmitate, Lactic acid, Panthenol, Hydrogenated castor oil, Meadowfoam oil, Apricot kernel, Sweet almond oil, and Grapeseed oil

Pros

  • Lightweight conditioner
  • Exfoliates mineral deposits
  • Strengthens hair shaft
  • Promotes hair growth
  • Adds bounce
  • Silicone-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Artificial color-free
  • Petroleum-free

Cons

  • Sticky texture
  • Can trigger nut allergies
  • Overpowering scent

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3. Best Vegan: Malibu C Leave-In Conditioner Mist

Sun and chlorine are two major contributors to swimmer’s hair. Together they damage your color-treated hair, lighting the hair dyes and leaving you with an unsightly green tinge. The Malibu C Leave-In Conditioner Mist shields your tresses against chlorine and sun damage and adds shine to the tresses. In addition, you can use this fine-mist leave-in as a thermal protector before heat styling.
The humectants like dimethicone, glycerin, allantoin, and butylene glycol hydrate your hair and prevent moisture loss. The citric acid in the formula gently exfoliates the hair to leave them buildup-free. Also, protein from hydrolyzed rice strengthens the tresses and prevents premature breakage. In addition, benzophenone-4 shields the tresses from UV damage. And the refreshing orange sorbet blended with malibu fusion fragrance would remind you of tropical holidays.

How To Use: Spritz the conditioner into damp or towel-dried hair and leave it for two to three minutes. Then, brush through your hair to detangle the knots.

Key Ingredients: Butylene Glycol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Benzophenone-4, Pro-Vitamin B5, Hydrolyzed rice protein, Allantoin, Flaxseed, and Citric acid

Pros

  • Gently washes off mineral deposit
  • Protects from heat damage
  • pH-balanced formula
  • Prevents hair breakage
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Color-safe
  • Gluten-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Refreshing fragrance

Cons

  • Weights hair down
  • Greasy texture

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4. Best For Colored-Treated Hair: Keracolor Purify Plus Locks In Color + Shine Leave In Conditioner

Give your colored hair some TLC post-swimming with this nourishing leave-in from Keracolor. The keratin-infused formula strengthens the hair, while the innovative Keracolor’s Krystal Color Complex™ neutralizes chlorine and protects the hair color from fading. Plus, antioxidant-rich pro-vitamin B5 and vitamin E protect the hair from free radical damage. And cetyl alcohol, propylene glycol, and caprylyl glycol smoothen the tresses, making them soft and shiny. This leave-in conditioner is perfect for a quick refresh on the 2nd-day post-wash. Before blow-drying, you can also use it as a heat-protecting spray to prevent frizz or static.

How To Use: Spray two to three pumps of the conditioner on the hair and gently comb through the tresses

Key Ingredients: Cetyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Pro-vitamin B5, Metabisulfite, Silk amino acids, Citric acid, Vitamin E, and Hydrolyzed keratin

Pros

  • Lightweight formula
  • Seals cuticles
  • Strengthens hair shafts
  • Adds shine
  • Neutralizes chlorine
  • Tames frizz
  • Extends the life of hair color
  • Cruelty-free
  • Can be used as a pre-treatment before swimming

Cons

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5. Best Non-Greasy Leave-In: Stream2Sea Pure Antioxidant Protection Leave-In Hair Conditioner

The lightweight, non-greasy Stream2Sea Pure Antioxidant Protection Leave-In Hair Conditioner leaves your hair shiny, smooth, and soft after every swim. Its green tea-infused formula adds shine to the tresses and protects them from chlorine, sun, and salt. Also, the nourishing keratin protein strengthens the hair shafts to prevent breakage. And, the combination of humectants like olive leaf, aloe leaf juice, gluconolactone, and glycerin moisturize your hair and prevent moisture loss. Plus, the tempting fig and grapefruit fragrance keeps you refreshed throughout the day.

How To Use: Spritz it on the hair and gently comb through the hair to detangle. To tame flyways, spritz it on dry hair.

Key Ingredients: Green tea leaf, Tulsi leaf, Wakame seaweed, Olive leaf, Aloe leaf juice, Cetearyl alcohol, Glycerin, Dimethiconol panthenol, Hydrogenated vegetable oil, Hydrolyzed keratin, and Gluconolactone

Pros

  • Lightweight formula
  • Softens hair
  • Prevents split-ends
  • Prevents free radical damage
  • Protects from UV damage
  • Reef-safe
  • Paraben-free
  • Refreshing fragrance

Cons

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6. Best Lightweight Formula: The Good Stuff Intensive Nourishment Cream No Rinse Conditioner

The Good Stuff’s creamy, lightweight Intensive Nourishment Conditioner is a must-have post swimming. This gentle no-rinse conditioner infused with lactic acid and coconut oil takes your haircare to the next level while moisturizing glycerin works as a humectant. And this formula is safe for color-treated hair.

How To Use: Take a pea-size amount of the leave-in conditioner in the hands and work through the hair segments, avoiding roots.

Key Ingredients: Glycerin, Lactic acid, and Coconut oil

Pros

  • Adds volume
  • Prevents moisture loss
  • Gently exfoliates the hair strands
  • Color-safe
  • Vegan
  • Paraben-free
  • Dye-free
  • Refreshing fragrance

Cons

  • Difficult to work through hair

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Swimming is a much loved activity that some use to merge exercise and relaxation. But, a chlorine-filled pool makes your hair dry, brittle, and crunchy. A good leave-in conditioner adds an extra dose of protection against the chlorine water. They also detangle, seal the open cuticles, keep your hair soft, and add a healthy shine to the tresses. The listed conditioners also act as heat protection spray that you can use during blow-drying. These are lightweight, vegan, and paraben-free. Although some might have an overpowering scent. But, swimmer or not, avoid conditioners that have sticky and greasy textures.

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Why Trust StyleCraze?

The author, Shiboli Chakraborti, is a certified skincare coach who has in-depth knowledge of the science and formulation of various skincare and healthcare products that help prevent you from the adverse effects of environmental stressors. When it comes to choosing the best leave-in conditioners for swimmers she has gone through several health forums and reviewed several customer testimonials before shortlisting this list of the best for you. These leave-in-conditioners are especially formulated to keep your hair soft and tangle-free while protecting them from the chlorine bleached pool waters.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you swim with a leave-in conditioner on?

Yes, you can spritz leave-in conditioner on your hair before the entering the pool. Leave-in conditioner shields the cuticles from chlorine deposits and keeps the hair soft and nourished.

Why is my hair crunchy after swimming?

Chlorine breaks the hair’s protein bonds and strips them off moisture and oils. As a result, it makes the hair brittle and dry, giving it a crunchy texture.

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