6 Best Braids For Swimming – Black Hair Guide

There’s no doubt that braids are one of the most popular hairstyles for swimming with black hair. If you’re planning to relax at the pool or beach or play water volleyball, you’ll want to have well-organized hair.

In this guide, I will show you 6 of the best braids for swimming with black hair, some maintenance tips, and the best hair products to use to protect your braided hair.

swimming braid img 1 scaled braids

6 Best Braids For Swimming With Black Hair

Many women find their hair to be hardest to manage during swim season. Chlorine can cause damage and dryness, while saltwater can leave hair feeling brittle and lifeless.

Braids are a great way to protect hair while swimming, but finding an African braiding style that looks good can also be a challenge. Luckily, below I’ll show you some of the best braids and braided hairstyles that help keep hair away from the face and prevent frizz and tangles.

Ponytail Braid

Black Hair Braids for Swimming - Ponytail Braid

First in our list of best braids for swimming with black hair is the easiest to make, ponytail braids. Ponytail braids are sleek and practical, and they can also help to protect your hair from damage while you are swimming. It keeps your hair out of your face and prevents it from getting tangled in the water.

Dutch Braids

Dutch Braid for Swimming with Black Hair

Another popular beach hairstyle is the Dutch braid. It’s similar to a French braid or fishtail braids in that you weave in more hair as you go.

This is why it’s also known as a reverse French braid. Instead of crossing the strands, they’re crossed underneath to create a 3D impression in the braid.

If you have a busy spring break ahead of you, Dutch braids are one of the best options. They’re comfortable to wear for a few days and stay put no matter what you’re doing.


Best Braids for Swimming Black Hair - Cornrows 2

Cornrows are a type of hairstyle popular among African Americans in which the hair is braided close to the scalp in rows. Swimmers often wear cornrows, as they are believed to be one of the best hairstyles for keeping hair out of your face.

Cornrows can be styled in various ways, and they can be either temporary or permanent. They are also relatively easy to care for and can last several weeks without requiring much maintenance.

Braided Bun

Best Braids for Swimming Black Hair -Braided Bun

If you’re looking for a chic and stylish way to keep your peekaboo braids out of your face while swimming, look no further than the braided bun. This classic hairstyle is not only elegant, but it’s also functional, making it the perfect choice for a day at the pool or beach.

And if you have black hair, a braided bun is an especially good option, as it helps to prevent your hair from becoming frizzy or tangled in the chlorinated water. So whether you’re working on your laps or just relaxing poolside, make sure to try out a braided bun – it just might become your new go-to summer style.

Senegalese Twists

Senegalese Twist Best Black Hair Braids for Swimming

Another braid style in our best braids for swimming with black hair list is the Senegalese twists. This type of braid is made by wrapping two strands of hair around each other to form a rope-like twist.

This type of hairstyle is often seen in African-American women. And the reason why Senegalese twists are best for swimming if you have black hair is that this type of hairstyle does not absorb water like other hairstyles do. Senegalese twists will also help keep your hair from getting tangled while swimming.

Box Braids

Best Braids for Swimming Black Hair - Box Braids Beach

Box braids are a type of braid that is box-shaped, hence the name. They are made by taking small sections of hair and braiding them close to the scalp, using an underhanded technique.

Box braids are often worn by people with black hair, not only for their stylish look and cultural significance but also because of their protective properties. Box braids are also best for swimming, as they help keep the hair in place while allowing you to style it differently.

In addition to these best braids for swimming with black hair, many variations can be created. Box braids, for example, can be easily pulled up into a bun or pineapple style.

Aside from box braids, you can start with microlocs or knotless twists and wear them in various styles, from sleek and elegant updos to playful and whimsical braided looks.

Swimming with Braids Guide

If you’re one of the many black women who wear their hair in braids, the pool or seawater can also be a source of anxiety.

Will my braids get ruined? How can I protect my hair from chlorine or saltwater? Luckily, there are a few simple styles that can help you keep your hair healthy and beautiful all summer long.


coconut oil braids
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One of the first things you must do is to apply coconut oil to your hair and scalp the night before your swim day. Coconut oil for hair should be unrefined and organic. If you apply it the night before, it will have more time to form a protective covering on your hair. It will as well help give strength to your hair.

If you’re not planning on leaving the beach after your swim, bring some coconut oil with you. It also serves as a sunblock. After you get out of the water, you may want to apply some to your hair to protect it from the sun’s rays.

Shampoo and Conditioner

You should wet your hair before diving in. Your hair will absorb less chlorine or salt if it is already damp before entering the water. Apply conditioner to your hair after it has been wet. This not only adds extra protection but also moisturizes.

shea moisture set shampoo conditioner braids
SheaMoisture Shampoo and Conditioner Set, Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore

Jamaican Black Castor Oil with Vitamin E, in both the sulfate free clarifying shampoo and hydrating conditioner, helps keep hair follicles strong, reducing hair breakage and shedding.

When you get out of the pool, avoid wringing it out, which can cause breakage. Gently squeeze your hair to remove excess water.

Rinse your hair with water once you’re in the shower. Then use a strong shampoo like clarifying or an anti-residue shampoo like Neutrogena Anti Residue shampoo to remove chlorine from your hair and scalp.

Swimming Cap for Braids

Aside from braids, you can also use a swim cap to protect your hair when swimming. They may be pricier than a standard swim cap, but the investment is worth it if they safeguard your style.

And if you have voluminous hair or braids, you can try the controversial Soul Cap used by the first black female British Olympic Swimmer, Alice Dearing.

cap braid braids
Dsane Extra Large Swimming Cap for Women and Men

Made from 100% good quality silicone to ensure strength durability and flexbility, We’ve done extensive research and are convinced that we’ve sourced the best quality material which will ensure your curls, braids, extensions, twists, dreadlocks or weave will stay protected. The DSANE CAP is built to last and is BPA free.

Where Are You Swimming?

Not all swimming spots are the same. The type of braids or maintenance depends on the type of water your hair will be coming in contact with.


Some people prefer saltwater because it softens their hair. Others, on the other hand, have had different experiences. They return home with frizzy, dry hair from the beach. So make sure to rinse your hair with fresh water as soon as you get out of the ocean. This will help to remove any salt that can dry out your hair.

When it comes to swimming in the ocean, a few hairstyles are better than others. Ponytail braids are a good choice for swimming because they are very secure and can withstand the force of the waves. Cornrows are a great option, too, as they are very strong and will not come undone easily.


On the other hand, the pool is where your hair will most likely get damaged because of chlorine. Chlorine can dry out your hair’s natural oil that naturally protects it from breakage and free-radical damage. That’s why aside from thoroughly rinsing your hair, you should use clarifying shampoos to completely remove residual chlorine on your hair.

image 29 braids

Speaking of hairstyles, it is easier to manage your hair when swimming in pools compared to ocean swimming. And because there are no waves, you can wear looser and more decorative braids.

Braid Maintenance After Swimming

Perhaps you’ve already suffered hair damage as a result of the pool. What do you do to restore your hair’s health?

  • First, you must realize that mending the damage caused by chlorine will take time, especially if you have frequently been swimming.
  • The next thing you should do is visit a salon. The damaged ends will need to be trimmed by a stylist. The harm caused by chlorine may necessitate multiple trips.
  • You should shampoo your hair with the same clarifying shampoo you used after getting out of the water. You’ll be able to keep removing chlorine from your hair this way.
  • Of course, the most effective technique to combat hair damage is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Chlorine will be less of a concern for you if you take precautions or use a swim hat.


Braids are a great option if you’re looking for a hairstyle that will stay put while you swim. Aside from the hairstyles in this Best Braids For Swimming With Black Hair article, there are many ways to style black hair into braids. So, you can experiment to find the best look for you.

If you have long hair, French braids or Dutch braids are a good choice. If you want to keep your hair out of your face, try an updo with cornrows or a ponytail braid. Whatever style you choose, be sure to use a good conditioner or leave-in treatment before you braid your hair and after your swim.

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