Can You Swim With Box Braids

It’s the middle of summer and you’re about to go on vacation. You’re excited to hit the beach, but then you remember – you have box braids! Will they be okay in the water? Can you swim with box braids?

If your box braids are simply decorative and do not alter your ability to swim, then the short answer is “yes, you can swim with box braids.

In this blog post, we’ve discussed everything you need to know about swimming with box braids, including how to protect them from the water and how to style them for a day at the beach or pool! Let’s dig in.

Can you wear box braids while swimming?

Can I Swim With box Braids

Yes, you can get in the pool with box braid extensions, but make sure that your braids are well secured with a durag or other headscarf.

One of the ways to enjoy your time in the pool of your choice is to braid your hair. Braids have been a popular hairstyle for centuries, and there is a long history of hair braiding. It keeps your natural hair healthy by hiding your hair strands from the water.

As an avid swimmer, it’s normal to ponder on questions like what happens if you get box braids wet? Getting answers to questions like that boosts your confidence in getting in the pool with this hairstyle.

Generally, braids are a good choice for swimming. That’s why women choose swim season to rock it. Two things are likely to happen when your braids get wet.

On the one hand, nothing drastic would happen to your hair as it the braids would protect it. But this outcome is attached to a clause- the braids must be correctly installed.

On the other hand, if the braids are not correctly installed, it would become frizzy and fall off. But that’s not all. When the braids fall off, it could damage your hair in the process.

But of course, these would only happen if your hairstylist doesn’t make the braids on your head correctly.

As an avid swimmer, getting your box braids done by a professional hairstylist is the first way to protect your hair. If you’re wondering what to do with box braids when swimming, I’ve got some ideas. The first is to deploy swim caps.

Women generally jump in the water with their box braids tucked inside swimming caps, for starters. Although that’s an easy way to preserve your box braids, not many women enjoy wearing these caps.

If you fall in the category of women who don’t like swim caps, you can simply tie your hair up. That way, you’ll keep them from disturbing the time you spend immersed in water.

Don’t pull up your hair in a ponytail. Instead, pull your braids into a high bun to enjoy your swim time. Ponytails trap the moisture in as the braids would still get in the water.

Before you get into the pool with braids, you should understand that you’ll have to wash them after swimming. There are many benefits to washing your hair after swimming.

Generally, it prevents the chlorinated water from air drying in your hair. Pools are chlorinated water.

Chlorine can dry out your scalp and change your hair color if it doesn’t get rinsed off. We all know dry scalp leaves natural hair susceptible to breakage.

Aside from breaking your hair, chlorine in the hair eventually leads to split ends. Of course, pools aren’t the only type of chlorinated water.

The ocean is also a type of chlorinated water. So, whether you dip your body in a pool or the ocean, you’ll need to shampoo your hair immediately after getting out.

It’s not enough to take a shower. You have to apply the necessary products to keep it healthy.

Do not merely air dry the braids and wait till it is wash day to apply hair products to your hair. Whether you go for a long or light swim, you must wash your hair immediately.

How do you cover braids when swimming?

How do you cover braids when swimming?

The easiest way to cover your braids in swim season is to wear a swimming cap. There are different types of swim caps.

 There’s a big cap to carry the weight of your hair. There’s also the cap for natural hair.

When you wear braids but choose to prevent them from getting soaked in moisture, it’s best to opt for swim caps designed for braids. Because moisture can cause the braids to loosen. These cap types are usually big and can swallow braids regardless of their size.

Best swimming cap for box braids?

You’re not weird if you’re skeptical about jumping in the water with your box braids. You can always use swim caps. Don’t worry; I’ve got you covered on the best swimming cap for box braids.

There are different styles of box braids. So, you have to choose the cap that can handle your type of braids. Here are some of the best caps swimmers who wear box braids can use to protect their hair from getting soaked.

You don’t need to hope these caps would thoroughly wrap your hair because they come in sizes that are perfect for your braid type. Here’s a few of them.

  1. Soul Cap XXL: This cap is perfect for long hairstyles. Its extra-large size will accommodate your hair.
  2. Dsane Extra Large-cap: You won’t feel discomfort fitting your long, thick hair into this cap.
  3. NewYu fitness women’s swim cap.

If you are curious about putting a cap on with box braids, I’ll show you how. It’s not rocket science at all. First, you need to pull your hair back.

Then, wet it with clean water. Open up the cap and cover your hair with it. Feel free to adjust the cap till it sits properly.

How to swim with box braids?

Tips 1: For starters, spraying some water over your braids before getting into the pool is always a good idea – this will help them absorb less chlorine or salt from the water.

Tips 2: You can also apply a good hair cream before getting into the pool; this will act as a protective layer over your braids and keep them from coming in contact with the chemicals in the water.

Tips 3: Additionally, wearing a swimming cap is always advisable – it will cover most of your head and prevent your braids from coming into direct contact with the pool water.

Tips 4: Finally, try not to stay in the pool for more than twenty minutes at a time – this will minimize their exposure to harmful chemicals. With these tips in mind, swimming with box braids should be much easier.

How do you protect your braids and natural hair when swimming?

How do you protect your braids and hair when swimming?

Before jumping into the pool with your braid extension on your head, there are some things you should do to your box braids. They include;

  1. Wet Your Hair before the Dip: Making your hair wet before diving into the water prevents hair damage. You can wet your hair strands by taking a quick shower or rinsing your hair.
    We recommend rinsing hair in clean water if you’re not a fan of taking shower before getting into the swimming pool.
    Introducing moisture to your hair follicles before you take a dip in the pool pushes your hair strands to the water capacity they can handle. So, when you jump in the pool, your hair follicles won’t absorb salty water or chlorine.
  2. Leave-in conditioners come in handy: It is also recommended that you apply a leave-in conditioner to the hair follicles to protect them. It works similarly to coconut oil and olive oil. Leave-in conditioner adds a protective layer to your hair, preventing split ends in the long run.
    They also keep your braids soft and smooth after your water episode. The best part about leave-in conditioners is that you don’t need to rinse them immediately.
    A note of warning; the leave-in conditioner must be sulfate-free. That’s the only way it’ll keep your hair healthy.
  3. Coconut or olive oil is a great choice, too: The best part about coconut oil or olive oil is that they are affordable and effective. Applying these oils when you wear braids prevents chlorine from damaging your hair.
    Since box braids are the style on your head, it’s easier to get the coconut or olive oil on your scalp. Applying these oils stimulate your hair to produce a natural oil that keeps your hair moisturized in water.
    Olive or coconut oil is antioxidants filled, keeping your hair follicles healthy and protected from split ends.
    Additionally, be sure to rinse your hair out immediately after swimming and shampoo it on your next wash day. This will help to remove any chlorine or salt water that could dry out your hair and cause breakage.
  4. The outdoor pool makes it work: Swimming in indoor pools is excellent, but outdoor pools have their benefits too.
    For instance, chlorine gases escape more quickly in an outdoor pool than in an indoor pool, especially when well ventilated.
     The result? Your natural hair won’t be infested with chlorine, reducing hair damage.

How to wash box braids after swimming?

A problem bigger than the braids opening up is the buildup of deposits on your scalp. They pose a bigger threat to your scalp than the water itself. The development of mold is the last thing you want. You must wash your braids thoroughly and properly after the swim. 

  • Rinse with water for a few minutes. Do not underestimate this. Thorough rinsing is key to removing as much chlorine as possible.
  • Wash your braids with a shampoo that has less sulfate content. Gently massage all over your head, but beware of ruining them.
  • Apply a mild conditioner. It is key to keep your hair moisturized. Do not be too harsh with the application.
  • Allow your braids to dry completely. Do not style with any product until and unless they are completely dry.

Best braid styles for swimmers

There are a few different types of braid styles that work well for swimming. Box braids, goddess braids, and crochet braids are all good options.

  • Box braids are probably the most popular style for swimmers. They stay in place well and keep your hair out of your face while you’re swimming.
  • Goddess braids are also a good option, and they tend to be a bit more voluminous than box braids.
  • Crochet braids are another good option, especially if you want to add some length or volume to your hair.

experiencing itching or discomfort while wearing box braids

If you’re experiencing itching or discomfort while wearing box braids, there are several steps you can take to alleviate these issues:

  1. Keep your scalp clean: It’s essential to maintain a clean scalp to reduce itching and discomfort. Gently wash your scalp and box braids with a mild shampoo or a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar. Be careful not to disturb the braids too much while washing.
  2. Moisturize your scalp: Dryness can contribute to itching, so it’s important to keep your scalp moisturized. Apply a light oil or a specialized scalp moisturizer to your scalp, focusing on the areas where you feel discomfort. Avoid applying excessive amounts of product as it may cause buildup or make your braids look greasy.
  3. Avoid scratching: While it may be tempting to scratch your scalp, try to resist the urge as it can lead to further irritation and damage to your braids. Instead, gently pat or massage your scalp to relieve any itching.
  4. Use a cooling sensation: Some people find relief from itching by using products that provide a cooling sensation. Look for scalp sprays or oils that contain ingredients like peppermint, tea tree oil, or aloe vera, as these can help soothe the scalp and alleviate discomfort.
  5. Apply anti-itch products: Over-the-counter anti-itch products, such as creams or sprays containing hydrocortisone, can provide temporary relief from itching. However, it’s important to use them sparingly and as directed.
  6. Avoid excessive tension: If your braids are too tight or causing significant discomfort, it’s best to consult with a professional stylist. They can help adjust the tension or make any necessary changes to alleviate the discomfort.

controversy with box braids

Box braids are a type of protective hairstyle that has roots in African culture and has been worn by people of African descent for centuries. While box braids themselves are not controversial, there have been controversies surrounding cultural appropriation, stereotypes, and discrimination related to this hairstyle.

Cultural Appropriation: Cultural appropriation refers to the adoption or borrowing of elements from a culture by members of a different culture, often without understanding or respecting the cultural significance behind them. In the case of box braids, there have been instances where people from non-African backgrounds have worn this hairstyle without acknowledging its historical and cultural context, leading to accusations of cultural appropriation.

Stereotyping and Discrimination: Historically, certain hairstyles, including braids, have been stigmatized and associated with negative stereotypes when worn by people of African descent. This has led to discrimination and bias in various settings, such as schools, workplaces, and even legal systems. Some argue that these negative perceptions and biases are rooted in racism and a lack of understanding and appreciation for diverse cultural practices.

The controversies surrounding box braids often center around issues of cultural appreciation versus appropriation, the right to personal expression, and the significance of hairstyles as a form of cultural identity. It’s important to engage in respectful dialogue and recognize the historical and cultural significance of certain hairstyles while also addressing issues of discrimination and cultural understanding.


How to put a swim cap on with box braids? 

Tie your braided strands over your head. Make a compact stack of all of them, and gently put the swim cap on. But make sure you do not just stuff them over each other.

Can you swim with knotless braids?

Yes, you can, but you must be very careful if you choose to do so. Properly protect your hair while swimming and clean it immediately after you come out.

Are box braids good for swimming?

No braided style is ineligible for swimming. You just have to be cautious about not ruining them. 

Is scalp spray for braids?

Scalp spray for braids can be a great way to keep the hair conditioned and in good condition. It is important to use a product that is specifically designed for braids, as this will help to protect the hair and keep it healthy.

What are the best braids for swimming?

Braiding hair can take some time to learn, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a great way to keep your hair out of your face while swimming. There are different braid styles for swimmers. Some are front Dutch braid, crown braid, Jumbo braid, and upside-down French braid tutorial.

Can I swim with synthetic braids?

Yes, you can get in the water with synthetic braids. But they should be correctly installed to protect your hair strands from damage. Properly installed synthetic braids are weaved into your hair with the appropriate tension. So, when you get into the water with the synthetic braids, it won’t get frizzy.

Can you swim with weave braids?

You can swim with weave braids as long as you have good quality hair extensions. After swimming, be sure to wash the braids thoroughly and condition them.


Yes! Faux locs are totally fine for swimming. However, after swimming you will need to completely dry your locs since they will be heavy. Make sure to wear them in a high bun while swimming so they don’t get wet.

Should I get my hair braided before or after swimming?

You can get your hair braided before swimming as it is an excellent way to prevent 70% of chlorine infestation in your hair. Braiding your hair before swimming is an excellent alternative to hiding your hair in caps. But your braids should be installed by a professional, so it’ll adequately protect your braids.

How To Braid Your Hair When You go swimming?

Any braided hairstyle is perfect for swimming, from box braids to micro braids. Just ensure that a professional hairstylist braids your hair. They’ll braid it with the right tension which increases the capacity of the braids to keep your hair.

Is It Okay to Swim in Crochet Braids?

Yes. But it would help if you chose the crochet braids from a reliable braid. Some experts argue that swimming with crochet braids can potentially harm your scalp, as the water may not be clean enough or travel deep enough to thoroughly rinse out all of the scalp oils.

Can knotless get braids wet?

Knotless braids are a type of braids that are not immune to absorbing water. So, knotless braids can get wet.


If you don’t dry your box braids thoroughly after getting them wet, you could be at risk for mildew or mold growth. Box braids can trap pool chemicals, which can further damage your hair.


Some folks worry that swimming in chlorine or salt water will ruin them. We asked the experts and here’s what they had to say.” Swimming in chlorinated or salt water can actually help dreads to tighten up and stay healthy”. So go ahead and take a swim- just make sure you rinse your hair afterwards!

Do box braids make you look younger?

Some people say that box braids make you look younger, while others say the opposite is true. So does this hair style really have a significant effect on your appearance?
The short answer is that it depends on the person. Some people who wear box braids regularly claim that they look years younger because of their natural waves and tight coils. Other users report feeling more confident and attractive with box braids in place, as they often give a polished appearance to otherwise messy hair.

Should I wet my braids before taking them out

When taking out your braids, it is not necessary to have soaking wet hair. In fact, if your hair is too wet, the braids may come out too easily and you may damage your hair.

How do you keep waves from braids all day?

Use a lightweight hair product to set the waves and braid tightly.

What do you wear when you swim with braids?

You can wear a swim cap or tie your braids into a bun or ponytail.

How do you protect box braids at the beach?

Wear a swim cap or cover your braids with a scarf to protect them from saltwater and sun damage.

Why do people put braids in water?

To set the braids or create a wavy texture.

Should I braid my hair before swimming?

Yes, braiding your hair before swimming can help prevent tangling and breakage.

Can you swim with weave braids?

Yes, you can swim with weave braids, but be sure to rinse them thoroughly afterward.

How do you sleep with box braids?

Cover your braids with a satin scarf or sleep on a silk pillowcase to prevent frizz and breakage.

How do you make box braids less frizzy?

Use a lightweight oil or serum to smooth and seal the hair cuticles.

How do you get beach waves with braids overnight?

Braid your hair tightly and use a sea salt spray to create beachy waves overnight.

How do you seal box braids without water?

Use a hair mousse or styling gel to set the braids instead of water.

How long do beach braids last?

Beach braids can last up to six weeks with proper care.

How do you keep your hair from breaking off with box braids?

Moisturize your scalp and hair regularly and avoid tight hairstyles to prevent breakage.

Is it bad to get box braids wet?

It’s okay to get box braids wet, but be sure to dry them thoroughly to prevent mildew and odor.

How do you wash braids after swimming?

Rinse your braids with water and a clarifying shampoo to remove salt and chlorine after swimming.

Can box braids mold?

Yes, if braids are left wet for too long or not dried properly, they can develop mold.

What not to do when you have box braids in?

Avoid using heavy products, leaving your braids wet, or pulling too tightly on the hair.

How long do knotless box braids last?

Knotless box braids can last up to eight weeks with proper care.

Can you swim with crochet box braids?

Yes, you can swim with crochet box braids, but be sure to rinse them thoroughly afterward.

Can I sleep with my box braids down?

Yes, but be sure to protect your braids with a satin scarf or pillowcase.

How should I shower with box braids?

Use a gentle shampoo and avoid manipulating the braids too much while washing.

How do you wash crochet braids after swimming?

Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner to cleanse and moisturize the hair after swimming.

What is the disadvantage of crochet braids?

Crochet braids can cause scalp irritation or hair breakage if not installed or maintained properly.

What is the difference between box braids and crochet braids?

Box braids are installed using individual plaits, while crochet braids are installed using a crochet needle.

Can I use crochet for swimming?

Yes, but be sure to rinse them thoroughly afterward and dry them properly to prevent mildew and odor.

Is it good to wet box braids?

It’s okay to wet box braids, but be sure to dry them thoroughly to prevent mildew and odor.

How do you take care of braids on vacation?

Keep your braids moisturized, avoid tight hairstyles, and protect them from sun and water damage.

How long can you keep crochet braids in?

Crochet braids can last up to eight weeks with proper care.

Are crochet braids protective?

Yes, crochet braids can protect your natural hair from damage and promote growth.

Can you get crochet passion twists wet?

Yes, but be sure to rinse them thoroughly afterward and dry them properly to prevent mildew and odor.

How do you seal the ends of box braids without water?

Use a small amount of hair glue or gel to seal the ends instead of water.

How do you get sand out of braided hair?

Gently brush the sand out of your hair with a wide-tooth comb or use a clarifying shampoo to remove it.

Last Words

Box braids are popular hairstyles among black women, and they offer many benefits. If you enjoy engaging in water sports, you’ll realize how difficult it is to decide the hairstyles that can survive immersion in water.

We’ve satisfactorily answered the question: Can you swim with box braids? Feel free to jump in the water without restriction.

Your braid won’t come undone if you install it properly and carry out the essential tips highlighted in this article. Enjoy.

By Cindy Mahlangu

Hey there! I'm Cindy Mahlangu, a pro hairstylist with a serious passion for natural hair care. My mission? To inspire and educate others on the beauty and benefits of protective hairstyles. Through my creative writing, aim to empower individuals to embrace their unique hair texture and confidently care for their locks. So, whether you're rocking locs, braids, or twists, join me on this hair journey and let's achieve healthy, fabulous tresses together!

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