Can You Swim With Hair Tinsel? Everything You Should Know!

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By Faiq

Hair tinsel, those shimmering strands that add a touch of whimsy to any hairstyle, is a popular accessory. But what happens when you want to take a dip in the pool or enjoy a day at the beach? Can you take the plunge with your sparkly strands intact?

This article explores the world of hair tinsel and swimming, delving into the potential effects and offering tips to maximize the lifespan of your tinsel while enjoying a refreshing swim.

Can You Swim With Hair Tinsel?

The answer isn’t a simple yes or no. While swimming with hair tinsel technically won’t cause any harm, there are some factors to consider:

Chemical Effects:

Both chlorine in pools and salt in the ocean can affect the vibrancy and longevity of your hair tinsel. Chlorine can cause the colors to fade, while saltwater can make the tinsel brittle. Consider the type of tinsel you’re using. Some tinsel is made with a stronger, more chlorine-resistant material than others.

Tangled Troubles:

Swimming can lead to tangles and knots in your hair, and by extension, the tinsel. This can be frustrating to deal with and potentially lead to some tinsel strands coming loose. Braiding your hair in a tight cornrow style can offer more security compared to a looser braid or bun.

Waterlogged Worries:

The force of the water can dislodge loose strands of tinsel. If you have recently applied your tinsel or have some loose ends, swimming may cause them to detach prematurely.

However, with a little preparation and care, you can still enjoy swimming with your hair tinsel:

some factors to consider before swimming with Hair Tinsel

Taking the Plunge with Tinsel: Pre-Swim Preparations

Here’s how to get your hair tinsel ready for a swim:

Secure Your Style

While you can definitely take a dip with your hair tinsel shimmering brightly, a little extra secure your style effort beforehand can ensure a stress-free and tangle-free swim. Braiding your hair tightly or creating a high bun will keep the bulk of your hair, and by extension, the tinsel strands, under control. This will minimize the chance of the tinsel catching on anything or getting tangled in the water.  For added security, use bobby pins to tuck away any loose ends around your scalp, preventing them from snagging and potentially detaching a tinsel strand.


Cap it Off (Optional)

Forget the tinsel and inflatable pool toys – the real poolside essential is a well-fitting swim cap. Chlorine and saltwater can wreak havoc on your hair, stripping away shine and causing damage. But a swim cap acts as a protective barrier, minimizing exposure to these harsh chemicals. This allows you to maintain your hairstyle and keep your hair looking healthy, vibrant, and ready to catch the summer sun’s rays  when you emerge from the water.

Freshwater First:

Diving into a pool with hair tinsel might seem like a fun way to add sparkle to your swim, but hold your horses! Chlorine, often found in high concentrations in pools, can react with the tinsel, potentially dulling its shine. Ocean water, on the other hand, presents a different challenge – salt can absorb into the tinsel, leaving behind a residue that can also affect its vibrancy. 

Freshwater first might be the secret weapon for your hair tinsel. By taking a quick dip in clean, chlorine- and salt-free water before hitting the pool or ocean, you can minimize the amount of harsh chemicals the tinsel absorbs, helping it retain its brilliance for longer.

Post-Swim Care for Sparkling Strands

Once you’re done swimming, follow these steps to keep your hair tinsel looking its best:

Rinse, Revive, Repeat:

Rinse your hair with clean water as soon as possible. This removes any residual chlorine or salt that could damage the tinsel. Follow up with a cool shower to further eliminate any lingering chemicals.

Conditioning Care:

Apply a leave-in conditioner to your hair to replenish moisture and prevent the tinsel from becoming brittle. Look for a leave-in conditioner formulated for color-treated hair, as this will help protect the vibrancy of your tinsel.

Detangling with TLC

Gently detangle your hair with a wide-tooth comb, starting from the ends and working your way up. Be extra careful around the tinsel strands to avoid pulling them out. If you encounter a stubborn knot, try separating it with your fingers before resorting to the comb.

Air Dry or Low Heat:

Let your hair air dry whenever possible. Heat styling tools can damage the tinsel, so avoid using them directly on the strands. If you must use a hairdryer, keep it on a low heat setting and diffuse your hair to minimize heat exposure.

Extender Your Tinsel’s Sparkle: Additional Tips

Here are some bonus tips for extending the life of your hair tinsel:

Limit Splash Time:

While you can definitely take a dip with your hair tinsel sparkling, there are a few tricks to minimize the impact on those vibrant strands. Chlorine and salt water, for all their poolside fun, can be a little harsh on hair tinsel, especially with longer exposure. To keep your tinsel looking fresh, consider shorter swims or taking breaks to rinse out the chlorine or salt. Even better, remove your hair tinsel beforehand if you know you’ll be taking a long dip. This will give your hair a chance to breathe and the tinsel a break from the chemicals. When you are ready to rock your poolside look again, reapply the tinsel after showering to remove any residual chlorine or salt.

Strategic Swimming:

The key lies in minimizing exposure to pool chemicals and salt. Before hitting the water, braid your hair to secure the tinsel strands close to your scalp. This reduces snagging and tangles.  Freshwater is your friend! A quick rinse before your swim dilutes the concentration of chlorine or salt your hair absorbs. After your swim, take another dip in clean water to remove any lingering residue. Finally, reapplying the tinsel afterwards ensures it stays vibrant and tangle-free throughout the day.

Freshen Up Your Tinsel:

The key to poolside sparkle lies in maintaining your tinsel’s original hue. Chlorine and saltwater can cause the vibrant colors to fade, diminishing the fun and festive look. To combat this, consider temporary hair color sprays that match your tinsel’s color. Not only will this help maintain a vibrant look, but the temporary nature of the sprays means they’re less likely to cause damage to your hair or extensions.


While hair tinsel can add a touch of fun and sparkle to your poolside look, a little extra care is needed to maintain its vibrancy and prevent damage from chlorine and salt water. By following the tips provided, such as braiding your hair, rinsing with clean water after swimming, and limiting exposure to chemicals, you can extend the lifespan of your hair tinsel and enjoy its shine throughout the swim season.

If you’re a frequent swimmer, consider strategic application and removal of the tinsel, or explore alternative sparkly options like hair clips or temporary glitter hairspray. With a little planning and these helpful tricks, you can keep your hair looking its best and shimmering brightly all summer long.

Check also: How to Wash Hair When on Oxygen: A Comprehensive Guide

Frequently Asked Question: 

Can I swim with hair tinsel?

Technically yes, but with caution. Chlorine and saltwater can affect the color and lifespan of your tinsel. Chlorine can cause fading, while saltwater can make it brittle.

Will swimming tangle my hair and tinsel?

Absolutely! Swimming can lead to knots and tangles, especially in loose hair. Braiding your hair tightly beforehand minimizes this issue.

Will the water pressure loosen my tinsel?

Yes, the force of the water can dislodge loose strands. Secure your tinsel with bobby pins or opt for pre-braided hair tinsel for added security.

How can I prepare my hair tinsel for swimming?

  • Braid your hair tightly for minimal tangles.
  • Use bobby pins to secure loose ends.
  • Consider a swim cap for ultimate protection.
  • Wet your hair with clean water beforehand to dilute chlorine/saltwater absorption.

What should I do after swimming with hair tinsel?

  • Rinse your hair with clean water to remove chlorine/saltwater residue.
  • Apply a leave-in conditioner for color-treated hair to maintain vibrancy and prevent brittleness.
  • Gently detangle with a wide-tooth comb, starting from the ends.
  • Air dry whenever possible or use a diffuser on low heat setting.

How can I extend the life of my hair tinsel?

  • Limit swim time to minimize chlorine/saltwater exposure.
  • Consider removing and reapplying tinsel for frequent swimmers.
  • Use temporary hair color sprays (designed for extensions) to refresh faded colors.

Are there any alternatives to hair tinsel for swimming?

Sparkly hair clips or temporary glitter hairspray offer a less-permanent solution for adding shine while swimming.

Can hair tinsel damage my hair?

Not typically. However, low-quality tinsel with sharp edges can snag and damage hair. Opt for smooth, high-quality tinsel.

Is it safe to reuse hair tinsel?

Yes, you can reuse hair tinsel if it’s in good condition. However, with repeated use and exposure to the elements, it may lose its vibrancy and require replacement.

Should I remove hair tinsel before applying heat styling tools?

Yes. Direct heat exposure can damage hair tinsel. If heat styling is necessary, use a low heat setting and avoid direct contact with the tinsel strands.

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