Swimming is great for your mind and body, but you might find that your hair suffers from regular exposure to harsh environments. Luckily, the right hair products can prevent or reverse some of that damage, and that all starts with the right cleanser. The best swim shampoos do two things simultaneously: They remove harsh chemicals like chlorine, salt, and minerals, and they add back in all that essential hydration that you often lose while swimming.
First and foremost, you’ll want to look for a clarifying shampoo to remove chlorine, salt, and other buildup. While almost all shampoos are designed to remove some level of dirt and oil, these formulas, also known as chelating shampoos, use intensive ingredients to lift buildup and harsh chemicals from your hair. Post-swim, this helps to keep your scalp healthy, prevents your strands from feeling weighed down, and also reduces the chances your hair will take on a green tinge.
Unfortunately, though, when used on a regular basis, clarifying shampoos can dry out your hair. As a result, it’s important that the formula also features deeply moisturizing ingredients. Some of the most popular brands use ingredients like chamomile, aloe, hemp seed oil, and jojoba oil. It’s always a good idea to scan the reviews for words like “gentle,” “hydrating,” and “non-irritating,” too.
According to both their ingredients and reviewer feedback, these are the best shampoos to use after going for a swim — and don’t forget to follow it up with a hydrating conditioner.
1. The Overall Best Swim Shampoo
With over 1,700 reviews and a 4.4-star rating overall, TRISWIM’s shampoo is one of the top-selling options. It uses a neutralizing formula to remove chlorine, hard minerals, bromine, and salt from your hair and scalp. Then it hydrates strands with nourishing ingredients like aloe vera, vitamin B, and chamomile. As a result, it’s gentle enough for regular use, and it aims to keep hair soft, voluminous, and healthy. Buyers also note that the mango and lime scent “smells marvelous.”
One reviewer wrote: “This is the best chlorine remover shampoo I have ever tried. It removes the majority of the chlorine smell and moisturizes your hair too, so your hair doesn't have that straw-like texture.”
2. The Best Value Set
For less than $20, you get 7-ounce bottles of both UltraSwim’s shampoo and conditioner. The former removes chlorine and mineral deposits and leaves hair smelling fresh with just one use, while the latter restores, detangles, and replenishes moisture with nourishing ingredients like aloe vera. According to thousands of past buyers, the price is right and the formula is effective. (You can also grab just the shampoo for only $4 here.)
One reviewer wrote: “I recently added swimming 3 times a week to my workout. My hair was suffering for it. [...] UltraSwim works just as the description reads, smells good and all at a great price. I will be a lifetime customer of UltraSwim!”
3. The Best Swim Shampoo For Treated Hair
If your hair is color- or texture-treated, chlorine and salt water can be especially taxing on strands. Luckily, Zealios’ vegan Swim & Sport shampoo is sulfate-free and gentle enough for daily use. As a result, it’s safe for dyed or treated hair, even though it effectively removes chlorine, sweat, and salt. It also helps to smooth hair and smells like uplifting citrus.
One reviewer wrote: “This shampoo gently works to remove chlorine and keep your hair soft and healthy. As a triathlete, I am in the pool several times a week. This SULFATE FREE shampoo prevents my colored (blonde) and keratin treated, mid-back length hair from becoming brittle or worse, green!”
4. The Best Fragrance-Free Shampoo For Sensitive Scalps
ACURE’s Balancing shampoo effectively clarifies hair with gentle apple cider vinegar, making it a great pick for swimmers with sensitive scalps. It also skips the fragrance — a common cause of sensitivities — as well as parabens, sulfates, and petroleum. Plus, aloe vera, calendula, and rosehip oil nourish, soothe, and condition. It’s also 100% vegan.
One reviewer wrote: “I chose the apple cider vinegar scent because of the ‘harsh swimming conditions,’ and due to it being summer, I thought this would help maintain frizz. [...] My hair has never felt softer or smelled nicer. I highly recommend to anyone looking for a new shampoo and a great product that's fragrance-free!”
5. The Best Swim Shampoo For Kids
For something that’s gentle, versatile, and effective, and SoCozy three-in-one shampoo, conditioner, and body wash checks every box. This formula clarifies and neutralizes green undertones with activated charcoal, conditions deeply with jojoba oil, and softens with coffee seed extract. According to buyers, it’s so gentle, it can be used daily. Plus, it doesn’t have any parabens, sulfates, or synthetic dyes. However, it does have a gentle coconut scent. That about explains the 4.6-star overall rating after more than 800 reviews. And while it’s marketed for use on kids, plenty of adults have used it to rave results as well.
One reviewer wrote: “I use this on my kids and on myself both for hair and body. My blonde hair doesn't turn green anymore and my kids hair isn't nearly impossible to comb afterward. My body doesn't have the usual after swim itch either. We will always use this after swimming from now on.”