Friday, February 17, 2006

Product review: Ultraswim shampoo

Ultraswim shampoo, $5.45 for 7 ounces. It is sold with some glowing descriptions: ". . . a unique, patented formula that actually removes chlorine from hair, transforming swimmer’s hair into salon-beautiful hair. In recent independent lab tests, ULTRASWIM removed at least twice as much chlorine from hair as other swimmer shampoos, and almost four times as much chlorine as popular everyday shampoos. "

Let me preface my comments by saying I have thick, coarse, long, damaged hair. I don't know how this product works on other hair types. BUT - I found no discernible difference in the condition of my hair after using this shampoo and a regular better-quality shampoo (NOT the cheap stuff in the dispensers at the health club). I didn't notice any results that made this product worth it. I'll probably just refill the bottle with my normal shampoo from home, and continue to use a good-quality conditioner after swimming. I also don't know if this shampoo may help lessen the effects of cumulative damage on hair over many weeks - but after just a couple of washings with it, I didn't see any change in my hair. I won't buy it again.

What has helped reduce my hair damage has been getting a better-quality swim cap. I bought this "Long hair silicone cap" ($8.95) and I'm very pleased with it. It's large enough to fit around my huge head plus my bulky braid. It's very smooth and slippery in texture so it comes off without pulling my hair, and keeps my hair from getting all tangled while doing my laps. It also prevents my hair from getting tangled by the strap of my swim goggles.

The only drawback is that it does tend to slip off a bit and I have to adjust it periodically, so I probably wouldn't use it in an open-water swim. Actually, one other drawback is that the one I purchased is silver in color, so it looks like I'm swimming with a tinfoil hat.

I'm a convert, though, and from now on I'll be using this type of swim cap religiously in the pool, even though our pool rules do not require swim cap wear.

13 comments:

Flatman said...

At least the government can't get you now... :)

jessie_tri_mn said...

I really like the UltraSwim shampoo, but my hair is pretty short and straight. Without using it, my hair becomes hay like. I certainly don't like it as much as my normal shampoo, but it's good after a trip to the pool.

And I'm with you on silicone caps. My cap has outlasted three suits!

backofpack said...

Not being a regular swimmer, I don't know much about this. I have heard that putting conditioner on your hair, then the cap helps. Might make your cap slip off even more though.

stronger said...

I used Ultra Swim my entire childhood. Now, I just wet my hair in the shower before putting on the swim cap so the hair doesn't soak up all the chlorine first.

Dawn - Pink Chick said...

I've never tried the shampoo or a cap. I pull my hair back in a "fake" braid to keep it off my face and use some half decent shampoo/condition I get in bulk from the hair salon.

the original mfd said...

As someone who swam competitvely for 17 years, I'm practically an expert on hair maintenance in the pool. I've had good luck with Infusium shampoos and conditioners. Really, what you want is a clarifying shampoo to get rid of the chlorine and a moisturizing conditioner. The conditioner before swimming trick helps too, but it makes your cap slip and slide quite a bit, so I don't really care for it. I hope that helps!

mipper said...

i haven't tried this but i have to agree with you about using a good quality shampoo and extra conditioning. also, i agree with the above poster about a clarifying shampoo. my boys get awful "cradle cap" even up to 6 or 7 years of age and i asked a hair stylist what to do (the doctor says mineral oil... ick) and she said a clarifying shampoo. but htey were out because swim team had just started. she said they would pretty much be out for most of teh swim season because the swimmers go through so much of it. so, maybe a clarifier for right after your swim?

nancytoby said...

Dawn - yeah, I always braid my hair before swimming, but the shorter pieces still get matted and tangled during a long swim without the cap.

mfd - you're the 2nd person today who recommended Infusium to me (particularly the leave-in treatment) - I'll have to try some!!!

Mental note to get clarifying shampoo, too!!

Geek Girl said...

I, too tried that shampoo and wasn't impressed. I wear that same swim cap, too. Last summer, I had to choose between long (waste-length) highlighted hair or swimming, I finally got some therapy and cut it off. It's shoulder length now. I miss the long hair, but blow-drying it was a pain.

Cliff said...

Swim cap is the way to go. Once I use that, I've never had problem with chlorine hair.

TriMom217 said...

the worst thing about Ultraswim is that the bottle leaked in my bag.

Don't even bother refilling it. I got the little travel size containers and filled it with my favorite Suave. It has never leaked.

Wylee said...

I used ultraswim shampoo years ago... like 15 or so and unless they've changed their formula I wouldn't bother with it. It did nothing for my hair either.

I like the silicone caps too, but they always slip up off my head and leak water around the edges so it was back to the old latex standby. Oh yeah, I use a leave in conditioner in my hair Tigi Bedhead Ego Boost. It's a little spendy, but it really works. I have thick curly hair.

Heather said...

I'm another one of those who religiously wets my hair and douses it in conditioner before getting in the pool. I use the cheap Suave Humectant stuff, but tons of it and I do have to use my tighter caps. They don't slip as much.

I then use my normal shampoo and conditioner for dry/damanged hair and so far, so good. As a gal who spends lots of $$$ on her hair color, I've had good luck and my stylist says I'm not worse for the Chlorine-wear. Getting wet and slathering on conditioner before the pool is a bit of a pain, but it's sooooo worth it.