Hair Matters But So Does Life: 7 Tips To Get You To Swim This Summer

July 3, 2015  |  

It’s that time of year again, when you want to hit the pool–and actually get in with the kids to do a backstroke or just splash around–but you’re worried about your hair. Many women, particularly African American women, not only have a fear of getting their hair messed up but a straight-up fear of swimming. This is where we bring up the statistics about Black people not being able to swim and not even trying, but the number is scary.

The facts: 70 percent of African Americans can’t swim and are unable to save a family member or friend if drowning.

It’s an annoying to read this every year, but guess what? The number isn’t changing. Does that mean that the same people are taking these surveys? Because I know more than a few African-Americans who can swim. Or is it really that we’re just not learning this skill that can save lives?

According to the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (, drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for all ages in the United States; and, second leading cause of accidental death amongst children.

Just like the next woman, I spend tons of money on products to get my hair looking great. As you know, water and swimming can reverse all that perfection in a nanosecond. Sadly, many women forgo learning to swim to stay fly.

Real talk: If my children are drowning, I want to be in a position to save them and no hairstyle is worth sitting on the sideline feeling less than empowered.

Agnes Davis, CEO of Swim Swim Swim I Say is on a mission is to encourage adults and parents to jump into the water and get fit, break the cycle and stave off health issues. Davis says, “Women will not learn how to swim because their concern might be maintaining a hairstyle. While I understand the importance of looking good – learning to swim and enjoying the health benefits of swimming is equally as important. Most African-American women wear their hair chemically straightened or relaxed. The myth has been that the main ingredient in relaxers – sodium hydroxide does not mix well with chlorine and the hair will fall-out. I’ve been a swimmer for over 40 years and my hair is relaxed, healthy and long. I share with my clients that not all hair products are created equal; and, it’s important to invest in quality products to get optimal results for healthy hair.”

Click here for Agnes Davis’ video on swimming with children: Talk Water Safety on AOL Parenting

Life is about pressing reset and making tweaks to feel empowered, no matter what. This summer, I’ve enrolled my daughter in to private lessons and will also take a refresher course in swim safety to make certain that I set the tone for health, spirit and fabulous hair.

Continue for Agnes Davis’ Tips to Healthy Hair, Body and Swimming

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