"One thing I need to change in my haircare routine" – 5 Questions with elite swimmer, Alice Dearing

1. Tell us a bit about yourself. How often do you train or workout?

My name is Alice Dearing, I'm 23 years old and currently based in Loughborough as a full time student and athlete. I'm an open water and marathon swimmer. I train nine times a week in the water and three times a week in the gym. I've been doing this for roughly 15 years now and doing open water swimming since I was 16 years old. I always train in a pool rather than open water but my open water races are usually 10k and take place in other countries around the world.

I never really find time to deep condition. I guess that always sounds like an excuse in the natural hair community

2. Why is a healthy lifestyle important to you?

A healthy lifestyle is important to me because it's part of my craft and who I am in becoming a better athlete. I make sure I’m looking after my body, taking supplements, and trying not to get injured – but it’s much more than that. It’s not just about my physical wellbeing but also my mental wellbeing, so it's very important for me to make sure my mind is happy and healthy too.

3. Haircare can be tough for people who lead active lifestyles. Tell us about your #Hairgame routine. What issues do you have with it?

My haircare routine can be quite difficult and tiring at times. I have to plan it weekly and go with the flow a lot of the time. I always try to use protective styling, as I'm a swimmer so obviously my hair is being exposed to way more things that can dry it out or damage it. So I use protective styling and apply a lot of product to keep it fresh for the week, then take I it out at the weekend to let it breathe a bit before I re-plait it.

I'm a swimmer so obviously my hair is being exposed to way more things that can dry it out or damage it.

The main issue I have with my hair routine is I never really find time to deep condition. I guess that always sounds like an excuse in the natural hair community but the way my routine works is that I'll do my washday on Saturday leave it to rest then I have to re-plait it on Sunday so I guess the only time I would have to deep condition it is on Sunday when I'd prefer to rest and not think about my hair. That's one thing I need to change in my haircare routine.

4. What do you do to your hair before and after training/workout?

I'll put my hair in protective styles at the start of the week and literally just leave it like that for the week. After some sessions I'll rinse my hair out to make sure it has clean water in it, but generally I can leave it for the week and it's fine. It just takes a lot of care at the weekends!

5. We know that there are a lot of hair products on shelves right now. What’s the most important product on your shelf? And if you could have a dream hair product what would it do?

My most important hair care product on my shelf is always my leave-in conditioner as it hides a multitude of sins quite often. It’s able to refresh my hair so quickly, keep it hydrated and soft and it puts everything back into it that gets stripped out when I'm swimming. I'm really grateful that I've found some really good leave-ins that look after my hair to keep it healthy and nourished.

Some Quick-Fire Questions:

What’s your curl pattern?


Curls love them or hate them?

I love my curls! Sometimes I still struggle with them, I'm still learning to fully embrace them but at the same time I love them and can't wait to see them grow and flourish!

Preferred protective styles?

Braids. It's a shame I can't have singles or box braids. I really really want them but with swimming it just wouldn't work, as it's excess weight that wouldn't work out. When I finish swimming one day that is what I'm having!

Comb, brush or finger detangling?

I brush and finger detangle my hair, a comb would just make me cry I'm afraid.

If you had to choose one, would it be a shampoo or conditioner?

This is controversial but I would pick shampoo, just because I need to wash my hair and I think you can get away with not having conditioner if you use enough leave-in.

Washday: everyday, weekly, once a month?

I wash weekly at the weekends

Hair masks or hair treatments?

I don't use either but it's something that I need to try

Natural ingredients or synthetic?

100% natural ingredients!

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