Whether you head to the local gym for water aerobics, swim laps daily, or have a polar plunge on the calendar this winter, don’t let your hair suffer. Swim caps and buns can cause tangles in long hair. Thankfully, it’s easy to tame messy, snarly hair without any chemical-laden swimmer’s hair potions and lotions. Here’s how:

Give Your Hair a Drink

Prevent hair tangles by treating your tresses to a weekly hot-oil soak. Oil soaks boost your hair’s natural moisture, keeping strands sturdy, lush, and healthy. To prepare the soak, warm a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil in the microwave for 15 seconds. Be sure to use a microwave-safe dish, and let the oil sit for a moment before carefully removing it from the microwave with a potholder. Get in the shower or bath and wet your hair, then massage the warmed oil through it and into your scalp. Let the oil hydrate your hair for 10 minutes, then shampoo and condition as usual. This will help prevent tangles associated with dry, brassy hair that’s frequently been exposed to chlorinated pool water.

Use a Detangling Hair Brush

Hair brushes are not created equal. Some pull, snap, and tug at strands, while others work to distribute your hair’s natural moisturizing oils to keep tangles away. Your best bet is to find a smoothing detangler brush with bristles designed to glide through your hair even when it’s tangled from a day in the water. To avoid breaking hair strands, dab your hair with a towel until it’s semi-dry, then use the brush. Remember to avoid yanking — if your hair’s snarled and difficult to brush, try spraying on (or working in) a light detangler.

Condition Dry, Knotted Hair

Is your hair already tangled? Douse those stubborn knots with a little additional moisture. While your hair is still dry, dab conditioner on any troublesome spots, then let it soak in for at least 30 minutes before you hop in the shower. Once your hair is wet, comb your fingers through it to soften and work out the tangles.

Do you have tips for keeping your hair healthy even if you take a dip often? Please share how you tackle hair tangles in the comments below.