Yes! Yes, Crochet Braids can be washed and you can swim in them. But first, let's determine which type of Crochet Braids you are wearing. Most synthetic hair is made from fibers of Kanekalon, Toyokalon or a combination of them both. These fibers are manufactured with heat and processed to produce the desired curl pattern. Depending on HOW you wash this hair, determines how it will look afterwards.
FOR WASHING, avoid using hot water. Keep in mind that boiling hot water is used to set curls in synthetic hair. IF it is washed in hot water, the hair will set in the agitated state in which it was washed, causing tangles and matting.
FOR SWIMMING, be aware of what sea water can do to rough textures like Marley Hair. The salt in sea water dries out our own natural hair. So, you can imagine what it will do to something like Marley Hair. I'll just say, it ain't pretty. But for some reason, people always want to go to the beach with Marley Hair. Unless you just like dealing with a bunch of maintenance, I would avoid mixing sea water and Marley Hair altogether.
Also, if you are in a hot tub, pull the hair on top of your head and away from the hot water. I had a client who suffered a painfully embarrassing experience after literally boiling her crochet braids during a long conversation while relaxing in a hot tub. Her hair was floating around her shoulders while she was in the hot tub. The heat was "setting" the hair in an agitated state and dried immediately as she got out of the hot tub. She was left with a tangled, mangled hairdo.
Its also helpful to use conditioner as opposed to shampoo if you're going to wash your Crochet Braids. Shampoo tends to dry out synthetic hair if it is not properly moisturized afterwards. It just makes more sense to use conditioner or a co-wash to cleanse the hair.
Dry shampoos are also very popular among Crochet Braid wearers. They allow you to cleanse the hair without saturating it with water. If you work out during your workday, this is especially convenient. That way, you don't have to go back to the office with funky hair and your co-workers will appreciate that, lol.
Organic Root Stimulator Herbal Cleanse is a nice product to use and it leaves your scalp feeling tingly and fresh. If you've never used a dry shampoo, this is a great one to start with.