Protect Your Hair From Chlorine

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If you read May’s article “Summer Hair Protection“, then you already know that one way to protect your hair during the summer is to keep chlorine at bay. But when summer temperatures are consistently high (like this week!) and you want to beat the heat, diving into a cool pool doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. But how can you enjoy the pool and protect your hair? Start by learning what chlorine is and how it affects your hair.

What is chlorine?

Chlorine is a chemical used to sanitize water. It kills bacteria, algae, and other microorganisms, making your pool safe to swim in so you don’t get sick.

How does chlorine affect my hair?

This chemical has two main effects on the hair:

  1. Chlorine dries out your hair. In the summertime, your hair takes a beating. Humidity, overexposure to sun rays, sunburns, and sweat all work against your hair to create dryness from roots to ends. Likewise, when chlorinated water is absorbed, your hair is stripped of natural oils that protect hair from damage. Frequent exposure can also lead to split ends or can cause strands to break. Dry hair can appear dull or frizzy and may be brittle to the touch. Whispy strands, dandruff, and itchy scalp are also signs you may have dry, dehydrated hair.
  2. Chlorine turns hair green. If we told you that your hair isn’t green because of exposure to chlorine itself, would you believe us? That greenish tint is mostly noticeable in blondes or other light shades and is actually caused by chlorine’s interaction with hard metals in the pool water, such as copper.

How can I protect my hair?

Dry, dull, damaged hair is never a good look. Keep your hair healthy and protect your hair from chlorine damage with these three tips:

  1. Wear a swimmers cap. It might not be a glamour look but wearing a swimmer’s cap is the easiest way to protect your hair from exposure to chlorine.
  2. Get your hair wet first. Treat your hair like a sponge. Before you dive in, take a brief jump into the shower and wet your hair first. This will reduce the amount of chlorinated water absorbed by hair follicles.
  3. Apply product. Apply a small amount conditioner or hair oil to create a barrier between your strands and chlorinated water. At the same time, these products will nourish and hydrate your hair.
  4. Pull up your hair. Keep hair out of the pool as often as possible with a cute bun, top knot, or ponytail while you float around to minimize exposure.
  5. Shampoo hair immediately after swimming. Rinse hair your immediately after swimming or use a swimmer’s shampoo to clean any lingering chlorine from your hair.

Summer hair care is all about awareness. We don’t want to stop you from doing the things you love, but protecting your hair now will ensure that when winter comes, your hair is looking its best.