Plenty of us, when forced inside, decide to hit the pool. Now, public swimming pools are an excellent way to get a full-body workout, but the only problem is, they can be pumped full of chlorine – good news for keeping bacteria at bay but bad news for your hair.
How chlorine damages hairChlorine is a chemical disinfectant, meaning it kills bacteria and breaks down dirt, grime and oil. It’s one of the most common water sanitizers, but it can be pretty harsh on our hair. Our hair produces natural oils of its own but, chlorine can quickly strip it of those natural oils as it disinfects the water, drying out our hair and threatening breakage.
But, we have three painless steps you can take to keep your hair safe from the damaging effects of chlorine: Seal, Rinse, and Replenish.
3 Steps to Protect Your Hair from Chlorine Damage
1. Seal itThe first step is to create a barrier between your hair and that chlorinated water. Experiment with these three different hair protectant methods to see which one you prefer!
- Soak your hair with fresh water: Because wet hair is less absorbent than dry hair, it reduces the amount of chemical water that’s soaked up. The same is true for your skin and it’s a big reason why you should never skip the shower before you jump in chlorine-treated water!
- Apply a leave-in conditioner: Leave-in conditioners create a hydrophobic (water-repelling) coating over your hair, inhibiting chlorine from drying it out. Olive oil and coconut oil are great options, but you can also buy specially-formulated leave-in conditioners for chlorine-treated pools. Leave-in conditioners also leave your hair moisturized when you rinse them out, post-swim!
- Wear a swim cap: If you’re not a big fan of getting your hair wet, or you can’t be bothered with using products, pull on a trusty swim cap to block out all that pool water. Wearing a cap has the added bonus of helping you be more hydrodynamic! ;)
2. Rinse itAfter your swim, it’s time to rinse and repeat to make sure you get all that chlorine away from your hair (and your skin!). Follow these steps:
- Rinse with lukewarm water: Rinse your hair with tepid water to flush away any chemicals.
- Wash, condition and rinse: Shampoo, or if you’ve recently washed your hair, condition with warm water and then gently rinse. Remember, overwashing can strip your hair of natural oils, too.
- Rinse with cold water: Now it’s time to seal in that cuticle by rinsing with cold water.
3. Replenish itJust before you head out, it’s time to rejuvenate those hair strands to keep them hydrated, healthy and strong. Follow these steps:
- Use a leave-in conditioner: Once your hair is rinsed, apply a leave-in conditioner to help keep hair moisturized all day.
- Frequently apply a hair-mask treatment: Because you’re exposing your hair to chlorine more often at a swimming pool, it’s a good idea to use a hair mask at least once per week. Argan oil is a great option for this! –> Buy 100% natural Argan oil here!
- Drink more H20! When you supply your body with enough water, your hair strands are hydrated too! This makes them fuller, more flexible and resistant. We recommend drinking at least 8, 8oz glasses of water per day.
Just keep swimming
There you have it – no need to fear chlorine-damaged hair anymore! With these simple steps, you can keep that hair healthy and hydrated, and fully enjoy your swimming routine and workout!
In the words of Dori,
Just keep swimming – and protecting that hair!