We all love spending time in the pool, but chlorine can be really tough on our hair.
Repeated exposure to chlorine can dry our hair out, fade our dye job, and even turn light-colored hair a lovely shade of blue-green.
But just in case you don’t want to look like a green-haired anime character, we’ve put together this lovely guide on how to protect your hair from the damaging effects of a chlorinated pool.
What is chlorine, and why do they add it to pools?
When you go swimming in a pool, think about what’s happening: people are constantly getting in and out, diving, sweating, and maybe even peeing.
All of that grossness can lead to some pretty dangerous bacteria growing in the water.
And no one wants to swim in a pool full of bodily fluids!
That’s where chlorine comes in.
Chlorine is a chemical that is added to most pools to kill any harmful bacteria or germs that may be lurking in the water. While it is harmless to our health, it can wreak havoc on your hair.
How does chlorine damage hair?
There are a few ways that chlorine can damage your hair.
First, it can react with the proteins in our hair and cause them to break down. This leads to split ends, frizziness, and other forms of hair damage.
Second, it can strip away the natural oils that protect our hair from becoming dry or brittle.
This can leave our hair feeling dry, straw-like, and more prone to damage.
Finally, chlorine can fade our hair color.
Dyed hair tends to fade faster once exposed to chlorine. You may have noticed that it doesn’t last as long if you spend a lot of time in the pool.
That’s because the chlorine in the water can react with the color molecules in your hair dye, causing it to fade or even change color.
How to avoid chlorine-damaged hair
The good news is that there are a few easy steps you can take to protect your hair from the effects of chlorine.
Wear a swim cap
Wearing a swim cap is one of the easiest ways to protect your hair from chlorine. The way these work is by creating a barrier between your hair and the chlorinated water.
Not only will this protect your hair from damage, but it will also keep it nice and dry.
There are a few different types of swim caps, including silicone and latex ones, so pick one that fits your budget and comfort preference.
Do a deep conditioning mask
Another easy way to protect your hair is to add a leave-in conditioner to it before you get in the pool.
This will help to create a protective barrier between your hair and the chlorine. Combined with a swim cap, you can even think of it as giving your hair a treatment while you swim!
You can either use a deep conditioning mask or you can make your own DIY homemade conditioner.
Apply it to your hair, put on a shower cap, and let it sit for 30 minutes before you go swimming. Not only will you get some exercise from swimming, but you’ll also have healthier hair!
Try a swimmer-friendly shampoo
Some hair care products are specifically designed to protect against the effects of chlorine, so you might want to try switching up your shampoo and conditioner routine before you hit the pool.
These not only help to fix chlorine-damaged hair, but they also work well for reversing the damage of other pool chemicals that may be causing your hair to dry out.
There are a few different brands on the market that make these types of products. One of them is Malibu C Swimmers Shampoo, which is available on Amazon.
Since it’s also a sulfate-free shampoo, you don’t have to worry about causing any further damage to your hair.
Protect hair with coconut oil
Similar to our trick with using the deep conditioner, you can put apply coconut oil to your hair before going for a swim. Since oil and water don’t mix, this will also help to create a protective layer between your hair and the chlorine.
In other words, coating your hair in coconut oi can protect hair from chlorine by preventing the two from ever coming in contact with one another.
A related trick that some people do is called co-washing. This is where avoid shampoo altogether while still washing their regularly, usually with conditioner.
Use a clarifying shampoo to rinse out the chlorine
If you don’t like the idea of using swimmer’s shampoo, you can always use a good old-fashioned clarifying shampoo to rinse the chlorine from your hair. Clarifying shampoos are designed to remove dirt, oil, and build-up from your hair.
Not only will these powerful shampoos completely rinse out any swimming pool water that may be lingering in your hair, but they can even change chlorine-induced green hair back to its original color.
Some of them can be quite harsh, however, so be sure to follow up with a conditioner to avoid damaging your hair further.
Try an apple cider vinegar rinse
If you swim regularly and don’t want to spend big bucks on fancy shampoos, you can also use apple cider vinegar to remove the chlorine from your hair.
ACV is an excellent tool for restoring the pH balance of your hair and scalp. It’s also a natural clarifier, so it will remove any chlorine that’s stuck in your hair. Not only that, but ACV is an excellent tool to kill bacteria that may be growing under that swim cap!
Simply rinse your hair with the ACV after you swim, and then follow up with a conditioner.
Heal your hair strands with argan oil
If you have serious damage to your hair, whether from chlorine damage, hot tools, or just having dry hair, there is one solution: argan oil.
Argan oil is a type of oil that’s extracted from the Moroccan Argan tree. It’s an incredibly nourishing oil that’s packed full of vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids.
These nutrients make it an excellent choice for repairing damage caused by chlorine. You can find argan oil in a variety of hair care products, including shampoos, conditioners, and leave-in masks.
Try not to leave your hair in pool water for too long
If you’re just a casual swimmer and don’t want to wear a swimming cap, then all you can do is limit the amount of time your hair is in the water.
The longer you are in contact with this chlorinated water, the more damage it can do to your hair. It’s just common sense!
There are a few simple steps you can take to protect your hair from the effects of chlorine in the pool.
Remember: removing chlorine from your hair is crucial. If you don’t do it, then you might as well kiss your beautiful hair goodbye. Because chlorine damaged hair is not a pretty sight!
But hopefully thanks to these tips, you’ll be able to not only minimize contact between your hair and chlorinated water, but also repair any damage that this harsh chemical has done.
Do you have extra tips we didn’t mention? Let us know in a comment!