Every summer you probably enjoy the great outdoors, but certain activities might be putting your hair’s health at an unnecessary risk. Preventing chlorine damage to your hair was most likely not on your “to do” list this season, but it should be. Spending some major time poolside might be on your agenda for the summer, but your hair could pay the price if you don’t protect it. Read on for tips to prevent chlorine damage to your hair.
Chlorine can cause serious damage to your delicate strands of hair. The high levels of chlorine (and other chemicals) in pool water are needed to keep viruses and bacteria at bay while you enjoy your swim. Unfortunately, those same elements will leave your hair limp, dry and brittle after a few trips to the pool.
Chlorine is a strong bleach, so it can leave your hair looking grayish or bleached. Other chemicals used in pool water can strip away color treatments and leave hair looking brassy or green. Combine that with the damaging metals that may already exist in the water before it gets chlorinated, and a swimming pool is your hair’s worst nightmare.
When your hair is dry, as it’s likely to be in the summer heat, it soaks up the pool water like a sponge. The water gets absorbed quickly and deeply into your hair, bringing all those harmful chemicals along for the ride. With the chlorine deep-set into your hair, your mane breaks down.
There are a few helpful tricks you can use to prevent chlorine absorption in your hair. The easiest and most obvious solution is to wear a swimming cap. However, to be honest, those aren’t exactly in fashion unless you are an Olympic athlete. If you have one, wear it. If you don’t, these other options work quite nicely.
Wet your hair with clean water before you dive into the pool. This trick ensures that your hair drinks up the clean water first instead of the chlorinated water. It works in a pinch, since it involves no products, but it won’t last long enough for a full day of swimming. Pause for another clean rinse for every thirty minutes you spend in the pool. Introducing clean water will help keep your hair moisturized and healthy, no matter how long you decide to swim.
Oil-based products will repel chlorinated water for an even longer amount of time. Before swimming, smooth a small amount of conditioner or oil into your hair. Baby oil, coconut oil or olive oil will all do the trick. You only need a small amount to reap big benefits from these solutions.
Whenever you swim, you should always follow up with a thorough washing. Use a clarifying shampoo and warm, chlorine-free water to clear away all harmful chemicals. Comb a moisturizing, leave-in conditioner through your hair afterward, and you will be fully protected from damage. This after-swimming step may seem inconvenient at times, but it will save you a lot of money at the salon and a lot of unpleasant damage to your hair later on!