Now that summer is in full-swing, you will likely dip into a pool or two. Although it’s great to beat the summer’s heat while hanging out with friends and family, there is one key area in which you must consider— your hair. Chlorine can have devastating effects on hair health. Here is what you need to know to protect your hair while having fun this summer.
What Does Chlorine Do to Your Hair?
Chlorine is simply a chemical-based disinfectant. Without it, swimming pools would look more like rivers and lakes, accumulating natural slime. Although occasional exposure does not typically damage most people’s hair long-term, it will make it feel much drier than normal.
However, those who swim in a chlorinated pool on a regular basis may experience significant damage. Chlorine will begin to strip your scalp and hair of its natural oils, drying it out and making it more porous. Once your hair’s porosity increases, it absorbs other chemicals more easily (including copper that is oxidized by chlorine, which is what turns some swimmer’s hair green).
Am I At Risk?
All swimmers who expose their hair to chlorinated water on a regular basis are at-risk of damage. However, some individuals may experience more rapid or severe damage, including:
- Those with dry or fine hair.
- Those living with previously damaged hair (from coloring or otherwise).
- Anyone who has had a chemical treatment applied to their hair (i.e., a perm).
- Those with color-treated hair, particularly those who chemically lighten their hair.
Can I Do Anything to Prevent Chlorine-Related Damage?
To take a proactive approach, it is recommended that you consider the following before your next dip:
Fully saturate your hair with tap water BEFORE you get into the pool. With your hair full of clean tap water, it will absorb less chlorinated water.
If you swim every day, a silicone swim cap is highly recommended.
Rinse your hair AFTER you get out of the pool. If you’re in the pool all day, it doesn’t hurt to jump into the shower midday to flush some of the chlorine. You can also purchase shampoos that are specifically designed to effectively remove chlorine.
If you have already sustained damage, clarify your hair once a week (some swear by baking soda and vinegar). Next, apply a deep conditioner that is rich in protein. As you patiently wait, avoid any more exposure and be sure to consume a well-balanced diet.
At New-U, our hair loss treatment and prevention program is designed to improve the quality and condition of your scalp. To schedule a free consultation contact New-U Hair Replacement Specialists today!