Chlorine and Hair Damage: What You Need to Know

chlorine hair damage treatmentAs a disinfectant, chlorine is commonly used in swimming pools to eliminate dirt, oils, and bacteria. Unfortunately, although the quantities used are not harmful per se, chlorinated water can dry up your scalp, exposing it to dandruff and persistent itchiness. So, if you are wondering why your skin is always red and irritated after swimming, now you know the cause.

What Chlorine Does to Your Hair

The scalp consists of an oil-producing sebaceous gland that connects to the hair follicle and protects the hair shaft from becoming brittle. Whenever you are exposed to chlorinated water, it removes the oils on the scalp, leaving it dry and damaged. More exposure makes your hair strands weak, eventually splitting the ends.

Risk Factors for Chlorine Damaged Hair

Although regular exposure to chlorinated water may lead to damaged hair, some people are more vulnerable due to their hair color, texture, and type. Your hair needs extra care if you fall under the following categories:

  • Dyed or color-treated hair
  • Chemically treated or relaxed hair
  • Dry hair
  • Fine, thin, or weak hair
  • Previously damaged hair
  • Chlorine Damaged Hair Treatment
  • Frizzy, dry, and tangled hair can be frustrating. But the good thing is that all hope is not lost.

Regardless of the damage, you can find a remedy for your hair and restore its glow and smooth texture. Here are some proven ways to treat your damaged hair.

  • Use a hair clarifier to remove chlorine residue from your hair. Other than clarifying shampoo, baking soda is also an ideal hair clarifier.
  • If your scalp is damaged, massage with coconut oil to moisturize and prevent protein loss.
  • Coconut oil penetrates deep in the hair shaft and prevents hair breakage.
  • Deep condition your hair at least twice a week to replenish the lost moisture, strengthen the hair, and reduce damage. A leave-in hair conditioner is highly recommended.

Be gentle when combing and detangling to avoid further hair breakage and loss. You will need a lot of patience in the recovery process.

How to Prevent Chlorine Damage

Rather than wait to deal with the harsh effects of chlorine on your hair, you can practice the following preventive measures before and after swimming.

  • Wet your hair with chlorine-free water before you get in the pool. It helps reduce chlorine absorption.
  • Wear a swim cap to protect your hair from chlorinated pool water.
  • Apply a layer of coconut oil to seal your hair from chlorine absorption.
  • Rinse your hair thoroughly after swimming to eliminate any traces of chlorine.


Whether you are a regular or occasional swimmer, you need to have a consistent hair care routine to protect your hair from chlorine damage. If you’re experiencing damaged hair and hair loss, contact a Transitions member hair restoration center near you for a private, one-on-one consultation to discuss your specific needs and to get your questions answered.



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