Chlorine can damage your hair, but that’s no reason to skip swimming this summer. With the right combination of pre- and post-swim rituals, you can significantly reduce the chance of damage.
How Chlorine Damages Your Hair
Chlorine dries your hair by removing natural oils. The result is brittle, coarse hair with a damaged cuticle that easily breaks. However, if you’re worried about chlorine-induced hair loss, there’s no evidence that you’ll lose hair from swimming in the pool. Your exposure to it would have to be high enough to irritate your skin in order to cause actual hair loss.
Who is at the biggest risk for chlorine damage hair? The more you swim without protecting your hair, the more likely it is that you’ll damage your hair. Also, if you have light-colored hair or highlights, you may also get the dreaded green tint to your hair. The green color isn’t caused by chlorine, but t opens your hair shaft enough to allow metals, such as copper, to attach to the hair shaft.
Damaged hair is also more likely to experience chlorine damage. Therefore, if you spend a lot of time in the sun without a hat or chemically process your hair, you’re at higher risk for dry, coarse hair.
Protect Your Hair from Chlorine Damage
Always rinse your hair with fresh water before jumping into the pool. Your hair acts like a sponge, so if it’s already wet, it will absorb less chlorine. Then, apply a leave-in hair serum or spray conditioner on your wet strands to add an extra layer of protection before you get in the water. If you plan on swimming most days this summer, or you want to swim laps, invest in a cute bathing cap to further protect your hair from chlorine damage.
When you get out of the pool, definitely rinse your hair promptly with clean water. If you’re worried about minerals in the water affecting your color, buy a specialty shampoo that’s made to remove these metals and wash your hair immediately after leaving the pool. There’s no need to shampoo otherwise, but you should slather on a protein-heavy conditioner to add some moisture back into your strands after you rinse.
Twice a week, make time to apply a hair mask overnight to add as much moisture as possible to your hair. This step should also reduce any breakage that may make you think you’re losing hair.
Spending time in the swimming pool is one of the best parts of summer, so don’t let hair worries stop your fun! By regularly using hair conditioner and rinsing hair before and after you swim, you’ll be able to protect your strands while enjoying the water.
If you’re suffering from thinning hair or hair loss, you may not be interested in hitting the pool this summer. At Transitions Hair Loss Centers, we know how hair loss can affect your self-confidence and self-esteem, which can keep you from enjoying activities like swimming in a social setting. If you’re ready to take your life back this summer, click here to find a Transitions member hair loss solutions provider near you.
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