Is there anything better than a refreshing swim in the pool on a hot summer day?
The cool water feels amazing against your skin but soaking in there a little too long takes its toll on your hair.
The chlorine in the pool protects you from bacteria but it works so well, it’s drying action can leave your hair dry, brittle and prone to breakage. If if it’s dyed, it can change its colour too.
Luckily though, you don’t have to swear off the pool to keep your locks shiny and soft. Here are 6 ways to protect your hair from the drying effects of chlorine:
How Does Chlorine Damage Hair?
Chlorine strips away sebum, your hair’s natural moisturizer. It’s sebum that protects your hair from heat and cold, keeps it soft and shiny and strengthens it.
When your hair doesn’t get enough sebum, all sorts of bad things happen:
Dry, brittle, straw-like hair
Weak hair, prone to breakage
Lack of shine
Loss of volume
Dry, itchy scalp
- If you dye your hair, chlorine has one more nasty tricky up its sleeve. It can strip away the dye and even change its colour!
How To Protect Your Hair From Chlorine Before Swimming
Just because you want to enjoy some time in the pool, it doesn’t mean your hair needs to get in touch with chlorine. Here’s how to keep it away:
1. Coat Hair With Oil
Chlorine is so drying because it strips natural oils from your hair. Add an oil booster before getting into the pool and chlorine won’t be able to strip enough to dry out your locks. That’s if it can strip it at all. Natural light oils like argan oil coat every strand of your hair, creating a protective barrier that keeps chlorine out. The icing on the cake? Argan oil is very moisturizing, too.
2. Wet Hair With Non-Chlorinated Water
If you don’t like the idea of using oil on your hair, wet it thoroughly with non-chlorinated water. Why? Wet hair is less absorbent than dry hair. Get it soaked with plain water before you dip into the pool and it’ll absorb way less chlorine-infested water. Less chlorine = less damage.
3. Wear A Swimming Cap
When all else fails, you can always turn to a good old swimming cap. It’s not as sexy but it works. Swimming caps provide a physical barrier between your locks and chlorine, keeping it clean and dry. The best part? It saves you from having to wash and style your hair again after your get out of the pool!
Just because you like swimming, it doesn’t mean your hair has to suffer. If it got in touch with chlorine, there are still many things you can do to minimize its drying effects:
1. Wash Your Hair
A given maybe, but it makes all the difference. Wash your hair immediately after you get out of the pool to remove every last trace of chlorine still hanging around. The longer it stays on your hair, the more damage it does.
2. Condition, Condition, Condition
Don’t forget to pile on your conditioner after washing. You need to replace the moisture and oils that were stripped off. The extra moisture softens your hair, protects it from breakage and gives it a lustrous shine. If your hair is already damaged, try a Pure Protein treatment once or twice a month. It beefs up the keratin in your hair, keeping it healthy and strong so it can protect your strands. For colored hair, it’s a must.
3. Avoid Blowdrying
After washing, use a wide-toothed comb to untangle your hair and pat try. Avoid blowdriers if you can - their heat can wreak further damage on your locks. If you can’t, use the lowest setting and keep the dryer at least 5-6 inches (15 cm) away from your hair to minimize damage.
Go on, enjoy your day at the pool. It won’t damage your hair anymore.