All swimmers have a love and hate relationship with chlorine. It serves its purpose well, but at what cost? Luckily, protecting your hair from chlorine isn’t as hard as you might think.
Most people brave the chemical filled waters because swimming is a wonderful way to get peaceful, low-impact exercise. There’s no pounding on your knees or straining your muscles.
Instead, you can do laps across a pool, work on your tan, and strengthen your whole body. All without lifting a single weight!
That’s my kind of exercise.
My mom loves to swim and is content doing laps and paddling back and forth for hours. It’s such a relaxing way to get an incredible workout.
My primary issue with swimming has always been chlorine. I hate the smell and the way it seems to dry out my entire body, especially my hair.
Unfortunately, I have naturally dry hair. Many people tell me it’s because I don’t take care of it properly. They even say that there is no such thing as dry hair, only damaged.
I strongly disagree because I’ve never been able to take showers on a daily basis. Giving it a break at least every other day is the only way to keep my hair from becoming unmanageably dry and frizzy.
Swimming has an extreme drying effect because chlorine strips away essentials that your hair needs to stay healthy. Therefore, if you’re going to swim regularly, protecting your hair from chlorine is vital.
Green Hair and Breakage and Split Ends -- Oh My!
Chlorine can do a number on your hair. It strips away natural oils and proteins that protect your lovely locks from damage and dryness.
To be fair, we do things in our daily routines that rob our bodies of necessities, and we rarely realize it.
When you wash your hair, you’re always washing essential oils down the drain. In fact, most shampoos contain sodium lauryl sulfate, which is the ingredient that helps create suds. That makes it much easier to soap up, but it isn’t exactly the best thing for your hair.
The same goes for pretty much anything else we use on our hair or skin. Companies pack their products so full of chemicals that it’s getting harder to determine what is actually beneficial.
Unfortunately, chlorine affects your hair on a deeper level and is impossible to avoid if you swim in pools. Chlorine removes sebum from our hair, which is a natural lubricant. Stripping it away can lead to devastating breakage in time.
After your hair is brittle and feels like an absolute mess, it might eventually take on a green tint.
It’s probably the most tragic thing that can come from avid exercise, and it’s all too familiar to poor swimmers across the nation. At least, if your hair is light enough for it to show.
Keep in mind that dark hair can also become dull and possibly take on an orange tint. It’s a bit better than green, but also probably not something you want to see.
The green color comes from chlorine interacting with copper pipes and other metals. It’s pretty darn sneaky, so you might not even notice it happening at first.
Chlorine Removal Shampoo to the Rescue
If you are already suffering from the green tint caused by chlorine infested waters, you might need a little extra help. Luckily, chlorine removal shampoo does a fantastic job of protecting your hair from chlorine and removing existing build-up.
It is a gentle cleanser that won’t damage your hair further. Plus, you can kiss that terrible chlorine smell goodbye, instead of letting it linger for days.
Keep in mind that many chlorine removal shampoos will boast that they can undo all the chlorine damage. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but they’re wrong.
In fact, stop right there and don’t believe a word they say. Well, at least that tidbit of propaganda.
Nothing can actually undo existing damage. There is no way to seal up broken cuticles and make your hair whole again. Not permanently.
If there were, everyone would be doing it, and the days of paying the price for your bad hair choices would finally be over.
However, if your hair is destroyed and falling out, this isn’t the solution. To be frank, there is no going back now. But as long as you aren’t too far gone, chlorine removal shampoo will serve you well.
For one thing, it will get rid of the existing build-up. So if you don’t have green hair yet, you can use this to prevent it from happening. If you do, this will be your knight in shining armor.
Other than that, most of these products contain nourishing ingredients that make your hair feel better. They may include aloe, vitamin E, or other oils that can replace the ones you lost. Overall, doing a fantastic job of protecting your hair from chlorine and saving it from further damage.
Alternative Tricks to Protecting Your Hair from Chlorine
There are a few other options that you can utilize while protecting your hair from chlorine damage. They might not seem as useful as a magical shampoo, but they are helpful nonetheless.
Most of us want something that we can buy. A bottle that tells you everything you want to hear. But as we mentioned earlier, it can be challenging to know who to trust. Every company wants you to buy their product and will tell you whatever you want to hear.
We have scoured the internet for other ways of protecting your hair from chlorine. In case you want a more natural solution in protecting your hair from chlorine damage.
Take advantage of a swim cap
I know, I know. Swim caps aren’t exactly the most attractive accessories on God’s green earth, but they can be beneficial.
Despite popular belief, silicone swim caps won’t keep your hair dry when you’re in the water. They aren’t meant for that purpose.
Instead, they are meant to reduce drag for serious swimmers who want to be as aerodynamic as possible. Why else do you think the male swimmers shave from head to toe? They want to slip through the water like a hot knife through butter!
Swim caps also do an excellent job of protecting your hair from chlorine. It might not solve the problem entirely, but it will reduce your exposure to the chemical. But by packing your hair down under a tight little cap, you don’t give it a chance to float around in the pool and pick up every trace of chlorine that it comes across.
If you make sure to rinse your hair, wear a swim cap, and put chlorine removal shampoo to good use, you’ll have a much easier time. Your hair will have a better chance of fighting off the green tint too!
Keep your hair fresh with fresh water
It would be nice if we could all swim in the saltwater pools that are becoming popular. A friend of mine has one, and it is fantastic. Instead of coming out smelling like chemicals, you feel like you got out of the ocean.
However, if you’re training for a serious swimming competition, saltwater pools usually aren’t an option for you. They are typically in a more relaxed setting, like your backyard.
Which, ya know, isn’t exactly in the budget for most of us.
To swim in a pool that’s big enough to do laps, you have to go somewhere like the YMCA. Since so many people come and go, the chances for bacteria growth is much worse. In turn, they seem to use so much more chlorine than anyone else I know.
If you’ve to ever been to a YMCA pool, you probably know it has the most potent chlorine smell on the planet. Although, I suppose it could be from having such a large pool in an enclosed area. That might be convenient, but it certainly isn’t pleasant.
Even though these pools are safe, you’re going to need to take extra steps in protecting your hair from chlorine.
There is one straightforward way of doing that. All you have to do is rinse your hair. It might not sound like much of a trick, but you would be surprised.
Just hop into the shower and soak your hair before you get in the pool. It will give your hair a chance to absorb fresh water, rather than immediately soaking up the chlorine and oxidized metals.
After that, you could also toss on a swim cap for added protection. It will help keep the chlorine out and the fresh water in.
Scrub away those nasty chemicals
Whether you’re using a chlorine removal shampoo or your regular shampoo, make sure you take the time to wash your hair directly after leaving the pool.
In fact, don’t just wash your hair, cleanse your whole body. Whip out the shampoo, conditioner, and body wash and scrub away.
Also, make sure to condition your hair and moisturize your whole body properly. It might not seem like a huge deal, especially if you don’t moisturize regularly. But it’s incredibly important to take care of your skin and hair daily, especially when it has been exposed to chlorine. The least you can do is moisturize thoroughly.
Alternatives to Avoid
People will try anything when protecting their hair from chlorine. Unfortunately, many ideas aren’t practical. Some terrible ideas have gotten popular because random beauty websites are always trying to come up with “natural” remedies.
They might work when protecting your hair, but they also have a horrible effect on the pool.
Now, you might be wondering, what in the world I'm talking about, what is this ridiculous solution?
Well, people have gotten in the bad habit of coating their hair in conditioner or oils before hopping into the pool. You might not even notice when they do it because their hair only looks wet.
In reality, this is an effective method of protecting your hair from chlorine, but it’s also a great way to wreck the pool. At first, it might not even be noticeable, but it can cause the water to smell. They also might track the greasy trail back to you.
It can also cause indoor pools to become downright dangerous.
As we all know, conditioners contain chemicals. Chlorine has been used as a dangerous gas in the past. In the modern day, it is mixed with other ingredients to make it a liquid for use in pools. When you combine other ingredients into the pool, you can cause a chemical reaction, known as chloramines. They can make it hard to breathe.
Nobody will understand why this is happening. They might even assume they are just tired from the workout. In reality, your little conditioner trick is putting them in danger.
So if you feel the need to put this to the test, try it in your own outdoor pool.
Leave That Green Tinge in Your Past
Protecting your hair from chlorine is a simple but crucial task. You only need to keep your hair from absorbing too much of the chemical. Rinsing your hair with fresh water before hopping into the pool and washing your hair after you get out is essential. Although it will only get you so far.
No matter what, you shouldn’t have to stop swimming because your hair is getting brittle. You need to take the necessary steps in protecting your hair from chlorine. That’s the best way to keep your beautiful blonde hair from turning a dull green. It’s also the best way to keep the cuticles from getting destroyed along the way.
Make sure that you aren’t only protecting your hair from chlorine. You also need to replace the moisture you’ve lost. Believe me; you’re going to lose a lot of moisture along the way, no matter what you do to prevent your hair from absorbing the chemicals.
Even though these tricks will help make your hair manageable, you can’t protect it entirely. Therefore, deep conditioning hair masks and protein treatments will be a huge help. They will keep your hair healthy. No matter how much time you spend in the pool.
With these trick, you’re finally going to be able to swim in peace. Say goodbye to breakage and unmanageable hair.
If you have experience protecting your hair from chlorine, we would love to know what you do in the comment section below!