How to Keep Hair Damage Free While Swimming in a Chlorine Pool

Let’s admit it; The chlorine smell reminds you of your joyous memories. Plus, you swim tension-free due to chlorine’s proclaimed potential to kill infection-causing bacteria and germs. Right? But despite its benefits, chlorinated water isn’t without its drawbacks.

If you’re finding your hair becoming brittle, wiry, or your scalp itchy most of the time, your chlorinated water dips, too, are to blame. Do you need to get the expected results from a strict hair care regimen? Apologies for saying we can blame the same thing again!

Though a swimming cap, headband, shower cap, etc., can give your hair 100% protection from chlorine effects, it’s only valid when you want to cover your hair to keep it dry when swimming. But if you prefer enjoying swimming bare-headed, we’ve crafted an easily adaptable step-by-step guide below to help you lower chlorine damage ‘to its minimum,’ stressing the idea that you can’t keep your hair 100% safe from chlorine bare-headed.

So let’s keep your hair shiny and healthy even after hours and hours of swimming workouts!

Step No. 1: Rinse Your Hair with Fresh Water Beforehand

Washing your hair before entering the water is safer and has benefits. Clean hair provides a sense of satisfaction to swimmers, particularly in competition. In addition, dust and dandruff-free hair is the key to boosting your confidence and comfort, which is especially helpful when swimming in a competitive environment.

Moreover, chlorine particles are less prone to get stuck into freshly washed hair than dusty hair. This means cleaning your hair post-swimming would become much more manageable and remove chlorine faster.

Also Read: Can I Tan in A Tanning Bed with Wet Hair?

Step No. 2: Apply Natural Oils

There are two ways natural oils keep your hair water-free. First, these oils make your hair smoother and silkier, causing water to slip down faster. Second, oils and water don’t mix. Hence water passes over your hair immediately if there’s any oil applied.

Amongst literally hundreds of oils available, the perfect ones are coconut and olive oils. Due to their higher oily consistencies, they remain on hair for longer, keeping water away from your hair for longer. Plus, both oils are hydrating and nourishing to your hair too.

Step No. 3: Use Leave-in Conditioner Before Swimming

A leave-in conditioner protects your hair from chlorine effects in many ways. First, it locks your hair’s essential nutrients and moisture by creating a protective shield out of your hair cuticles. Second, leave-in conditioners protect your hair from chlorine and seawater dehydrating impacts.

Also Read: How to Get Epoxy Out of Hair?

Step No. 4: Must Rinse Your Hair Post-swim

Washing your hair immediately after swimming decreases the chances of chlorine, pool chemicals, and seawater damaging your hair. However, leaving hair unwashed post-swim puts your hair at a higher risk of dandruff, dryness, and hair loss. 

For a perfect rinsing, use fresh, hot water and:

Step No. 5: Neutralizing/Clarifying Shampoo

A neutralizing shampoo is to neutralize harsh chemicals from your hair. Our hair and scalp naturally contain oil and acid levels, which, in scientific terms, is called the PH level. The higher the PH level, the more the chances of fungus, bacteria, and inflammation on the head. Chemicals in swimming pools and seawater likely increase that level by making our hair stuffed with extra particles.

Neutralizing shampoos restores your hair’s natural pH balance by keeping hair cuticles closed. They also prevent your hair from looking and feeling greasy while making it smooth and lustrous.

Also Read: Best Swimsuits for Big Thighs

Step No. 6: Rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar

Once done shampooing, it’s time to have another rinse, but this time using something natural. Again, we can point to apple cider vinegar which has long been used as a natural cleanser.

Apple cider vinegar has been an excellent remedy for the overall health of hair and scalp for centuries. Mix a certain amount of vinegar into boiled water, and here you go! It eliminates bacteria, dirt particles, and acne from the scalp. In addition, apple cider vinegar can naturally convert dull and brittle hair into bright and alive by maintaining your hair’s pH level.

Step No. 7: Apply Deep Conditioner to Your Hair to Restore Moisture

The only issue with apple cider vinegar is that it may rough and dry hair by sucking out natural moisture. That said, the chlorine-induced dryness, when accumulated with that caused by vinegar, needs something to sustain the water in your hair. This is where a deep conditioner should come in handy. Deep conditioners maintain hydration in hair by locking in moisture and minimizing dandruff and hair loss.

Also Read: Best Swimsuit to Hide Tummy Bulge

Important Questions

How Can I Protect My Hair from Chlorine Without a Swim Cap?

Swim caps offer complete protection to your hair as it blocks hair’s contact with water, saving it from chlorine, salt, and microbes present in the water. If you go without a swim cap, you can wear your hair in a ponytail or braid and keep your head above water to prevent it from touching the water.

Does Swimming Pool Ruin Hair?

Not really. You’re safer if your exposure to chlorinated water is short and occasional. And your hair might feel a bit dry and brittle for a day or so. However, regular visits to swimming pools can significantly impact your hair’s health. This is because chlorine and Disinfectants are added to water to Remove dirt, oil, and bacteria.

How Often Should I Wash My Hair If I Swim Every Day?

Ideally, regular swimmers should wash their hair 2-3 times a week with good-quality shampoo and conditioner. However, when ‘everyday’ swimmers are washing their hair every day, thinking doing so will eliminate chlorine/salt water effects, they’re actually ‘overwashing.’ When combined with hairstyle changes, especially tight braids, this overwashing disturbs the hair’s natural oil production process, causing issues like itchy and dry scalp, hair loss, and hair dullness.

What Removes Chlorine from Hair?

Though there are many methods/products, we recommend going as naturally as possible. You can use simple household items like baking soda or apple cider vinegar to take even the smallest particles of chlorine out of your hair. For the former method, take one part of apple cider vinegar and four parts of water and apply them to your hair. If you want to go with baking soda, mix one tablespoon of it into the water and apply the mixture to your hair. If your hair feels slimy while washing it with the solution, it’s working. Next, rinse your hair with clean, warm water and follow your regular hair care routine.

Final Thought

Being happy outside the pool means being confident, joyful, and safer while swimming in the pool. Suspecting you’ll see your hair lose its healthy gloss simply never lets you stay happy outside the pool. But sticking to the pre-, during, and post-swimming steps above can never let chlorine or any other chemical ruin your swims and hair!

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