If chlorine has damaged your hair, we’re here to help. Chlorine damaged hair is very dry and frizzy, especially at the ends, and often feels a little like straw. It will also tend to tangle and mat up easily. In the worst case scenario, it can turn your hair green. Yikes! Try these solutions to repair damaged hair caused by swimming in chlorine.
Clarify Your Hair
If chlorine has damaged your hair, it’s likely that it’s also building up in your hair and causing it to feel worse than it is. Try a clarifying shampoo to remove build-up. For a DIY clarifier, dilute a tablespoon of baking soda with water and run it through your hair. Another natural remedy that you might have on hand to clarify your hair is apple cider vinegar! Mix two parts apple cider vinegar with one part water and apply the mixture to your hair. Let it set for fifteen minutes and then rinse. Always remember to condition your hair well after removing chlorine from your hair to give it a hydration boost.
Check Your Scalp
The chemicals and metals in chlorinated pools will upset your hair’s natural oils. This disruption can cause some pretty severe drying to your scalp. If your scalp dries, the hair follicles lose the nourishment and oils they need to support hair follicles. If prolonged, the follicles can be damaged, causing them to shrink thereby making them unable to hold hair shafts. Left untreated, the scalp and hair will build up dead skin cells and dirt which will affect the follicles’ growth capabilities. If your scalp is severely dry and your hair is damaged try the product Nioxin to repair damage, replenish moisture, and return your scalp to its healthiest condition.
Use a Protein Treatment Regularly
Replenishing the protein in hair that’s been stripped by chlorine will help repair and rebuild the hair’s strength. Check out this article for recommendations on great protein treatments you can buy to treat and repair damaged hair.
Deep Condition Your Hair
Apart from your regular daily conditioner, you’ll need a weekly or bi-weekly deep conditioning treatment to seal in moisture and smooth the frizzy split ends. Coconut oil is great to repair damaged hair caused by chlorine. Use of a conditioner before swimming can help to protect the hair follicles and stop the copper attaching itself.
In addition to regular conditioner and a deep conditioner, try massaging the scalp with an essential oil. Massage stimulates blood flow in the scalp, this increases nutrient intake of the hair follicles. All hair follicles need an adequate supply of nutrients in order to grow. A massage will invigorate the scalp, enhance the strength of the roots, and – as a bonus – relax you in the process!
For Very Damaged Hair
Talk To Your Hairstylist
If you already have severe chlorine damage, go to a pro. Have them assess your hair’s damage and recommend products or treatments to help. Consider getting a haircut to remove the ends that are likely suffering from the most damage. Once your hair is over damaged, repair is out of the question and a haircut is your only hope for soft, shiny hair again.
Preventing Chlorine Damage To Your Hair
Saturate Hair Before Swimming
Your hair can only hold so much water, so you want it to soak up as much fresh water as possible before getting into a chlorinated pool. Make sure to take a shower before getting into the pool and soak your hair completely while in the shower. For additional protection condition your hair. Don’t wash the conditioner out! It is ok to leave the conditioner in your hair and go into the pool. Leave-in conditioner or a regular conditioner – the choice is yours! There’s also no rules, pick your favorite conditioner. Just make sure you don’t put the conditioner on dry hair. We cannot reiterate enough, let those hair shafts soak up as much fresh water as possible!
Wear a Swim Cap
Swimming caps are a great way to protect your hair from damage while swimming. While they aren’t deemed the most fashionable pool accessory, a swimming cap keeps your hair from soaking in the chlorine and tangling. We still recommend giving your hair a fresh water soak and conditioning it before putting on your swim cap for extra protection. Some swimmers find that although caps tremendously help with keeping hair protected, some pool water still manages to leak in. This could be due to poor fitting, sizing or quality, check out our article on how to choose a good swim cap. Either way, if your locks are sacred to you, take the extra precautionary steps in the case that some chlorine does manage to leak past the barrier of the cap!
Rinse Hair Thoroughly After Swimming
Many people underestimate the importance of this step – or simply forget! Forgetting once in a while is OK, but make sure to make washing your hair after swimming a habit. A thorough shampoo and rinse will remove chlorine from your hair. Since shampoo can also dry out hair, remember the importance of conditioning, deep conditioning and regular upkeep!