For most of us, hair damage is one of the reasons why we resent from jumping into the pool. The other reason is tanning (but, let’s leave that aside for now). Chlorine is added to pools as a chemical disinfectant to keep the harmful bacteria and slime away.
If you’re an occasional swimmer, the chlorine won’t cause a lot of damage to your hair. But, if you find yourself urging to hit the pool often, follow these tips to make sure your hair stays healthy through all those summer swims.
How does chlorine damage your hair?
Chlorine is a disinfectant—this means that it breaks down all the dirt, oil and bacteria present in the pool. When hair is exposed to chlorine, it strips your scalp and hair of its natural oils that are needed for healthy hair. Without the natural oils, your hair will tend to over dry and lose its natural luster. In extreme cases, the hair also breaks and falls. If your hair is colour-treated, it may fade faster because of the chlorine as well.
How to prevent/repair chlorine-damage
Saturate your hair
Just like a sponge, your hair can also absorb water to an extent (to its maximum capacity). If you saturate your hair with fresh, tap water before entering the pool, the chlorinated water will have lesser room to absorb. So, make sure you completely soak your hair with fresh water before the swim. .
Wear a swimming cap
Many indoor pools have swimming caps as a compulsory swim gear. Apart from keeping your hair from unnecessary shedding, the swimming caps also majorly block the contact between your hair and the chlorinated water.
Use a leave in conditioner
Once you have soaked all of your hair in fresh water, dampen it and run a leave-in conditioner through the lengths of your hair. Make sure you get rid of any knots whatsoever and apply generous amount of product. The conditioner seals the fresh water in your hair and prevents the chlorinated water from damaging it further. You can also use argan oil or coconut oil as the leave-in conditioner.
Rinse your hair
Post your swim, don’t waste any time and get into the shower immediately. Rinse all of the pool water from your hair using lukewarm water. Remember to avoid hot water as that can damage your hair further. Rinse it thoroughly from roots to tips for a good amount of time, then, move on to shampooing.
Use an intensely hydrating shampoo to repair all the dryness your hair has gone through. Shampooing also ensures that all the traces of chlorine in your hair are completely removed. We love the Dove Dryness Care Shampoo and Conditioner range that’s formulated with Pro-Moisture Complex that helps protect your hair from over drying and roughness.
Deep-condition your hair
If you’re a regular swimmer, try and deep condition your hair at least two-three times a month to restore the moisture that has been stripped off your natural hair. Deep-conditioning rejuvenates your chlorine-affected, lifeless and dry hair shafts.