Have you ever had a fun summer day where you’ve taken a swim in the pool, but now your hair feels coarse and coated in chlorine? Are you going on vacation and concerned that the pool is going to ruin your hair? Whatever your case may be, you are not the only one set on not giving up your time in the pool anytime soon. Here are some tips on how you can save your hair from damaging chlorine this summer. Always wise to plan ahead!
- Wet Hair Before Exposing It to Chlorine
While this might not help you if you’re reading this after taking a swim, it is one of the most known tricks for reducing the amount of chlorine that’s absorbed into your hair. By wetting your hair before going swimming, you are making it harder for chlorine to actually soak into your hair below the outer cuticle. The water makes for a barrier between your hair and the chlorine. Most public pools have a rule to shower before entering the pool, so try to make it a rule to rinse off before entering any pool, regardless of established guidelines.
- Make Sure to Wash Hair Right After
You went for a swim and now can’t stop feeling that gross coating on your strands because of the chlorine in your hair. To make sure you aren’t damaging your hair anymore by letting the chlorine sit in your hair, just take a quick shower right after. Washing your hair right after being in chlorine allows your hair to bounce back and strip the last of the chlorine that’s still attached to your hair.
- Try Applying Baking Soda or Apple Cider Vinegar to Your Hair
You probably think you just read that wrong, but you did not; this is an old home remedy that actually works. Here’s how to try this hack: to start, take one tablespoon of baking soda to one cup of water, mix, and apply directly to your hair. For the apple cider vinegar method, combine one part apple cider vinegar for every four parts water and apply directly to the hair. Then with either one of these home remedies, rinse out after applying it to your hair. If it feels slimy, that means it’s working. The final step is to shampoo as you normally would and complete your normal hair care routine. Hair should feel shiny and refreshed after this treatment!
- Apply Leave-in Conditioner Before Swimming
By applying leave-in conditioner before swimming you are making a barrier, similar to the water rinse method prior to jumping in the pool. Leave-in conditioner is a little bit thicker of a barrier than water is. This is because leave-in hair conditioner is formulated to coat and moisturize your hair. If you were to put in a leave-in conditioner and wear a swim cap you not only are keeping the chlorine out, but you are also moisturizing your hair at the same time.
- Braid Your Hair
By braiding your hair to go swimming, you are avoiding the knots and tangles that chlorine could cause. Once hair is tangled and wet, breakage can become more severe. That’s not all though; when you braid your hair, pieces of your hair are hidden which can shield a small amount of hair from soaking directly in chlorine.
- Make Sure to Not Blow Dry Your Hair After Washing
When you shower after exiting the pool, it is best to let your hair air dry. If you find that some of the chlorine has still not left after a thorough shower and treatment of your hair, you are likely to cause even more damage to your hair. Chlorinated water strips the hair of its natural oils, so blow drying could expose your hair to heat damage.
- Wear A Swim Cap
This is the most effective way to keep the chlorine out of your hair. When swimming with a swim cap, you are protecting your hair from the chlorine and limiting direct contact between your hair and the chlorine. The swim cap method is recommended for anyone who dyes their hair. Since chlorine bonds to the artificial color and draws it out, you want to do everything to prevent chlorine from coming into contact with your hair. Worse, exposure to chlorine over long periods of time can turn your artificially colored hair green.
- Make Sure You Are Using Products to Protect Your Hair
In order to avoid chlorine damaging your hair, you should be looking to make sure you are buying products that are adding moisture and nourishment to your hair. This could range from the type of shampoo you buy to anything else you put in your hair.
Don’t let chlorine put a damper on your upcoming summer, it’s just chlorine after all. You can still enjoy your summer pool time fun, just follow these tips to keep your hair as healthy as possible this summer and on vacation and you should be fine!
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This article is not intended to treat any disease or offer a substitution for professional medical advice.