The Facts About Chlorine and Hair Damage


As summer comes around, there’s nothing like spending time in the pool to cool off and stay active. Swimming is great for your body. But is it good for your hair? The chlorine used in most swimming pools kills bacteria and leaves that special “pool” smell that most people can’t wait to shower off. It can also leave you with damaged hair that’s dryer, more brittle, and prone to breakage.

How Chlorine Causes Damaged Hair

Chlorine is used to keep pools clean and safe—something we need more than ever. However, chlorine is so good at cleaning that it also strips the oils away from your skin and hair. The natural oils on your hair keep it glossy and in good condition, and help prevent it from drying out. Without those oils, each strand becomes rough and brittle, and breakages or split ends are much more likely.

Chlorine can even react with products on your hair, including colorants or bleach-based products. It’s not uncommon for someone with a new set of highlights in fabulous blond to go swimming and suddenly discover they now have light green highlights!

Preventing Chlorine Damaged Hair

Follow these top tips for healthier hair at the pool this summer:

1. Always Shower Before You Swim

There are normally signs up around the pool advising you of this—and it’s good advice for protecting hair from chlorine damage. If you get your hair soaking wet with water from the shower, this provides some protection as the chlorinated water won’t touch your hair directly at first. Prolonged pool sessions make this tip less effective, as when you move about in the pool, the water on your hair will eventually be replaced by chlorinated water.

2. Apply Oil to Your Hair

A coating of oil, like coconut oil, will help repel water more powerfully than your own natural oils. This can help prevent damaged hair and let you enjoy your time at the pool for longer.

3. Use Leave-In Conditioner

Leave in conditioner spread from root to tip can also help protect your hair, although it will wash off if you’re constantly dunking your head underwater.

4. Use a Swim Cap

Swim caps that cover all your hair provide the strongest barrier between you and the chlorine. Plus, they make you more streamlined in the water.

5. Shower Immediately After Swimming

As soon as you get out of the pool, head straight for the showers. The faster you can get that chlorine off your hair, the less chance it will cause damage. Use a gentle shampoo and a moisturizing conditioner to both remove the chlorine and help prevent damaged hair.

If your hair is damaged or you’re experiencing hair loss contact Custom Hair Tampa Bay by clicking here.