The Damaging Effects of Chlorine on Hair



chlorineSummer to most people means long hot days, cookouts and, of course, taking a dip in the pool. And as fun as that is, did you know too much pool time can actually wreak havoc on your hair? Chlorine is a chemical that is added to pools to prevent the build-up of bacteria and microorganisms in a pool. While it is extremely effective at keeping pools sanitary, it can be very damaging to both skin and hair in a number of ways. Here are some of the things to look out for and how to protect your hair against chlorine.

Chlorine Dries Your Hair Out

Chlorine causes a direct chemical reaction on hair that changes the chemical makeup. When the hair becomes wet with chlorinated water, the shafts of the hair actually absorb the chlorine and remove the natural lubricants, called sebum, of the hair. This makes the hair feel a lot dryer. If you swim frequently this can even cause the shafts of the hair to become brittle and crack, causing hair to break off and fallout.

Discoloration Caused by Chlorine

Because of this same this same chemical reaction, lighter-colored hair can even become discolored by repeated interaction with chlorinated pools. This isn’t caused by the chlorine itself but by the chlorine’s reaction with copper pipes or other metals in the pool. The hair will usually turn a light green color.

How to Protect Your Hair Against Chlorine

Wet your hair prior to entering the pool. Dry hair will absorb the chlorine more quickly, whereas wetter hair will provide an additional barrier.

Add an oil- or silicone-based product, like conditioner, serum or coconut oil to help protect your hair.

Wear a swim cap. While they aren’t necessarily the first choice for a casual day at the pool they can completely protect your hair from that damaging effects of chlorine.

Wash your hair immediately after swimming. If you get the chlorine out of your hair right away, this can prevent discoloration from extended exposure. We hope with these tips you’ll be able to prevent any damaging effects of chlorine from affecting your hair this summer. Happy swimming!

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