The Truth About Chlorine and Hair Loss

Will spending the summer at your local community pool make your hair fall out? Rumors about the link between chlorine and hair loss have spread for years. But is there any truth to them?

Does Chlorine Cause Hair Loss?

In October 2000, the Journal of Dermatology published a study comparing the hair of competition swimmers with individuals who rarely spent time in the pool. The researchers found that the swimmers showed signs of hair damage but were no more likely to experience hair loss than the control group.

What Does Chlorine Do to Your Hair?

Just because chlorine does not cause hair loss doesn’t mean it is easy on your curls. The same study that debunked the rumor about hair loss showed that swimmers were more likely to experience hair discoloration. Swimming pools can also strip the natural oils from hair, leaving it dry and brittle. The greenish hue some swimmers get after continued exposure to pool water is not from the chlorine itself but the chemical reaction to the copper in the water.

Chlorinated water can also be hard on your skin. Just like with hair, the treated water strips the natural oils from your skin, leaving it feeling dry. Though the skin irritation is usually mild, prolonged exposure to heavily chlorinated pools may leave you with a rash.

Eyes are very sensitive to chlorine. So, if you spend a lot of time with your face in the water, such as swimming laps, you will probably end up with red and itchy eyes.

How Can You Protect Your Hair and Skin?

Well-fitting swim goggles are the simplest solution to protect your eyes. But what about your hair and skin?

Showering off before and after you go to the pool is a great way to protect both your skin and hair from the effects of chlorine. When you rinse before getting in the pool, your hair soaks up the fresh water. Your already saturated hair will be less likely to absorb the chlorinated water. In addition, wearing a swim cap over your wet hair will provide even more protection against chlorine damage. 

Showering with soap and water after you exit the water will wash away the chlorine, limiting its chance of drying out your skin and hair. After an afternoon at the pool, lotions and moisturizers may help if you have irritated skin.

Chemicals such as chlorine are essential for keeping your favorite swimming pool free from viruses and bacteria. With some preparation and care, you can keep your hair and skin healthy while enjoying the summer.

Chlorine may not cause hair loss, but other things do. If you’re experiencing hair loss, Custom Hair can help. To schedule a free consultation, click here.

Photo Credit: Gadini Via Pixabay

Footnotes

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11092265/

https://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/09/health/09real.html

https://www.livescience.com/62801-how-chlorine-affects-skin-hair-eyes.html