Summer is on the horizon and so is your invisible enemy; Chlorine infested swimming pool water. You might not have noticed the damage, but pool water has a detrimental effect on your hair, even more so if you're an athlete or if swimming is your everyday thing.
Be it in a public swimming pool or your private one, you need to take proactive steps to shield your hair and keep it lively. Here is how you can protect your hair from chlorine in just 4 easy steps.
First, understanding why chlorinated water is bad for your hair:
Your skin and hair naturally produce sebum, which comes in a thin layer that covers all your body to retain moisture.
When it enters the water, chlorine dissolves and becomes hypochlorous acid (HClO-). With its high bounding factor, it attaches itself to other molecules (you).
Chlorine is naturally attracted to your organic oils. When there is contact, the chlorine damage starts and dryness ensues: It starts pulling molecules straight out of your hair shaft by chemical bond, making it less shiny, less strong and overall hay-like, and we don't want that now do we?
It is mainly used as a bactericidal to prevent the growth of bacteria (even in tap water in very light quantities). This is why swimming pool chlorine levels are closely monitored (and also the reason you shouldn't do your own swimming pool maintenance, even if you think you're good at it).
1 - Wash your hair before you go in the swimming pool:
This might sound counterproductive, but your hair only absorbs so much of a given element, so might as well make your hair shaft gorge itself on good nutrients and clear water instead of chlorine.
We recommend using the after-sun shampoo and after-sun mask with enriched coconut oil to protect hair from chlorine in such a way that the outer layer does not absorb any of it. Apply on your hair with generosity and leave work for a couple of minutes (the more the better, like everything).
Rinse your hair with warm water and apply the oil treatment. The Coconut Oil Shimmer contains olive oil and coconut oil as well; These two help keep the hair color snappy and split ends reconciled. Did we mention you can also apply on skin? Because you can, and it's awesome.
2 - Wear a swim cap in the pool:
This is like saying that the best protection against sunburns is to not leave the house but it does hold some truth since it remains the most efficient way to protect hair from chlorine.
Wearing a swim cap avoids all contact with the chlorinated water. If you are the type of person that barely wets their feet in the swimming pool, then this might come in handy.
But for the quick-dip-small-break swimmers, this solution might not be that practical; You will be going in and out of the pools frequently, and swim caps might not be that confortable to put and take off each time.
On the bright side, swim caps help reduce drag and increase aquadynamics, so you might have some edge to win that swim race bet, who knows? We don't.
3 - Take a shower right after
When it comes to how to protect your hair from chlorine, the key is to act fast. Wash your hair. Obviously not after every dip, but once the day comes to an end and you know you will not be going in any swimming pools anymore, it's time to take a good shower and really wash those strands.
Use the right combo for the job; after-sun shampoo and after-sun mask. They rally dig into the hair shaft, vacuum and get rid from chlorine and other residues you didn't even know were part of that otherwise cristal clear water.
Olive oil and coconut oil once again team up to deliver a well deserved buffet for your hair.
4 - Avoid using a hairdryer
Chlorine damage is multiplied by heat, so after you finish swimming avoid using any hair dryers or hair irons. Instead, gently pat your hair (pat, don't rub!) with a towel to dry it faster. Plus beach waves are in, so let your hair be.
If you really have to go to that party and need your hair straight, you can use an oil based heat protector to create a barrier between the heat and the hair shaft. It also shines blindly so there's that.
That's it, you're good to go and ready for a fun day at the pool at no expense to your hair. The key is to apply these on the regular. Enjoy your summer and as always, enjoy yourself.