Lifestyle

How chlorine can affect hair

How chlorine can affect hair

For those of us who have a love/hate relationship with exercise (hate breaking out in a sweat/ love the feeling immediately afterwards – yes we’re totally a part of that group) it can feel difficult to stay motivated with our workout routine. Varying your exercise is important to not begin feeling bored and the most commonly recommended workout is swimming.

On face value, what’s not to love? We get to live out our alter-ego life as a mermaid (well, we do have the hair to prove it after all) while we’re getting fit. But with hair being a priority of ours – and yours too we assume if you’re reading this – are we aware of how chlorine can affect hair?

Taking a dip in the pool can be a great way to clear your mind and enjoy light exercise but the chlorine in the pool can damage hair by stripping the scalp of its natural oils and leave the hair feeling dry and brittle. Before you dive in, take these precautions.

Before you swim

Taking a shower before you swim may seem like an unnecessary step but wetting your hair first slows down the hair’s natural absorption rate so less chlorine will get straight into the hair shaft which causes it to become dry and brittle. Using a hair mask on top of your wet hair will further protect it as the mask acts as a barrier between your hair and the chlorine in the pool and it adds moisture to further prevent hair from drying out.

In the pool

Sure it’s not the most fashionable of accessories but a swim cap keeps virtually all of the water off of your hair and protects it from absorbing the chlorinated water. It’s still worth taking the step of wetting and applying a mask to the hair beforehand as this will ensure your hair is cared for and it’s easier to get the cap on if hair is wet.

After your swim

The most obvious hazard swimming has on your hair is the fact that chlorine can turn your hair green. Well this isn’t strictly true. It isn’t the chlorine in the pool that turns your hair green, but copper. Oxidised metals in the water attach to the proteins in the hair shaft and this gives this green tinge to the hair. To stop this from happening it’s important to completely rinse the chlorine from your hair straight after you’ve swam. A thorough cleanse with Grow Gorgeous Cleansing Conditioner will remove the chlorine from the hair with a gentle yet thorough cleanse and it offers intense nourishment to help put moisture back in the hair that it may have lost from being exposed to chlorine.

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Rachel Jones

Rachel Jones

Writer and expert

Among wedding-planning and baking (I make a mean lemon drizzle cake), my main passions are writing and good hair. On the eternal quest for long, luscious locks I’ve tried my fair share of shampoos and I’m confident I know what products make the cut.


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