Whether you are a regular swimmer or like to relax by the pool once a year, protecting hair from chlorine damage is a concern to many.
Whether you are looking for information on what happens if you leave chlorine in your hair, how to protect your hair from chlorine, or hair products for chlorine protection, we have your essential guide to chlorine and hair.
What Does Chlorine Do To Your Hair?
Chlorine affects hair by removing the natural sebum, leaving it dry and brittle. Sebum is the natural oil produced from the scalp, and is responsible for keeping our hair soft and smooth. When the hair is exposed to chlorine, the sebum is stripped away, resulting in chlorine damage. Learn more about The Importance Of Sebum and Natural Oils For Hair Health.
Signs of chlorine damage to hair are tresses which are dry, brittle, difficult to brush, or discoloured.
What Happens If Chlorine Stays In Your Hair?
How long can you leave chlorine in your hair before it becomes damaged? There is no set rule for this, however the sooner you rinse the chlorine out the better in terms of hair health. Chlorine is a chemical used in pool water to keep it free from bacteria. The level of chlorine used varies from pool to pool, however all exposure to chlorine can damage hair if it stays in the hair for a long period of time.
Hair that has been exposed to chlorine can experience a number of different side effects including dryness, breakage, tangling, and discolouration. Hair extensions in particular are prone to damage from chlorine as hair extensions are often highly processed, so exposure to chemicals such as chlorine can cause rapid deterioration in appearance and quality.
The longer the chlorine stays in your hair, the more damaging the effects can be, therefore it is very important to protect your hair from chlorine in order to prevent is becoming dry, lifeless and brittle as a result.
How To Protect Hair From Chlorine
There are a number of different ways to protect hair from chlorine, here is our step by step guide for chlorine hair protection.
Step 1: Before swimming, wash your hair in clean water. Imagine that your hair is a sponge, as hair is very absorbent much like a sponge. If you place a dry sponge into a pool, it will soak up a lot of chlorinated water, however if you soak the sponge in clean water and then place into a pool, as the sponge is already full it will not be able to take in as much chlorinated water. By doing this before swimming, you are reducing the amount of chlorine in your hair after you swim.
Step 2: After rinsing in clean water, apply a natural oil to the ends of your hair before swimming. The ends of your hair are the oldest, and therefore are the most prone to hair damage and breakage from chlorine. Coating the hair in a natural oil will further reduce the absorption of chlorine into the hair.
Step 3: Use a swim cap to protect hair from chlorine. Now this step won’t be for everyone, however if you are a regular swimmer by following steps 1 and 2, and also wearing a swimming hat, your hair will be very well protected from chlorine.
Step 4: Once you are finished in the pool, wash your hair thoroughly with a good quality shampoo and conditioner, the longer chlorine stays in the hair, the more is can strip away moisture, so washing out the chlorine is very important.
Step 5: Finally, for those who swim often, or for those wearing hair extensions which are more affected by chlorine, you will need to use a product that replaced the sebum your hair is losing when swimming in a chlorinated pool.
Step 6: It may seem to go against everything you’ve ever learnt about hair, but make sure you brush through your hair extensions to avoid tangling or matted hair.We advice using a detangling brush specifically designed for hair extensions. Learn How Do I Brush My Hair Extensions or How To Fix Matted Hair Extensions.
Hairapeutix top tip: Natural oils are an excellent chlorine protectant for hair, and although our pre-shampoo might be designed for hair extensions, as it is an all natural oil treatment is offers great chlorine hair protection to swimmers aswell!
Hair Extensions And Chlorine
For those that wear hair extensions, it is even more important that you protect your hair from the side effects of chlorine.
Hair extensions are more easily prone to damage, as they are usually highly processed, and are therefore already weaker than your natural hair.
In addition to this, hair extensions receive no natural oils such as sebum from the scalp, and as chlorine strips oil from the hair, over time they will become very dry and damaged. Other side effects for hair extensions and chlorine are discolouration and hair breakage. Find out What Causes Hair Extensions To Change Colour.
Hairapeutix Top Tip: By using a natural oil treatment regularly on your hair extensions, you will be adding back a similar oil to sebum which is needed to keep hair soft. This helps to keep your hair extensions soft, especially if you have put the hair into a chlorinated pool.
Hair Products For Chlorine Protection
When it comes to the side effects of chlorine on hair, natural products are by far the best way to restore dry, dull or brittle hair.
As chlorine strips the sebum from hair, an all natural oil treatment is the best way to make your hair silky soft and healthy again.
Our preshampoo treatment is a unique combination of oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, almond oil and amla oil, all of which have similar properties to sebum.
By using a regular oil treatment, you can help to restore the oils lost from swimming, and reduce the effects of chlorine on your hair.