While it's no secret that swimming is one of the best full-body workouts out there, there is one small drawback to it -- the frustrating bond that forms between chlorine and your hair. Chlorine can damage it, make it brittle, and for some of the worst cases, even turn your hair green. Luckily, if you give your hair a little love before and after your bout with the water, then you won't have to worry about that icky chemical doing anything to your lustrous locks. In this guide we'll go over a few tricks and tips on how you can prevent damage to your hair, learn about chlorine and its effects and most importantly, how you can remove chlorine once you're out of the pool.
Get Wet Even before You Go in the Pool
One of the first and most simple things that you can do to your hair is making sure that you wet your hair before you go swimming. While this may seem like a small and unnecessary step, it's one of the most vital ways that you can be sure that the chlorine doesn't seep into your hair strands. Chlorine tends to soak easily into your hair when it's dry and it's the first thing that your hair has contact with. Imagine your hair being like a sponge. You want only good things to go into that sponge, so when the bad things go in, you'll be less likely to have any adverse effects. And while getting your hair wet doesn't completely prevent chlorine from getting in, it does slow down the process.
Seal Your Lid Tightly
Another important step to helping slow down the process of chlorine getting in your hair is wearing a swim cap. If you're serious about swimming, this is the best way to make sure that you aren't constantly exposing your locks to the harsh chemicals. Not only that, but it also helps you move faster in the water. For just the casual swimmer, you can still opt to not wear a swim cap, but make sure to follow the rest of the steps so you can be sure that your hair still isn't being affected by the chemicals.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Chlorine
The whole reason that pools use chlorine is to stop harmful bacteria from getting into the water, like E. Coli and other unsafe organisms from spawning in the water. While it's necessary in that regard, chlorine isn't so nice to your hair. Even after using the preventative measures of rinsing your hair and wearing a swim cap, chlorine can still make its way to your scalp. What we suggest to finally start removing that pesky chemical is to wash your hair. Washing your hair can give your hair its nutrients back and strip away the last of the chlorine attached to your hair. Using a good quality swimming shampoo can do wonders as well; these are specially formulated to get rid of the chemicals that can be left in your hair after getting out of the pool. Not to mention that it's a good idea to rinse off your suit in the shower as well.
The Natural Approach
Even if all of these methods fail or you forget to do the steps above, you can still opt for natural remedies. Using simple, household items like baking soda or apple cider vinegar can take the last of the remnants of chlorine out of your hair too. If you're wondering how to use any of these to treat your hair, simply take one part apple cider vinegar and four parts water and apply that to your hair. If you’re using the baking soda method, try one tablespoon of baking soda and one cup of water and apply this directly to your hair. If your hair feels slimy while you're washing it with the solution, then that means that it's working. Rinse out of your hair and then follow with your normal hair care routine.
Hopefully these tips will help out your hair problems should you ever worry about being in the pool too much or if you're worried about damaging your hair. Swimming is worth it in the long run, even if your hair might turn green from time to time.