Chlorine sucks the natural oils from your hair and skin, leaving them dry, rough, and damaged. Your hair needs some of its natural oil to remain smooth and healthy, and chlorine removes those protective oils. Chlorine can also cause chemical reactions in your hair, changing the natural color of your hair, weakening each hair strand, and causing split ends. The oils removed from the skin can leave your skin red and irritated depending on the sensitivity of your skin.
Does Chlorine Turn Your Hair Green?
Some people find that their hair starts to turn a greenish color in prolonged or higher levels of exposure to chlorine. The green color is not actually from the chlorine, but instead from copper that has been oxidized by chlorine. The chlorine with the oxidized copper is absorbed in your hair, which can leave your hair looking slightly green.
4 Ways to Prevent Chlorine Damage During Swimming
While you can’t completely prevent damage from chlorine, especially if you go swimming often, you can prevent some of the damage by doing one of the following before jumping in.
1. Wet your hair first
Your hair soaks up liquid fast. If you get your hair wet before you step in the pool, preferably with filtered water without chlorine, you can prevent some of the water with chlorine from being absorbed.
2. Wear a swim cap
The best way to prevent chlorine damage when swimming is to prevent your hair from getting wet in the first place. A swim cap is a great way to enjoy the pool without subjecting your hair to a lot of chlorine. You can even wet your hair before putting on the cap to create a tighter seal that prevents even more chlorinated water from being absorbed.
3. Use a leave-in conditioner before entering the pool
Applying a little conditioner before you enter the pool can help prevent some of the chlorine from being absorbed. Using a leave-in conditioner with a cap can not only help prevent chlorine from being absorbed but can also moisturize your hair while swimming!
4. Apply oil
Applying an oil like coconut oil and wearing a swim cap is a great way to prevent chlorine from damaging your hair. The oil repels water and prevents your hair from absorbing the chlorine.
How To Prevent Chlorine Damage
Damage from chlorine doesn’t have to be permanent. There are ways to reduce the damage and go back to healthy, soft hair in no time.
1. Rinse your hair immediately with filtered water (no chlorine)
To reduce the damage and get your hair on the road to recovery, rinse your hair immediately after swimming with filtered water. Don’t let the chlorine, salt, or other contaminants sit in your hair. If you’re really worried about damage, use a special shampoo formulated to remove chlorine from your hair.
2. Comb gently
Wet hair has a tendency to tangle, and brushing with a brush is more likely to damage your hair. Use a wide-toothed comb to gently detangle and smooth wet hair.