Regular swimmers know all too well that a steady diet of pool-water makes hair look bad and feel worse. Not only does it damage hair, but it can also give you an unwanted dye job. Chlorine itself is not the culprit here “ the chemical actually causes minerals already present in water (like copper) to oxidize, hence the not-so-pretty green hue (think the Statue of Liberty). Blondes have it especially bad with the green factor, but bottled blondes have it even worse. In fact, any hair that’s been chemically treated will be more porous, and therefore, more susceptible to chlorine damage. On the bright side, there’s a lot you can do to keep your mane in shape while you swim. Throw your hair a life-saver with these tips.
The easiest way to keep your hair from completely absorbing harmful pool water is to make sure it’s already been saturated by something else. Your best option is to douse your hair in the shower before swimming, rub in a little conditioner, and throw on a bathing cap. If you can’t bear the thought of donning that cap, just wetting your hair completely under the shower will also help. Once swim-time is over, cleanse your hair with a gentle shampoo and a heavy-duty conditioner, and rinse thoroughly. And air-dry if you can “ already-weakened strands could break under the stress of the blow-dryer.
It Ain’t Easy Being Green
If you’ve already had a chlorine overdose and your hair is sporting a shade Oscar the Grouch would be proud of, there are a few things you can try to get your hair colour back to normal. First of all, there are several swimmer’s hair products on the market specifically formulated to help remove the green caused by chlorinated water. If you don’t have access to those or just want to try something at home before buying anything, you can also mix up a solution of water and crushed-up aspirin, baking soda or apple cider vinegar “ all of these home remedies are known to help clarify hair. We also hear that ketchup helps neutralize the green tint, but we prefer to keep the condiments on our hot dogs.
More of a Beach Girl?
Salt water and sun are no picnic for your mane, either. Follow some of the same rules above before you hit the beach. Pre-swim, wet your hair and comb through some conditioner. To protect your strands from the sun’s rays, look for a conditioning spray or leave-in conditioner with SPF.