How to Protect Your Skin and Hair from the Effects of Chlorine

Have you been melting off the calories in your pool this summer? Swimming is a great, low-impact, and total body workout. It’s fun, relaxing, and keeps you fit and healthy. But the chlorine used to keep out harmful bacteria from the pool water can also strip your hair and skin of its natural oils. This can cause dry skin, brittle hair.

How do you keep working on your swimmer physique while also maintaining beautiful skin and hair? With a couple easy steps, you can prevent and treat the effects of chlorine on your body.

Protect Your Hair Before You Swim

Dry hair will absorb chlorine directly into the hair shaft, but wet hair will slow down its absorption.

Wet your hair and add an oil or silicone-based hair product like conditioner, serum or coconut oil. This will act as a barrier to the chlorine without leaving a residue in the water.

Consider a swim cap. Not the most fashionable, but its 99% effective! It’s still a good idea to wet your hair even when wearing a swim cap since it doesn’t keep the water out 100%. An easy trick is to use some warm water to help get your cap on, both wetting your hair and making it easier to put on.

It’s not recommended to use any barrier products to protect your skin before entering the pool. It doesn’t do much and it also can effect the pools chemistry.

Treat Your Hair and Skin After Swimming

Despite popular belief, it’s not chlorine that turns your hair green, but copper. Oxidized metals in the water attach to the proteins in the hair shaft and deposits a color. The metal that causes the green color is copper. Chlorine’s role is in causing the oxidization of the metals that naturally occur in most water.

So to prevent green hair, you need to wash out all the chlorine from your hair right after exposure. Use regular shampoo, or a swimmers shampoo that specifically removes these metals from your hair. A DIY alternative is to use apple cider vinegar. One part vinegar to 2 parts water poured over freshly shampooed hair will do the trick. Make sure to give it a final rinse.

Prevent Dry, Irritated Skin

Since Chlorine strips your skin of its natural oils (while also protecting you against harmful bacteria in your pool water) you will want to take care of your skin to prevent dryness and any rashes for those with very sensitive skin.

Right after your swim, go straight to the shower and rinse the chemicals off your skin with soap and water. If your skin is super sensitive, you can opt for swimmer specific body washes that will neutralize the chlorine.

If you’re going to use moisturizer, look for products high in antioxidants like vitamin E and vitamin C. These will help neutralize the chlorine as well.

Consider a Chlorine Alternative

Some people are more sensitive to chlorine than others. If you don’t want to deal with the effects of chlorine or are concerned about your children, consider using a mineral chlorinator.

namco-poolrxA mineral disinfectant like PoolRX Mineral, reduces chlorine by 50% and completely eliminates the need for harsh chemicals like sodium bromide, phosphate removers and clarifiers.

No algae, less chemicals, but still clear, clean and healthy pool water. A product like PoolRx Mineral also contains natural de-scalers that extend the life of the pool equipment.

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