How To Protect Natural Hair From Chlorine – Dylan is a freelance writer and director of social media and digital strategy at Loverboy. She has contributed to Betches, Westchester Magazine, and more.
Sophia Emmanuel is an IAT-certified trichologist and licensed cosmetologist based in New York. She owns and operates the Crown Worthy beauty salon in New York City.
How To Protect Natural Hair From Chlorine
If you’ve ever spent considerable time in a pool, you know that chlorine can wreak havoc on your hair, from drying it out to turning it green. So, how exactly can you protect your hair from chlorine? And what exactly does chlorine do to your hair?
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We turned to trichologist Kerry Yates and hairstylist Clariss Rubenstein to find out; read on for what they had to say.
The CDC states that chlorine can be found in all different types of forms including a liquid found in things such as bleach, pesticides, swimming pools, and drinking water. Yes, you read that right: Chlorine is used in drinking water to kill harmful bacteria. It can also be found in gaseous form, which is poisonous and can be identified by its yellow-green color and sharp, acrid smell.
While chlorine does an adequate job of keeping things germ-free, Yates says it can literally “wreak havoc on our hair and skin.” So what exactly does that entail?
If your hairdresser ever told you that chlorine will turn your hair green, they weren’t kidding. “It can also cause the color to oxidize quickly and even cause a green cast in lighter-colored hair, which can be difficult to reverse,” says Rubenstein. This usually sounds especially for color treated and blonde hair.
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“Chlorine is a bleach, and as a result, it can change the hair’s natural melanin,” Yates explains. “In addition, chlorine helps push various metals and minerals found in the water into your hair shaft, creating a greenish-yellow cast. This color change is clearly evident in blondes, and people with color-treated hair are especially susceptible to color. change with repeated exposure to chlorine.”
The experts agree that chlorine can leave hair dry and dehydrated. “Chlorine can strip away the natural oils that ensure your hair stays flexible and conditioned,” says Yates. “As a result, hair will appear dry and brittle and may be more susceptible to breakage and heat styling damage.”
If you are looking for shiny supermodel hair chlorine is not your friend. “Hair loses its shine because chlorine strips the hair of its natural oils,” says Yates. “Hair will look dull and a very unhealthy look.”
“The more hydrated and moisturized your hair is, the less likely it is to oxidize in chlorine,” Rubenstein shares. “The best way to prevent this from happening is to make sure your hair doesn’t absorb the chlorine.” Yates adds: “I always suggest pre-wetting the hair before jumping in.”
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If you’re not looking to buy products, this tip takes the crown. Typically, most pools will have an indoor or outdoor shower accessible to guests, and one solid water sink before entering the pool is all you need.
If you’re looking to take the next step in protecting your hair and are ready to buy products, the experts also agree that leave-in conditioner is a great shield against chlorine.
“As an extra layer of protection, apply a leave-in conditioning spray all over the hair,” says Yates. “The liquid emulsion will form a protective layer keeping the cuticle closed, helping to eliminate the total absorption of any chlorinated water.”
Given that the experts’ main concerns about chlorine exposure to hair are discoloration and dryness, and leave-in conditioners generally combat both, they agree that if you’re going to buy one product to protect your hair, leave-in conditioners should. be that
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Yates personally recommends the Innersense Sweet Spirit Leave-In Conditioner ($26) to boost moisture. The product is infused with emollient oils, fragrant herbs, flower essences, and a touch of bee-friendly honey.
Rubenstein notes that infusing your hair with nutrients can make a “world of difference” when it comes to protecting it from chlorine.
Natural oils including jojoba and coconut oil are packed with nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. These ingredients not only help protect the hair but are also great for treating dry hair that can be caused by chlorine exposure.
Just as you need to protect and moisturize your hair pre-chlorine exposure, you need to remove the chlorine from your hair as quickly as possible post-exposure.
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“Always wash your hair thoroughly for a good five minutes after getting out of the pool, then wash with a mild shampoo and non-silicone conditioner,” Yates shares. This can help you get rid of any chlorine and keep your hair healthy, hydrated and free of the dreaded green tint.
The best way to guarantee protection against chlorine is to avoid it altogether. How do you do that? Not letting the hair come into contact with the chlorine to begin with.
Just as swimming goggles protect your eyes from chlorine, it’s wise to consider physical protection to avoid getting your hair wet altogether. (Especially if you’re aiming to do a full dive under.) Enter: Swim caps. They may not be the most glorious, they may not be the prettiest, but they are generally the best way to protect your hair from chlorine overall.
If you leave this article wondering how chlorine can simultaneously be a poisonous gas, a pool cleaner, and in our drinking water, you’re not alone. This versatile element serves purposes across the board – but blending in with hair is not one of them.
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Experts agree that overall, avoiding chlorine exposure to hair is the safest way to protect your strands. If you know you will be in a pool and your hair will be exposed to chlorine, always use protection in the form of water, leave-in conditioner and post-swim. Green, be gone.
Takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts in our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy. Summer is officially here, and it’s time to have fun in the sun. Anyone who cares about the health of their hair knows that chlorine can do serious damage. Yes, chlorine can be very harsh on the hair, which is why it’s so important to protect your hair while you’re swimming.
If you’re ready to dip your toes in the pool this summer, follow our tips to protect your natural hair before and after your swim.
If you choose to swim bareheaded, wet your hair completely before entering the pool or ocean. Running it under water prevents your hair from soaking up as much chlorine, other chemicals and salt as it would if you brushed it completely dry.
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When you wash your hair, your hair will absorb fresh water first, leaving little room for the chlorine or beach water to penetrate your hair. This also applies to your skin, so it’s always a good idea to shower before entering the pool if you want to protect both your skin and your hair while swimming.
Chlorinated water can strip the natural oil that coats and protects the shiny layer of your hair, leaving your hair strands dry and split ends. To help your hair’s natural defenses, you can apply other natural products like olive oil or coconut oil to create an extra layer of waterproof protection.
Adding a coat of oil or protectant will help minimize chlorine or salt water from penetrating while wetting your hair. Olive oil is full of antioxidants and Vitamins A and E and helps protect keratin, the protein found in hair and skin. Coconut oil, on the other hand, is rich in fatty acids that moisturize your hair and scalp, and it’s often much cheaper than olive oil for everyday use.
Chlorinated water isn’t just harmful while you’re swimming. If you don’t rinse it thoroughly, the chemicals in the pool can sit in your hair and continue to dry out and split your strands.
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Once you are out of the pool, wash your hair thoroughly with a clarifying shampoo and rinse it with clean water as much as possible. These will remove the chlorine and build-up you acquire during your swim.
However, use a small amount and try to avoid clarifying shampoos every day, as they can dry out your hair.
If you swim often, shampooing after each swim will dry out your hair. Instead, you want to focus on cleansing the scalp while retaining moisture and making sure your hair is completely washed with clean water.
After swimming, wash your hair well and clean it with a cleansing conditioner. Then use a mask and some kind of oil, so the hair is protected for the next day.
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Another option is before you swim, use a hydrating conditioner to coat your hair with an extra barrier against the chlorinated water. Then after you’re done, and you’ve shampooed your hair, work in a deep conditioning mask or leave-in conditioner to help rehydrate your hair and prevent further damage.
Oils and conditioners are great for temporary