If you spend as much time ‘marinating’ in chlorinated water as I do, you might want to know the answers to the following skin and hair-related questions:
Image credit: terren in Virginia, on Flikr
Skin protection for the pool
Hair protection for the pool
Can chlorine damage hair?
Does chlorine turn hair green?
Why does blonde hair turn green from Chlorine in the swimming pool?
How can I stop my hair from turning green in chlorine?
Does ketchup neutralize green hair?
How can I protect my hair from chlorinated pool water?
How to fix over-chlorinated / pool-damaged hair?
- Chlorine is an effective disinfectant used for most general bacteria bashing purposes; but you’ll most likely recognize its distinctive smell from the swimming pool.
- Some people might find that chlorine irritates or dries out their skin, making it itchy and uncomfortable. Minimizing the surface area of body in contact with pool water by investing in a legged swim suit should help.
- After contact with the water, make sure you rinse or wash off well with warm and moisturise with a sensitive-skin cream to reduce irritation
- On the plus side though, chlorine is pretty good for acne – since it dries out pimples and disinfects pores
- The worst that chlorine will do is dry out hair; making it more prone to breakage, split ends, and frizz attacks!
- It might make it smell a bit too
- Short answer, yes it can do
- Chlorine can wreak havoc on colors and perms in fact; lightening colored hair or even causing it to turn green. Those with dyed blonde hair are especially at risk.
- It’s not strictly the chlorine that does this, but more to do with the chemical balance of the pool water. For the full geeky answer: http://www.swimmingpoolcentre.com/content/why-does-blond-hair-go-green
- Always shampoo color-treated or permed hair after leaving the pool!
- Pre-swim conditioning treatments that can help keep hair healthy when swimming
- I’ve not personally tried it – because prevention is far better than this cure – but apparently the natural acids in tomato ketchup can help to remove green staining.
- Soaking your hair with non-chlorinated water prior to swimming will reduce the amount of chlorine that can be absorbed
- Pre-swim conditioning treatments and masks can help to keep hair healthy when swimming (pretty much by minimizing chlorine absorbsion whilst moisturizing your mane)
- Wearing a swimming cap/hat won’t keep your hair dry, but will reduce exposure to the water and keep the hair out of your face! (bonus)
- Always rinse off hair with warm water, or wash with shampoo after a prolonged time in the pool. Shampoos with an ingredient called sodium thiosulfate or antichlor help get rid of the chlorine smell, as well as any green color.
- Using conditioner will help to moisturise the hair and leave it feeling smoother (rather than poofy and dry!)
There are a range of chlorine-neutralizing products available, but personally, I use Boots’ ‘Sun, Swim & Gym 3 in 1 shampoo’, the matching ‘conditioner for coloured hair’, and the ‘leave-in conditioner’ – which “protect hair from irreversible environmental, salt and chlorine damage”.
- If you are able to, get rid of the split ends damaged hair with a trip to the hairdressers, to prevent it getting any worse
- Intensive conditioning treatments and hair masks are the way forward! They restore moisture and balance to your Barnett
- Let your locks dry ‘en plein air’, or at least avoid the high setting on the hair-dryer and use a wide-tooth comb instead of a brush.