Working out is fun when you include swimming in the mix! Everyday feels like a party and now that almost every gated community has a pool, more people are including it in their fitness routine. Swimming every day or occasionally has many benefits. It is a great form of workout, helps you relax, and is a great way to spend some good time with friends. Unfortunately, it is not very friendly to the hair.
Swimming pools are usually doused with chlorine. This is done so that the bacteria in the pool can be killed and so that the people swimming do not get infected with any diseases that could spread through water. Though the intention behind the use of chlorine is good, it causes a few negative effects on the hair and skin.
Chlorine is not only used in pools. In some places, even tap water contains chlorine which means your hair is being damaged not just when you go for the occasional dip in the pool but every time you wash the hair. While chlorine kills harmful microbes, it also attaches to your hair and skin and draws moisture out of it. This makes the hair extra dry and brittle. It also affects the colour of your hair as it affects melanin. Chlorine weakens your hair strands, increasing split ends as well.
Since chlorine negatively affects your hair, it does not mean that you avoid pools with chlorine. There are many ways to reduce or fully stop chlorine from affecting your hair.
How to protect your hair from chlorine damage?
- Wet the hair before: Before you subject your hair to chlorine water, simply wet your hair with regular non-chlorine water. Our hair is very porous so it soaks liquid fast. Making your hair wet beforehand will reduce the chlorine water as the hair would have already absorbed regular water. This way, you can lessen the damage beforehand.
- Wash the hair soon after: After you get out of the pool, don’t reach for that towel or drier. Instead, wash your hair again with regular water and shampoo. This will help remove a good amount of chlorine deposit from the hair.
- Wear a swim cap: The best way to avoid any damage caused by chlorine is to not allow water to come in contact with hair. Use a tight-fitting swim cap that covers your hair fully so that no amount of chlorinated water comes in contact with the hair or scalp.
- Leave-in conditioner: Since chlorine dries your hair, you could apply a leave-in conditioner before swimming. This leave-in conditioner adds a protective layer to the hair, thereby reducing the amount of chlorine deposit on the hair. It also helps keep the hair moisturised.
- Apply a hair oil: Our hair produces natural oil that helps in keeping it moisturised and protected. However, chlorine strips our hair of its natural oil, leaving it dry and frizzy. To avoid this, apply a hair oil like coconut oil or even an Ayurvedic hair oil like the Tru Hair Oil that will not only protect your hair from the harmful effects of chlorine on the hair but also offer many nutrients from the Ayurvedic ingredients that helps repair the damage.
- Use a clarifying shampoo: If you are looking for damage control after swimming, then the aim is to wash off whatever chlorine has been deposited on the hair. Using a clarifying shampoo helps clean the hair thoroughly. It cleanses the hair off chlorine, product deposit, scalp build-up, and more.
- Follow up with a conditioner: The main effect caused by chlorine on hair is that it highly dries the hair, making it brittle and frizzy. Hence, always wash your hair with a moisturising conditioner, especially if you have used a clarifying shampoo after swimming. Clarifying shampoos do an amazing job at cleaning the hair but they may also strip the hair off its natural oil. Hence, make sure that you don’t skip the conditioning step.
- Use apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is a star ingredient in many DIY hair products. It has many benefits for the hair-like balancing the pH, prevents fungal and bacterial growth, reduces dandruff, controls hair loss, and more. One of the most popular benefits of apple cider vinegar is its ability to clear out all the chlorine from the hair. Simply make an apple cider vinegar rinse by mixing one part of apple cider vinegar and four parts of water. Apply it on the scalp and hair with the help of a spray bottle and let it sit for a few minutes. Wash off with water and follow up with a conditioner. You could also use the Tru Hair Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Conditioner instead of the rinse to get an even more effective cleanse. The apple cider vinegar will leave your hair looking smooth, shiny, and frizz-free.
- Use a moisturising hair mask: Since chlorine dries up our hair, a moisturising DIY hair mask would be the perfect therapy. Get ingredients like aloe vera, honey, banana, mayonnaise, etc, and make a simple, hydrating, and moisturising hair mask. Leave it on for an hour or so according to the ingredients used and wash off with a mild, sulfate & paraben-free shampoo.
Since chlorine is harmful to the hair, don’t make the mistake of swimming in chlorine-free pools as chlorine is very much necessary to keep you safe from diseases and infections. Pools are a shared space so using chlorine is a great way of keeping it safe and clean.
What we say:
This being said, it is also highly important that you take care of your hair when swimming. Enjoy all your swimming sessions but make sure that you follow at least some of the above steps to a T to ensure that your hair does not get affected by chlorine. Following a combination of preventive and post-swim steps is the best way to treat the hair. If you use any products pre or post-swim, ensure that they are also safe for your hair.
Tru Hair provides a range of chemical-free products that make use of nutrient-rich Ayurvedic ingredients. The Tru Hair Oil protects the hair from damage and provides intense moisturisation. The Tru Hair range of shampoos cleanses the hair thoroughly without stripping it off its natural oils. They have natural ingredients like apple cider vinegar, onion, aloe vera, etc that help in removing impurities like product build-up and chlorine while the nutrients from natural ingredients repair the hair.
Now that you know every step to protect your hair from the woes of the pool, go on and enjoy your days, worry-free!
Dr. Tambe (Ayurvedic Practioner)
Dr. Tambe is an Ayurvedic Consultant, practicing in Satara City, Maharashtra for the last 45 years.He comes from a long line of Ayurvedic doctors. His grandfather and father were both Vaidyas, therefore he wanted to continue the family legacy.This year, his family will celebrate 100 years of Ayurvedic service.