Huge amounts of chlorine are being used in swimming pools these days to eradicate fungus and bacteria, keeping the water clean for people who are using the pool. As far as the human hair is concerned, chlorine is a type of disinfectant added to the water to prevent infections and viruses from infecting one person to another. Hair is exposed to chlorine in swimming pools more than anywhere else. The hair’s chlorine exposure to other water sources is minimal and this gives swimming pools a notorious reputation on being bad on a person’s natural hair, whether it is straight or curly.Regular exposure to chlorinated pools can cause damage, frizz and trauma to your hair. In general, disinfectants break down oil, dirt and bacteria. The scalp’s defense mechanism to protect the hair from daily wear and damage is through natural oil production. Stripping the oil from the hair by swimming regularly in a chlorinated pool can cause drying, increased porosity and severe damage when left untreated.The Green Hair Effect
Chlorine bonds to hair strands, stripping the hair of the natural oils that naturally nourish and protect the hair. This can cause frizz, split ends and hair damage. Excessive chlorine exposure also damages hair follicles and increases risk for hair breakage. The chemical is also believed to cause green hair tints after swimming. This is actually not true. The odd green tint is actually caused by the iron, copper and other minerals added to spas and swimming pools. Afro hair is just as vulnerable as blond hair when it comes to chlorine exposure.
Anyone who regularly exposes their hair to chlorine-treated water is at high risk for damage but there are hair types which are more prone to damage. Chemically treated hair (relaxed or permed), colored hair, fine hair, and natural afro hair are at greater risk for damage.Preventing Hair Chlorine Damage
- Saturate hair. Rinse hair with tap water before diving into the pool so that it absorbs less of the chlorinated water.
- Don’t forget the swim cap. Using a swim cap can save your hair in the long run. Saturate your hair with clean water and apply leave-in conditioner before fitting the cap.
- Shampoo all the way. Don’t forget to shampoo after every swimming session to remove traces of chlorine in your hair.
- Moisturize. Make sure you replace all the protein and oil that chlorine removes from your hair. Use a detangler or intense conditioner, or oil to take away frizz and dryness from your hair.
If you are experiencing severe hair damage, make sure you seek professional help for treatment. Enjoy the summer and be sure to keep your right!
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