Swimming is one of the best activities that relaxes and invigorates your body and mind. But exposure to the chlorinated water often may not be the healthiest for your hair. This is because the chlorinated water of the pools can damage your hair cuticles and make them prone to breakage and split ends. Keeping this in mind, we have come up with some pre and post swimming hair care tips that will help you protect your hair while.
How Can Swimming Pool Water Damage The Hair
The water in the pool has chlorine in it. Exposing your hair to it can lead to the fading of your hair color at a faster rate. It may turn your hair color to green. This happens because chlorine has a tendency to react with the keratin present in hair. It then forms water-soluble substances that get bind with your hair fiber. The overall outcome is seen as dryness, hair loss, and breakage in hair.
In addition to chlorine, the pool water has various other chemicals that take away the natural oils of the hair and leave it rough, and fizzy. So, if you have a habit of swimming daily, you need to take extra care of your hair. Frequent exposure of hair in chlorinated water enhances hair penetrability and leads to a swollen scalp. This causes intense damage to your hair.
Chlorine water can also adversely impact your color-treated hair. The hydrochloric acid (HCl acid) in pool water enters deep layers into the cortex region of hair. This causes the oxidation and disintegration of melanosome that gives the color to your hair. People who have a sensitive scalp can even experience inflammation, and itchiness on the scalp. To save from these side effects, the best thing you should do is to wear a shower cap before swimming.
Pre-Swimming Hair Care
1. Wet your hair
Before you step into the pool, experts recommend taking a shower in the non-chlorinated water. This action will protect your hair strands and prevent soaking of the hair-damaging chlorine present in pool water.
2. Oil Your Hair
When you do oiling, the oil sinks into the hair shaft and prevents the water to make its way into the cuticle. In other words, damp hair with oil absorbs less amount of chlorine that, in turn, reduces hair damage and breakage. It forms a protective shield on the wet hair that reduces the chances of drying and swelling of the cuticle. Oiling makes your hair waterproof and preserves your hair color too.
You can use olive oil, almond oil, or coconut oil to nourish as well as moisten your hair during and post swimming. It will also prevent the loss of hair keratin and maintain its texture. Dip your fingertips with some oil and gently massage it all over the scalp and hair.
3. Use A Leave-In Conditioner
Apply a thick layer of a leave-in conditioner before going out for swimming. This conditioner acts as a humectant. It safeguards your hair from any form of damage caused due to the presence of chlorine water. It works on the simple principle that your hair has a negative electrical charge. This conditioner adds a positive charge to your hair strands and lubricates the cuticles.
It mimics the natural lipid content of your hair and makes it waterproof. The salt present in the pool water dries the hair and opens up the hair cuticle. When you apply a leave-in hair spray, it closes the cuticle and prevents it from damage.
Furthermore, a leave-in conditioner also contains hair-boosting compounds that nourish your hair as well as prevent it from any damage. The conditioner forms a protective layer against chlorine and other damaging chemicals present in the pool. So, when making your beach bag, do not forget to add a spray bottle of this conditioner.
If you do not like the store-bought conditioner, then you can even prepare a homemade conditioner by mixing a part of your favorite conditioner with four parts water. Store the solution in a spray bottle. Shake it spray all over the hair, preferably on the ends.
4. Spray A SPF Enriched Hairspray
A sun protectant hair spray contains botanical ingredients that nourish your hair as well as guard it against UVB and UVA sun damage. Application of the hair spray even prevents fading of hair color.
5. Tie Your Hair
This is the first and the most essential part before you start the actual swimming. Tie your hair so that it is not exposed to the chlorinated water. If you have long hair, you can tie it into a braid form. You can even try ponytails and collect all your hair together and make a knot at the top.
You can even google to find the best hairstyles for swimming. The purpose of tying your hair is to prevent tangles in them and reduce the contact region and safeguard your hair. Your hair will stay in order. With this advance preparation, you are all set to take a dive in the swimming pool.
Hair Care While Swimming
Wear A Shower Cap
Once you have oiled and conditioned your hair, you can tie them in the perfect hairstyle depending on your hair length and cover them with a shower cap. Properly worn the cap so that it doesn’t slip during swimming.
Though you may get shower caps in various different materials, the ones made from latex and silicone gives you maximum protection against chlorine. Often people complain that when their shower caps do not fit well onto their head. If this is your case too, then you should start using a latex cap.
Such caps give you the perfect fit and don’t slip off the head. These caps are fashionable too. They come in various different colors to match the color of your outfit. People who are not comfortable with wearing a shower cap should tie their hair on the crown to reduce exposure to chlorinated water to a significant extent.
Post-Swimming Hair Care
1. Wash Your Hair
Accumulation of chlorine can lead to havoc on both color and texture of the hair. To prevent this consequence, you need to do after coming out of the pool is to rinse your hair. Do it immediately.
It will help prevent any deposition of chlorine, salt, and other types of residues that can harm your scalp and hair. The best way to remove any build-up is to use an anti-chlorine shampoo. If you are a regular swimmer, then it is advised to switch your normal shampoo with an anti-chlorine shampoo.
It will absorb the “chlorine grossness” that your hair may have after swimming. Not just chlorine, the shampoo has the ability to remove any type of chemical residue on the scalp too. The ingredient present in it provides extra nourishment to your tresses.
2. Detangle Your Tresses
Once you come out from the water, you should towel dry your hair by wrapping a clean towel on your hair for 15 minutes. Your hairs may have tangles and you need to tame them before it dries and becomes frizzy. So, take a wide-toothed brush and gently comb your hair.
It will detangle and remove any frizz from your hair without causing any pain. It will help loosen up the tension created in the hair and saves it from breakage. This process will help your hair to dry out faster. The broad teeth of your comb help reduce breakage and keep out the frizz.
3. Condition Your Hair
After you have washed and detangled your hair, you need to treat them with a deep conditioner. It provides the necessary moisture to your hair. The application of a leave-in conditioner makes your hair nourished and glossy.
It detangles and smoothens your hair. Once-a-week, you should massage your hair with a luke-warm almond oil treatment. This could be the best natural remedy to make your hair healthier, softer, and dense.
4. Get A Hair Clarifying Treatment
In addition to this hair care routine, once a month you should pamper your hair with a deeper treatment clarifying treatment. This treatment can be availed at a professional salon. The ideal frequency to get it is once or two times a year. It will offer adequate hydration to your hair and eliminate any sort of pool contaminants from it. Your hair will feel and look like new.
Things You Should Avoid In Post-Swimming Hair Care
1. Do Not Us Blow Dryers
Many people use blow dryers to dry their wet hair after swimming. This can harm your hair. Blow drying makes your hair dehydrated and damage them. When your hairs are in wet form, they are very fragile and week. Treating them with electrical equipment or rubbing them can cause breakage. The right way to dry hair is to wrap them in a dry clean towel and allow them to dry naturally under the fan.
2. Do not Wash your Hair More Than Once
Excess shampooing can rob off the natural moisture from the hair and scalp and make them hard, stiff, and breakable. To compensate for this loss, your scalp will stimulate to secrete more sebum on the scalp. This can make your hair greasy and prone to infection. The key to healthy and oil-free hair and scalp is to wash it only once a day and not more than that.
3. Do not just rinse but wash your hair after swimming
There are a few people who simply rinse their hair after they perform swimming. Rinsing can eliminate sweat, but it won’t eliminate dead skin cells, germs, excess oils, etc. from your hair. This ultimately leads to hair drought, oiliness, and breakage.
After spending time in a pool, you should wash your hair at the end. It is an essential part of the hair care routine that you should follow every time you get into the pool.
4. Wear A Shower Cap When Taking A Sunbath
You can use a shower cap, a hat, or SPF enriched hair lotion while taking a sunbath. It will protect your hair from the harmful UV rays of the sun.
Easy Remedies To Eliminate Chlorine From Your Hair
Despite protection, there are chances that your hair may get exposed to the pool water. In that case, we have a few remedies that you should try to remove chlorine from your hair completely.
1. Use Baking Soda
Baking soda has got a reputation of the potent cleaning/bleaching agents available in the market. It aids in cleaning and freeing your hair from any residue of chlorine.
Method: Mix a tbsp of baking soda in a cup of water and form a thick paste. Now apply it to the hair and scalp. Let it stay on for around half a second. Rinse off your hair in normal water. Now shampoo and condition your hair. Repeat this procedure two times a weak.
Tomato is effective in locking the natural moisture of the hair. It also helps by lowering the damage caused by chlorinated water.
Method: What you need is to take three to four tomatoes (as per your needs). Blend them to form a nice paste. Now apply this paste to the scalp and hair. Keep it for half an hour. Wash it off with the help of a mild shampoo. Repeat the process three to four times a week.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
The use of Apple cider vinegar keeps your hair radiant, soft, and healthy. It washes away any traces of chlorine, if present, in your hair.
As ACV is very strong in nature, you will need to dilute it in four cups of water. Apply it evenly on your hair starting from the root level to tips. After keeping it for three to five minutes, you can rinse your hair. Do this process once every week.
Swimming is good exercise for your mind and body. But while you do this activity, it is important to take good care of your hair. The above tips will help in solving hair care problems linked to swimming. Implement them and enjoy your time in the pool.
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