The International Long Hair Club's
Pool Water Salt Water Page

    The summer, of course, brings fun and sun.  It also makes some of us hungry for a nice swim on a hot day.  What better way is there to cool off?  None, that I can think of.  Unfortunately, pool water, although soothing to your body, can be very hard on the hair.  The chlorine used to destroy bacteria can also strip moisture from your hair.  This will lead to damaged hair.

    However, it does not have to be that way.  If you are prepared for the water, then you do not have to worry about the effects of the chlorine.  First, to understand how to stop the effects of chlorine, you should know how it works against your hair.  Chlorine, like ammonia (in hair coloring) and other liquids, suffocates your hair.  Your hairís cuticle, comprised of layers of cells laid out in a "roof tile" format, opens up to compensate, in an attempt to breathe.  This allows the chlorine to get deep into the cortex of your hair.  Once it is in, it takes quite some time for it to evaporate.  The properties of chlorine are drying by nature.  So when your hair opens wide and takes this "big gulp," the chlorine really gets a chance to dry the hair from the inside out.  Like all dryness, this leads to split ends and breakage.

    How do you stop the chlorine from getting into your hair?  Well, that is easy enough.  Moisturize your hair before jumping in the pool.  You can use a conditioner, or even better, quickly apply an oil treatment on your hair before entering the pool.  Either conditioner or oil will coat the hair.  Your hair opens wide for the conditioner or oil, adding to your hair's moisture.  When the chlorine tries to get into your hair, there is no place for it to go.  Thus, the chlorine can collect only on the outside of your hair, which can be easily washed off.  If you do not have any conditioner or oil to use, then thoroughly wet your hair with some non-chlorinated water right before jumping in.  It is not a protective as the conditioner or oil, but it will provide more protection than nothing at all.

    Other things that you can do are wear a swimming cap, but this is difficult with long hair.  Braiding or coiling your hair will also add protection, even if just on a management level.  Still, at least wet your hair first.

    Of course, once you are out of the pool, you must always thoroughly wash out your hair as soon as  possible.  Thoroughly wash with warm water, even if you do not have shampoo.  Just let the water rinse out the chlorine.  This will really limit the chlorineís chances of drying out your lovely hair.

    Remember you must protect your hair before jumping in.  Once the chlorine touches your hair, it is too late.  Then thoroughly wash out your hair immediately after leaving the pool.

    Salt water acts basically like chlorinated water.  Its properties are different, but they do the same thing: remove moisture from the hair.  Protect your hair from salt water in the same way as with chlorinated water.

Long Hair Care For The Winter
Haircare Page   Hair Growth Page   Brushing Guide Page
Pool Water/Salt Water Page    Bangs & Hair Loss Page
Oil Treatment Page   Trimming Page   Measuring Page
Protecting Long Hair Page    Detangling Messy Hair Page