What Does Chlorine Do to My Hair?

Chlorine is one of those chemicals that we’re taught to avoid like the plague. But if you ask the average person what chlorine does to hair, chances are they have no idea. If you want to know why chlorine doesn’t mesh well with hair, you’re in the right place. We’ll cover exactly that!

Change Your Hair Color

If you’ve ever gone out to the pool with blonde hair and come out with a green-tinged mess, you’ve witnessed an annoying effect of chlorine. The chemical is known to change your hair color, and usually for the worst. It reacts with your natural hair pigment and essentially bleaches it out. Even if you have artificial hair color, you could notice a color change after swimming in chlorinated water.

Dry Out Your Hair

Another thing that chlorine is known for is drying out the hair. It strips away your hair’s natural oils and leaves it super dry, even after brief exposure to the chemical. You’re at a higher risk of experiencing severe dryness if you’re a frequent swimmer or your hair is chemically treated or naturally curly.

Dry hair can very quickly turn into weak, brittle hair that’s more prone to breakage than before.

How to Avoid Chlorine

If you plan on taking a dip in a public pool, your hair will potentially be exposed to chlorine. But that’s not the only place you’ll find the chemical. Believe it or not, chlorine is used to disinfect the water supply in many public water systems. That means that you could be showering and washing your hair with chlorinated water. There are a few ways to shield your hair from chlorine and its effects, and we’ll outline them in the list below:

  • Use a water filter for your tap water. You could use a shower filter or sink filter for specified areas of the house, or you can use a whole-house water filter to treat all the water in your home.

  • Coat your hair in an oil of your choice before hopping into the pool. Doing so will shield your hair from the chlorine in the water.

  • Wear a swim cap to keep water from coming in contact with your hair.

  • Rinse your hair thoroughly with chlorine-free water before getting into the pool. The chlorine won’t be as easily absorbed if your hair has already absorbed the clean water.

How to Care for Hair After Chlorine Exposure

After chlorine exposure, the first thing you’ll want to do is wash your hair well. If you suspect that you’ve got a lot of chlorine in your hair, the best shampoo to use is a clarifying shampoo designed specifically to eliminate chlorine. Check the label to be sure.

Once your hair is clean and rid of the chlorine, the next step is to add moisture back into your hair. You’ll do that with a conditioning or deep conditioning session and a hydrating water-based leave-in conditioner like Daily Dose. It’ll give your hair some serious moisture and protect it from the external environment. It’ll also soften your tresses and give them a beautiful shine!

So, there you have it – chlorine can really do a number on your hair. But if you take the right preventive steps and care for your hair adequately after the fact, your hair will be fine. Good luck!

Author: Andrea Reyes

Andrea is a mother, wife, writer, and natural hair enthusiast of 15 years. Currently on her natural hair journey, she’s been trying countless products and techniques to understand and embrace her natural hair. She is the creator of NaturallyTextured.com, a new website featuring informative articles that share tips, tricks, and techniques aimed to help others learn to love their hair through proper hair care. She writes with the hope of making hair care easier to understand and implement.

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