July 18, 2017

Why Chlorine and Hair Don’t Get Along

The heat of summer is taking its toll on everyone. You get sweaty and tired when you spend a lot of time out under the summer sun. Occasionally you just have to cool off by jumping in the pool and swimming or just floating around. But what about your hair? It’s no secret that your summer swims aren’t great for your luscious locks that you work so hard to keep beautiful. What is it about swimming pool water that does so much damage to your hair and what can be done to keep your hair healthy?

woman with wet hair

What is Hair?

There’s a few key ingredients that make your hair…your hair

  • Keratin – The protein that makes up your actual individual strands of hair
  • Sebum – The natural oil that protects your hair. It also makes it shiny and flexible.
  • Melanin – What makes your hair the color that it is

What is Chlorine?

Chlorine is that funny smelling stuff they put in swimming pools to keep it clean and stop nasty bacteria and viruses from growing. Chlorine is an acid that keeps the pool water swimmable, but it can also react with your hair.

swimming pool with dangling feet

What Does Chlorine Do to You Hair

First off, the chlorine can remove the natural oil that protects your hair. Once this oil is stripped away by the chlorine, your hair is vulnerable to further damage from the harsh chemical. It can get into the fiber of your hair strands and begin to crystalize. As it does this, it separates the fibers of your hair which causes split ends and makes your hair feel rough and frizzy. The chlorine in pools can also cause damage to the cuticles of your hair. Your cuticles reflect light, so when they become weak or damaged it makes your hair look dull and dry. These are just a few of the ways that swimming can cause some serious problems with your hair!

How to Protect Your Hair

Don’t worry, you can still go swimming. There’s just a few things you should do to help protect your hair from the damaging chemicals. The best way to protect your hair from the chlorine of the swimming pool is to wear a swim cap. While this is the most effective way to protect your mane, it might not always be practical. If a swim cap isn’t an option, try wetting your hair in the shower before you get in the pool. Dry hair absorbs more of the pool water and the chemicals that come with it. Wet hair, on the other hand, will take in much less of the harsh water. So soak your hair with soft water before getting in the pool and your locks will thank you!

woman in swim cap

Seasonal Hair Battles

There are a lot of other summertime factors that can really cause problems with your hair. Swimming is just one example. Air conditioning, sunshine, heat, and sweat are a few more things that can cause your hair to change. Every season brings its own challenges for people who care about their hair. Making sure you know what those seasonal challenges are and having a good defense is a key ingredient to keeping your hair soft, smooth, and beautiful!

Do you enjoy learning about the science of hair and how to protect it? Check out Avalon’s cosmetology program, and contact us. We can help you start your training for a career as a beauty professional. Start your journey to a career in an industry you love!

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