A Swimmer’s Hair Care Secrets

As a water polo player, I have spent a significant portion of my life in a swimming pool. Every day before school, after school, even in the middle of the day, or even back to back practices, I spent soaking in the chlorine. While I personally love and enjoy the sport of swimming, I know that my hair and skin don’t always agree with that.

Did you know that chlorine can seriously damage your hair? If you spend summers poolside, you might want to learn a little bit more about chlorine. Chlorine can strip your hair of its natural oils, making it dry, brittle, and do some irreversible damage. Chlorine can even change your hair color! I’ve heard nightmare stories about my swimmer friends having their blonde hair turning green before prom or formal. Even if you don’t have blonde hair, if you have color treated hair your stylist would surely inform you that chlorine is dyed hair’s nightmare.

While it may be a little vain, I do worry about the way that all that chlorine affects my hair and skin. During quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I have unfortunately not been able to play water sports, or had access to a swimming pool. While my fitness is certainly lacking, I can’t help but notice how much better my skin and hair have gotten! My skin, once dry and requiring lotion at least twice or three times a day, is finally settling down and looks so much fresher and healthier than before. I notice my eyelashes grew significantly, as well as my hair, leaving me wondering just how bad all this chlorine has been to my body for all this time. One morning, about 9 months after last being in the pool, I let my hair dry naturally after the shower and couldn’t help but notice how lustrous, shiny, and beautiful it looked. I thought – are you saying that my hair could have looked like this my whole life if not for being in the pool all the time! I was utterly shocked.

Throughout the years, there have been a lot of friends that have used special shampoos and hair products to manage the damage that the pool and the UV rays can have on your hair. One of the most common products I saw in the locker room was the common chlorine removal shampoo that is sold at swim outlets and athletics stores. However, I often try to seek out either zero waste options, or at least products that are better for the environment, looking to products that contain organic or plant based ingredients; here is one of the only chlorine removal products like this that I have seen. 

I encourage you to not fight chemicals with chemicals, and look to find a more natural alternative to some mainstream chlorine removal products. If you are interested in saving your hair this summer from the chlorine, I would suggest investing in some of your preferred chlorine removal products for your skin and hair.

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