Protecting Your Hair From Chlorine

In Arizona, a swimming pool is almost a necessity if you are going to spend anytime outdoors. But for many, the chlorine in the water can damage or even change the color of their hair. But there are a few steps you can take to help avoid damage to your hair that chlorine.

Step 1: If possible, rinse your hair in the shower before getting in the pool. If your hair is “filled up” with tap water it won’t be able to absorb as much chlorinated pool water.

Step 2: Apply a thorough coating of a hair serum to your dripping wet hair, paying special attention to the ends. The serum will help protect your hair from friction while your swim. Choose an inexpensive serum like John Frieda Frizz-Ease Original Serum, $7.50.

Step 3: (Optional) Put on a swim cap. Many swim caps are so tight that they pull your hair out when you take them on and off. Try a Speedo Silicone Swim Cap, $7.99. If a swim cap causes you to lose hair, don’t use it. Just let your strands hang free instead.

Step 4: After you swim, rinse your hair with tap water again. It’s best to wear a hat if you plan to stay in the sun after you exit the pool.

Step 5: Always shampoo your hair after you’re done swimming for the day. It’s important to use a shampoo that gets rid of chlorine and mineral build up. If your regular shampoo contains EDTA or Phytic Acid it will provide thorough enough cleansing. If your regular shampoo doesn’t contain EDTA or Phytic Acid, buy UltraSwim Chlorine Removal Shampoo, $15.21 for a pack of 4 ($4.99 each MSRP) for pool days.

Protect yourself from recreational water illnesses

While pool staff regularly check both chlorine and pH levels to protect swimmers and their families from recreational water illnesses (RWIs) in public pools, it’s important you maintain your own pools chemical balance as well. Chlorine and pH are the first defense against germs that can make swimmers sick.

Here’s information as posted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention:

What does chlorine do?

Chlorine kills germs in pools–but it takes time to work. Therefore, it’s important to make sure chlorine levels are always at the levels recommended by the health department (usually between 1.0 – 3.0 ppm).

Why does chlorine need to be tested regularly?

All sorts of things can reduce chlorine levels in pool water. Some examples are sunlight, dirt, debris, and material from swimmers’ bodies. That’s why chlorine levels must be routinely measured. However, the time it takes for chlorine to work is also affected by the other member of the disinfection team, pH.

Why is pH important?

Two reasons. First, the germ-killing power of chlorine varies with pH level. As pH goes up, the ability of chlorine to kill germs goes down. Second, a swimmer’s body has a pH between 7.2 and 7.8, so if the pool water isn’t kept in this range then swimmers will start to feel irritation of their eyes and skin. Keeping the pH in this range will balance chlorine’s germ-killing power while minimizing skin and eye irritation.

What else can be done to promote Healthy Swimming?

The best way to kill germs is by routinely measuring and adjusting both chlorine and pH levels. Since a few germs can survive for long periods in even the best maintained pools, it is also important that swimmers become aware of Healthy Swimming behaviors (don’t swim when ill with diarrhea, don’t swallow pool water, take frequent bathroom breaks, and practice good hygiene). Combining Healthy Swimming behaviors with good chlorine and pH control will reduce the spread of RWIs.

Platinum pools strongly recommends that pool owners remain vigilant and maintain a healthy balance of chemicals to keep pools clean and sanitized all year long.