- Welcome back to Part 2 of our Summer Hair Series
- Easy Cheap Home Remedies
- Other Options and Products
- How To Protect Hair From Chlorine In Pools
- What is Chlorine And How It Damages Hair
- Hair Care Tips Before Swimming in a Chlorinated Pool
- Tips After Swimming in Chlorinated Pools
- Remove Chlorine with Swimspray
- Hair Care Tips For After Swimming, So Your Lovely Locks Don’t Suffer
- How to Keep Chlorine From Wrecking Your Hair, Skin, and Swimsuit
- 6 ways to protect your hair from chlorine in swimming pools this summer, explained by an expert
- What does chlorine do to hair?
- Top tips for protecting hair from chlorine:
- How to restore your hair after swimming
- A Post-Swim Routine That Will Protect Your Hair from Chlorine
- Coconut Lavender After Swim Leave In Conditioner
- Swimmers, Shampoo, Hair & Chlorine FAQ
- The Best Chlorine Removal Shampoos for Swimmers
- What is swimmers’ hair?
- Before you swim: Protecting your hair from chlorine.
- After you swim: Get the chlorine off.
- At home: What to do in between swims?
- Swimmers’ hair care: I’ve got it, How can I fix it?
- Products to Restore Your Hair After Chlorine Damage
- Swimmers’ Hair
- Protect Your Hair Before Swimming
- There are three general categories of hair conditioners:
- Conditioner for Swimmers’ Hair
Welcome back to Part 2 of our Summer Hair Series
If you missed our 1st post from our Summer Hair Series, we talked about 10 Ways to Protect Your Hair from the Sun & Chlorine. Or if you’re looking for ways to style your hair for summer or at the pool, check out our 10+ No Fuss Hairstyles for Summer and the Pool. But if you’ve not been able to protect your hair or your daughter’s hair and it looks like your hair is starting to turn green (which is also known as “Swimmer’s Hair”) — now what??
Despite my girls having lighter hair (especially Bee) we’ve not had too many issues with green hair. However, as I mentioned in our post from last week, we bought a big above the ground pool this year, which means they’ll be swimming a lot more than normal. So I’m all about prevention – or at least being educated on what I can do if green starts to creep into their hair. So hopefully this post will help you as much as it does me.
I’ve searched all over online, and got tips from my friends who were life guards and on the swim team as well as my sister who is a stylist to compile these different ways to get rid of green hair.
The “science” behind why your hair can turn green:
First things first. I’m sure you’re aware, but our hair is like a sponge. It is very porous. Contrary to popular belief, the greening of hair from swimming pools is not caused by the chlorine in pool water or by the water reacting to your hair if you color it. Your hair turns green from the presence of hard metals (copper, iron, and manganese, in particular) in the pool water. Think old pennies and the Statue of Liberty. The metals are oxidized by the chlorine and then they stick to your hair and turning it green or making your hair color look extremely dull or ashy. That’s one reason why in our previous post one of the ways to try fight green hair is to completely soak your hair with clean water before entering the pool preventing your hair from sucking up the chlorinated water.
Easy Cheap Home Remedies
This is probably the cheapest and easiest method since most everyone has baking soda at home.
In a bowl take a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of baking soda and mix enough water to form a paste. Coat green areas with the paste and massage it around in the hair. Rinse with clean water. Shampoo and conditioner as normal once all baking soda is rinsed out. Depending on how green your hair is, you may have to repeat the process a few times.
You can also mix baking soda into your shampoo for a similar outcome, but it’s easier to just make a paste with the water and baking soda first.
Saturate your hair with lemon juice (fresh or from a bottle) for about 5 minutes. Then wash & condition as normal. In a post I did years ago, one of our readers said her stylist told her to use lemon Kool-Aid. She mixed it with water and applied it to the areas that were green in her daughter’s hair and that removed the green.
As with the lemon juice, saturate your hair with tomato juice or V8 and let it sit for several minutes. Then wash and condition as normal. If you use ketchup massage it through the effected areas and then wrap in tin foil for about 30 minutes. Then wash and condition like normal.
Crush about 8 Aspirin in a bowl and then mix with water until it dissolves. Wash your hair with the aspirin water and let it sit in your hair for about 15 minutes. Rinse hair with water and then wash and condition your hair normally.
I’m sure you’re all familiar with soaking a penny in Coke, or cleaning rust off something with Coke right? Well that’s the same reason you can use it to get rid of the copper in your hair. Saturate your hair with Coke or club soda and massage it through the green areas. Rinse with clean water and then wash and condition like normal.
Other Options and Products
As I mentioned in our post on 10 Ways to Protect Your Hair from the Sun & Chlorine using a clarifying shampoo after you’ve been swimming can be helpful, but you need to use them sparingly to prevent further damage to your hair. We also mentioned treating your hair with a leave in conditioner before entering the pool. That will also help keep the water from sucking up into your hair.
I read in this post that Trader Joe’s sells something called “Vitamin C Crystals” and if you dissolve them in water and spray them on your hair and skin it can help get rid of the chlorine smell as well as if you’ve got green in your hair. I imagine it works similar to lemon juice due to the acidity. Just be sure to always use a good conditioner afterward.
I’ve heard good things about Ion Swimmer’s Clarifying Treatment. I’ve used a lot of different products by Ion and have always been pleased with the results. I’ve also heard that Malibu Wellness Swimmers Water Action Shampoo, 9 is good for getting the green out too. And I also mentioned in that last post SwimSpray Chlorine Removal Spray – 4 oz has been said to be great for removing chemicals from your hair and is said to remove the green as well, although I have yet to try it.
Have you had to deal with green hair after swimming? What tips or tricks have you found work best? We’d love to hear what’s worked for you.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links but all opinions are 100% mine.
Click on the image below to go to our other posts from this series:
How To Protect Hair From Chlorine In Pools
Most swimmers know that chlorine can do a number on the hair if you are in the pool for too long. You can expect a lot of damage if you swim in a pool with chlorine, especially if you have colored hair. The chlorine in the water can react to a number of chemicals in your hair, causing it to change color, or if you have natural, untreated hair, causing the hair strands to dry out.
What is Chlorine And How It Damages Hair
Chlorine is a yellow gas that takes on liquid form when bonded with other molecules such as sodium and calcium. It has long been used for its antiseptic properties and was first used as an anesthetic in the mid-1800s. As a gas, chlorine was first used as weapon in war in 1915 by the Germans. Today, chlorine is used for a variety of purposes. Chlorine is dissolved in pool water to destroy bacteria and germs, keeping the water safe for swimmers before it needs to be replaced.
Chlorine contains a number of properties that make it unsafe for hair. For one, it dries out the hair shaft, causing the hair strand to become coarse, brittle, and prone to breakage.
The hair is made up of several layers. The core of the hair strand, called the cortex, is protected by an outer layer called the cuticle. The cuticle is the shiny, smooth part of the hair, and it is kept smooth and moisturized by a layer of sebum or oil that is produced by the scalp. Chlorine in the pool strips the sebum from the hair, and this causes the hair strands to dry out and crack. This leads to a loss of shine, breakage, and split ends.
Hair Care Tips Before Swimming in a Chlorinated Pool
Chlorine is a very effective drying agent, which means that swimmers who want to protect their hair from the drying effects of this substance should take protective measures to avoid chlorine damage on their hair. Fortunately, there are a number of measures that swimmers can take to make sure that chlorine-treated water does not come in contact with the hair, or even when it does, will not cause any damage.
- Use olive oil or coconut oil.
Olive oil or coconut oil are effective at coating the hair so that chlorine does not come in contact with it. These oils reinforce the sebum that is naturally produced by the scalp, so even if the hair gets wet with chlorine-treated water, the hair strand is safely coated by layers of oil. Olive oil is very nourishing and because it is natural, it does not weigh the hair down. Coconut oil is also a great alternative since it is equally as nourishing but it less expensive than olive oil. Coconut oil is great for sealing in moisture and is known to help strengthen the hair shaft.
- Wet hair with non-chlorinated water.
This tip has a very sound scientific reason behind it. Wet hair tends to be less absorbent than dry hair, so wetting your hair before you step into the pool reduces the chances of your hair absorbing the water molecules from the pool. This is a good idea for the skin as well, and is the very reason why you should take a good shower to wet your hair and skin before your swim lessons.
- Use leave-in conditioner.
A leave-in conditioner works the same way as the olive or coconut oils. It provides a safe, external coating that protects the hair strand from the chlorine. It creates a protective, hydrophobic barrier that prevents the chlorine from getting into the hair. Leave-in conditioners also smell better and can be rinsed off right after your swim. You can use leave-in conditioners that are formulated specifically for swimming in chlorine-treated pools to increase the protection you are giving to your hair.
- Wear a swimming cap.
This is perhaps the best option if you are not too fond of putting different kinds of products on your hair or if you are not fond of getting your hair wet. A swimming cap is the best option since you won’t be exposing your hair to chlorine. Swim caps are also inexpensive and reusable.
Tips After Swimming in Chlorinated Pools
You can also do a number of preventive strategies to get chlorine out after your swim. These include washing your hair right after swimming and using products formulated to remove chlorine from the hair.
Wash the hair right away with tepid water before rinsing it with cold water to seal in the cuticle. You can use clarifying shampoos to remove all traces of chemicals from hair, but this type of shampoo should not be used on a daily basis since it can be drying as well. You can also treat the hair to a nourishing treatment each week to restore its pH balance and moisture.
Remove Chlorine with Swimspray
SwimSpray is a special product designed to get chlorine out of the hair and skin. It is safe for use with shampoo and conditioner since it is fragrance-free.
SwimSpray was invented by Dr. Andrew Chadeayne, an avid swimmer who was bothered by the amount of chlorine that remained on his body after a few laps in the pool. He used his knowledge in chemistry to create a product that would neutralize the chlorine bonds using Vitamin C, which effectively removed the chlorine from hair and the skin. Most, if not all users, are amazed at how effectively this spray removes chlorine from the skin and hair. It can remove up to 100% of the chlorine film and odor, and eliminates any itching which usually occurs as a reaction of the skin to the chlorine. Hair also feels softer and lighter, with none of that heavy, coated feeling that one often gets when chlorine is not rinsed out of the hair. The great thing about this product is that it is very affordable and leaves no odor. After you step out of the shower, you do not smell like chlorine, but you do not smell like any other fragrance, either. The ingredients are also natural which means that anyone can use this product, from small children to the oldest swimmers.
Hair Care Tips For After Swimming, So Your Lovely Locks Don’t Suffer
It’s summertime and you’re ready to hit the beach, pool, or local watering hole for some cool fun. You’re well-equipped with sunscreen, but need hair care tips for after swimming so you don’t end up with a frizzed out disaster on your hands. In theory, you love the idea of glamorous poolside lounging or diving in and out of the ocean waves while flipping your hair back like Ariel from The Little Mermaid. But the truth is, you have invested a lot of money in dying your hair pink, brunette, platinum blonde, or lavender. Ruining your beautiful (expensive) locks after a pool day is not worth it.
Having your locks turn a jaundice green from chlorine overdose is not part of the summer fun you had in mind. Just as bad as the pool chemicals is the strong salty sea water. It’s amazing if you want sandy blonde hair, but be warned about the brittle ends, frizziness, and uneven color that comes along with it. If you don’t want to bleach out your hair from the salt and the sun, it’s important to employ a few tricks.
The best aftercare strategy includes a little preplanning. Unless you get thrown in the pool, you should be able to pull all of these off without a care in the world.
1. Whip your long hair into a braid
Fight tangles and ramp up style with a long braid for your water session. If you are at the beach, it will keep the chaos at bay, and in the pool will keep your hair in order. If you’re just sunbathing, use a hat or hair product with SPF, but if you’re getting in the ocean you need strategy.
2. Make sure your wet hair is protected hair
If you are swimming in a chlorinated pool, rinse off hair before you swim. Not only will you keep the pool cleaner by rinsing away your styling products, you are coating your hair with non-chlorinated water which will keep your strands from soaking up every single chemical in the pool. A fresh water protective layer will also guard your hair from soaking up too much salt if you’re skinny dipping in the sea.
3. Wear a protective layer
Since we all love coconut oil all the time, try this trick to protect color-treated or dry hair from the ocean brine. Slick a small amount of coconut oil (especially on dry ends) before wetting your hair with fresh water. The oil (jojoba oil also works well), forms a protective layer that keeps salt out. The salt water can bleach out your ends, which looks fabulous if you’re going surfer babe, but is a pain in the butt if you just committed to peacock green hair.
4. Cap out the chlorine
Sporti Floral Cap, $5, Swim Outlet
Use a darling vintage-styled swim cap and you don’t even have to wet your hair before swimming. Just tuck your locks safely up inside and play the glamour puss while avoiding hair trauma. If you’re a natural born multi-tasker, you could apply a deep conditioning treatment under your cap while you swim laps at the pool.
1. Wash away the trouble
For happy hair throughout summer, your best bet is to rinse hair with fresh water immediately after getting out of the pool or ocean. Chlorine sitting on your hair all day and baking in the sun is surefire disaster for blondes or anyone with chemical damage. Salt water, although fabulous as a texturizer, does bleach out hair, so unless you want lightened locks, it’s best to rinse ASAP or wash with a clarifying shampoo.
2. Apply a leave-in conditioner
After rinsing or shampooing, give your hair some moisture and lasting love with a leave-in conditioner. Bazar’s 7 best leave-in conditioners address every hair type. Look for one that has SPF built in so you can continue your day in the sun without further damage.
3. Use a wide tooth comb
Anti-Static Comb, $18, Evo Hair
Brushing wet hair is begging for trouble. Use a wide tooth comb and gently work your way through tangles. The wide teeth help fight frizz and strand breakage.
4. Clarify your hair
If you are in the water a lot this summer, you need to clear away all that residue build up. Whether it’s chlorine, sea salt, or bits of lake life, a weekly clarifying treatment will keep you on the up and up. For the natural route, try an apple cider vinegar rinse.
Apple Cider Vinegar, $13, Amazon
If you’re concerned about losing your color or damaging you hair this summer, these easy hair care tips for after swimming should keep you in silky shape. Now get out there and enjoy the water!
Images: Unsplash/; Instagram (2); Product Pages (2)
How to Keep Chlorine From Wrecking Your Hair, Skin, and Swimsuit
As temperatures rise, I find myself longing for a cool dip in the pool. Swimming is by far my favorite summer activity. It’s a total-body workout that’s easy on the joints, and makes me leaner, healthier, and more active.
There’s one thing I don’t love about swimming: Chlorine. If I’m not careful, it can turn my skin itchy and red, and my hair dry and brittle. Since I swim almost every day during the summer, chlorine also shreds and fades my swimsuits long before the season ends.
And on top of that, I’m currently worried about destroying my freshly colored hair. So I did some research and product-testing to find out what really works. This is what I’ve learned.
Slap on some hair product
Chlorine is used as a disinfectant to kill harmful bacteria in the water. This keeps you from getting sick from E. coli and other nasty germs, but it also strips out the natural oils that protect your hair from damage and daily wear. Since I don’t want my hair to turn into hay, I’ve learned to coat my strands with hair product before I jump into the pool. Oil and silicone-based products are best. I’ve used silicone-based hair serum, the type meant to calm frizzies and protect hair from heat-styling. Another option is coconut oil, which also delivers shine and moisture to my parched locks. Other products on the market are designed particularly for this problem. I’m currently using Phyto Plage Protective Sun Veil ($30; jet.com). It contains castor oil, and protects hair from the damaging effects of sun, salt, and chlorine.
Get wet and protect your head
Just before I jump into the swimming pool, I like to douse my hair in the shower. This helps slow down the absorption of chlorine because your hair is like a sponge, and will take on less water when it’s wet. Then, I tuck my strands into a latex or silicone swim cap. I know that it won’t block the water completely, but again, it slows down the process.
Stock up on specialty hair cleansers
Some swimmers reek of pool chemicals even after showering and moving on to other activities. This is because chlorine chemically bonds to hair and skin, so you may need more than plain soap and water to wash it out. You can buy a specialty shampoo designed to get rid of chlorine and mineral deposits like copper, which can turn your hair green. I’ve used a product called TRISWIM Shampoo ($11; amazon.com), and it makes my hair feel soft while adding volume. It smells of citrus, which also helps remove the scent of chlorine. Malibu Swimmers Water Action Wellness Shampoo ($14; amazon.com) is another option. It doubles as a body wash and is gentle enough to use every day.
Opt for all-natural remedies
It’s cost-effective to use apple cider vinegar, which acts as a natural clarifier. Just add one part vinegar to four parts water and pour it over freshly washed hair. Then, do a final rinse. You can also mix up a Citrus Lift for your parched locks. The carbonation in the club soda and the acid in the citrus juices work together to detox your hair and remove impurities like dirt, chlorine, and salt. If this sounds like too much work and you’re not the DIY type, you can get concentrated vitamin C in a bottle from SwimSpray Chlorine Removal Spray ($10; amazon.com)
. I’ve tried this product and while it hasn’t been very good for my hair, I’ve found it to be a quick and easy way to zap the stink out of my swim gear.
Pamper your skin
If you stay in the pool for too long, you’ll get dry, chalky skin, and sometimes a red, itchy rash. The culprit again, is chlorine, which strips away the surface layer of oil that usually locks the moisture into your skin. You can’t do much about it in the water, but once you exit the pool, go straight to the shower, take off your suit and flush the chemicals out of your skin with plenty of soap and water. If you have sensitive skin or the pool happens to be highly chlorinated, you might want to use a specialty TRISWIM Body Wash
($11; amazon.com) and TRISWIM Lotion
($11; amazon.com) from Triswim. They work together to neutralize chlorine, remove odors and add moisture to the skin.
Keep your eyes healthy, too
Contact lenses can absorb water like a sponge, just like your hair. This is bad news since prolonged exposure to chlorine can irritate the surface of your corneas, causing red, itchy eyes. If you’re like me and need corrective lenses to see six inches in front of your face, you’ll need to toss your contact lenses as soon as you exit the pool. I’m finding it to be cost-effective to stock up on daily contacts that I can use just for swimming, while using monthlies for everything else.
Another option is to purchase prescription swim goggles. You may not know this, but they are surprisingly affordable. Prices range from $20 to $60, depending on the brand. You can get them from Speedo or TYR, but I like Aquagoggles because they make it easy to customize the prescription for each eye.
Take care of your swimwear
Frequent swimmers know that chlorine can damage not only your skin and hair, but also your swimsuit. In time, the fabric will shred, the color will fade, and the elastic will break down. It can also turn your white suit yellow. The next time you shop for a new swimsuit, it’s a good idea to check the tag to see if it is chlorine- and fade-resistant. A high spandex content is a plus, since it will help your suit keep its shape. You can also check for a satisfaction guarantee. Lands’ End has this policy, and it covers all of its swimwear.
Here’s a final tip. Adding a few tablespoons full of vinegar to your wash will help neutralize chlorine, eliminate the smell, and even stop discoloration. If you’re willing to splurge, you can buy a specialty detergent like Summer Solutions Suit Solutions 8 fl oz
($7; amazon.com). A little goes a long way. I like to pour two small capfuls into a Ziploc Slider Storage Bag, Gallon Value Pack, 32 Count (Pack of 3)
gallon-size ziploc bag with an expandable bottom, and bring it with me to the pool. When I’m done swimming, I’ll pop my suit into the ziploc, fill it with water and swish it around a couple of times. Since it has a wide bottom, I can let the bag sit while I shower and get dressed. Then I’ll empty out the water and rinse out the suit before I take it home. It’s an extra step that I have to add to my routine, but it saves me from having to walk home with a tote full of wet swim gear that reeks of chlorine.
* Note: I received samples from Triswim and SwimSpray to review for this post
6 ways to protect your hair from chlorine in swimming pools this summer, explained by an expert
It’s a summer tale as old as time – we spend a whole heap of time and money colouring our hair especially for a summer getaway, only to have its integrity ruined after one dip in the pool.
Swimming pool water can wreak havoc on our hair (you can thank chlorine for that) often leaving it dry, brittle and definitely not Instagram-ready.
But there’s no need to forsake your poolside shots for good hair this summer. To help you out before you take the plunge, we spoke to Anabel Kingsley, trichologist at the Philip Kingsley Clinic in Mayfair, who gave us all of her top tips for preventing chlorine damage to your hair:
What does chlorine do to hair?
Chlorine from swimming pool water can leave hair dry and brittle (wangxi/Unsplash)
Unfortunately, sun, sea and chlorinated water – basically all the elements of a decent holiday – spell disaster for your hair, as Anabel explains.
“Alone, each of these elements can be damaging but when you combine them, which is often the case, hair can be left incredibly dry, brittle, dull and riddled with split ends,” she said.
“Repeatedly dunking your head in a chlorinated pool and letting it dry in the sun is perhaps one of the worst things you can do to your hair on holiday. Chlorine, like UV rays, oxidises the hair – and mixing the two together can spell double the trouble.”
Top tips for protecting hair from chlorine:
Here are some of Anabel’s other top tips for making your hair chlorine-proof:
1. Soak your hair with fresh water before getting into the pool
“As your hair will already be swelled with non-chlorinated water, chlorinated water is less likely to penetrate it and cause damage,” says Anabel.
2. Wear a latex swimming cap
Okay, so they may not be the most fashionable accessory, but if you’re serious about protecting your mane this summer, try a latex swimming cap on for size.
“However, do keep in mind that a certain amount of water will always seep underneath these,” explains Anabel.
“For added protection, wet your hair before putting your cap on. If you would rather not wear a swim cap, dampen your hair and liberally smooth a water-resistant hydrating cream over your strands. For this, I recommend the Philip Kingsley Swimcap Cream, which was originally formulated for the US Olympic Synchronized Swim Team.”
How to restore your hair after swimming
A hair mask and detangling spray can all help restore your hair after swimming (Erii Guiterrez/Unsplash)
3. Rinse and repeat
Chlorine can linger in your locks, so make sure you take extra care when washing your hair.
Anabel says: “After swimming, shampoo twice to ensure all chlorine is washed out of your hair.
“It’s also helpful if you use a slightly more moisturising post-shampoo conditioner than usual.”
4. Invest in a detangling spray
And, to battle against those post-swim tangles, Anabel recommends buying a detangling spray.
“Spray the detangling serum onto your hair and use a wide-tooth comb to gently ease through interlocked hairs,” advises Anabel.
5. Use a nourishing hair mask
“Chlorinated water can weaken the hair’s protein structure,” says Anabel. “This makes strands drier, less elastic, less manageable and easily broken.
“Using a weekly hair mask will help increase the hair’s moisture content improve lost elasticity and manageability, whilst smoothing the cuticle to restore shine.”
6. Don’t neglect your scalp
Like your hair, your scalp can become dry when it’s been exposed to swimming pool water. If you feel it getting itchy, Anabel advises soothing it with an antimicrobial toner.
“I recommend our Flaky/Itchy Scalp Tonic,” she said. “Simply apply after washing and towel dry your hair. For a more intensive treatment, treat your scalp to a calming scalp mask. I recommend our Soothing Scalp Mask, which contains cooling Aloe Vera.”
- Anabel Kingsley is a trichologist at the Philip Kingsley Trichological Clinic in Mayfair, London.
A Post-Swim Routine That Will Protect Your Hair from Chlorine
Photo courtesy of @joyjah
Summer is almost here and that means warmer temperatures, summer vacations, road trips, and summer camps. For many curly girls like my daughter, she’s a camp counselor and has to find fun things for the kids to do every day. One of the biggest and best is always swimming. Swimming is one of the best parts of summer, and while many of us only go a few times throughout the entire summer, some curlies have to be taking a dip in a chlorine bath every day. That is a load of harsh chemicals, heat, and sun for two or three months and Haleya22 is finding herself in dire need of some help.
How do I keep my hair not to dry while swimming every day? I am working at a camp and have to swim every day and wearing a shower cap is not an option. I am scared my hair is going to get so dry! Any options that I can do that will still get the chlorine out?
With as much exposure to sun, heat, and chlorine as you are getting, you will need to work harder than the average swimmer this summer. You will need to prepare your hair before the swim and care for it after to ensure you keep dryness at bay. Wet and coat your hair with a conditioner (cheap ones work just fine) or coconut oil so that you are keeping your hair from absorbing too much chlorinated water. Then you can focus on a post-swim routine that will keep your hair gorgeous and won’t take much out of your schedule.
Use a chlorine-fighting shampoo
You must wash your hair after swimming to get rid of the chlorine and mineral buildup. This may require a shampoo with sulfates, EDTA or phytic acid. Curly favorites Ouidad Water Works, EDEN BodyWorks Peppermint Tea Tree Shampoo and Kinky Curly Come Clean contain sulfates, EDTA and phytic acid respectively. Or you can find shampoos specifically designed for swimmers like UltraSwim Chlorine Removal Shampoo or Malibu Hair Treatment for Swimmers.
Put that moisture back into your strands
With all the chlorine, sun and cleansing you have to replenish your strands and give them some real love nightly. Here you want to use products that will hydrate as well as soften and deter tangles like SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Leave-in Conditioner, which is a reparative leave-in that will soften, detangle and control your frizz.
Weekly or bi-weekly hot oil treatments
Your hair will be taking a beating with all the chlorine, and one way to rejuvenate it is to take weekly or bi-weekly hot oil treatments. They will not only help your strands but also help your scalp, which will be taking a beating just as much as your hair.
Coconut Oil Hair Mask
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 1 tsp. honey
- Plastic cap
- Small microwave bowl
- Plastic squeeze bottle (optional)
Combine oil and honey in small bowl and mix gently before warming for 30-45 seconds in microwave. Apply starting at the tips of hair and work up towards scalp. Once fully coated, place hair in plastic cap for 10-15 min. Rinse out of hair and cleanse as usual.
This is just one of several hot oil treatments that will combat dryness from all the swimming you will be doing this summer. Weekly, bi-weekly or even a couple of times a week (if you find you have severe dryness) will help to keep your strands healthy and soft.
Enlist an awesome deep conditioner
Deep conditioning should be done after every shampoo to close the hair shaft. SheaMoisture Superfruit Complex 10-In-1 Renewal System Hair Masque will be a great one to use for deep conditioning, as it is an intensive antioxidant-rich product that will restore any dryness you get from your avid swimming. A pre-poo prior to your weekly or bi-monthly cleansing would help restore those strands and get them ready for cleansing is good to like Darshana Natural Indian Hair Oil.
Protect like a pro
They may wear a protective swim cap most of the time, but that doesn’t stop professional athletes taking the time to look after their hair, even when off-duty. Want to leave the pool looking like an Olympic athlete? Follow these haircare tips:
Always soak your hair with fresh tap water before entering the pool to prevent it filling up with chlorinated water.
Once your hair’s wet, apply some Moroccan oil, argan, coconut or olive oil to the palms of your hands and run through your hair. This will act as a treatment, while making the hair slightly waterproof, therefore preventing the harsh chlorinated water from causing damage while you swim.
Swimming outdoors? Use a UVA sun protection spray to protect your hair, prevent your locks from drying out and keep your colour from fading.
Always give your hair two really good shampoos. For colour-treated hair, use a colour-saving shampoo. For dry, damaged or brittle hair, try using a super-hydrating or anti-chlorine shampoo shortly after swimming and remember to rinse for some time to ensure you flush out any unwanted chlorine deposits.
Always finish with a deep conditioning hair mask and leave on for at least 10 -15 minutes. If you’re in a rush, use a hydrating conditioner and leave on for 2 -3 minutes. (Go for the best choice of products to suit your hair type)
Coconut Lavender After Swim Leave In Conditioner
One topic I get asked a lot about is hair care when it comes to swimming. Honestly, every head of hair is so different when it comes to the way it responds to chlorine! It is hard to give general advice when it comes to swim hair care, but one thing that is consistent with everyone is the importance of moisturizing after you swim! Whether you are swimming in chlorine, fresh water, or salt water, moisturizing is so important! I have tried several leave in conditioners and homemade leave in conditioners in the past and finally found a recipe that I think is ideal for swimming (or really any time!)
Leave in conditioner is great for a number of reasons. Obviously it is giving your hair more moisture, but it also is a great detangler. Having a spray leave in conditioner helps to distribute the product, without it being too heavy, too!
To make your own spray leave in conditioner (and detangler) you need…
(affiliate links included)
1/2 Tablespoon Vitamin E oil
1/2 Tablespoon Coconut Milk (boxed or canned)
5-7 drops Lavender oil
1/4 cup distilled water
Glass Spray Bottle
Pour all of the ingredients into your glass spray bottle and mix it together. I just put the lid on and shake it up! Keep it in the fridge, as the coconut milk will stay good longer that way.
After swim, ideally you would wash your hair to get the chemicals out and then you can spray this on when the hair is damp and then comb through it. If you can’t wash your hair right away, pack your leave in conditioner spray in your bag and spray your hair after you get out of the pool and brush through it. This will help keep your hair from being too damaged by leaving the chemicals sitting in your hair.
This little bottle works like magic and it smells divine! I hope that you will use this recipe so that you (or your kids) can have happier, healthier hair this swim season!
Are you done having brittle, dried out and damaged hair after swimming? Here are the best shampoos for swimmers to get chlorine out of their hair. Let’s go!
Crushing laps in the pool is a killer way to get an awesome workout. Whether competitive or recreational, getting in the water and banging out some laps is a full-body workout that slays calories, is low impact, and can be meditative.
But then you got that whole pesky chlorine in the hair thing that leaves your hairdo dried out, in tatters, and smelly.
It doesn’t have to be this way, though.
We’re going to cover some of the best shampoos for swimmers to get chlorine out of your hair.
Swimmers, Shampoo, Hair & Chlorine FAQ
But first, some general questions that we field often about chlorine, our hair, swim caps and more:
- What’s the deal with chlorine? Most swimming pools are treated with chlorine. There are three main reasons pools are treated: Chlorine keeps algae from growing, zaps unwanted bacteria and disease-causing pathogens, and also nukes foreign and unwanted contaminants. Without chlorine (or other pool-cleaning chemicals like bromine) it wouldn’t be possible to swim laps without the pool turning into a petri-dish of germs and assorted nastiness.
- What does chlorine do to my hair? Chlorine makes your hair brittle, dried out, tangled, and in some extreme cases extended chlorine exposure will cause your hair to thin and fall out. When we swim around in chlorinated water the hair absorbs the chlorine, stripping it of sebum a natural oil that is basically nature’s conditioner. Repeated exposure and sebum depletion leads our hair to crack, with split ends and general unhappiness to follow.
- Does swimming in chlorine make my hair turn green? Chlorine doesn’t directly cause your hair to turn green from repeated pool exposure, but it does help. The green color (which happens to everyone but is most visible with lighter-colored hair) is from oxidized heavy metals (mostly copper) that get into the cracks of the hair cuticle. When the hair cuticle gets damaged from lots and lots of swimming in chlorine, those heavy metals find more places to get in and hang out, discoloring the hair. Swimmer shampoos are typically designed to help with this particular problem of restoring hair color.
- Does wearing a swim cap help keep chlorine out my hair? For swimmers who have short hair, wearing a silicone or latex swim cap can seem like it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when it doesn’t keep your head and hair totally dry. But swim caps do more than just keep hair out of your face, your hair out of the pool (filters, gutters, and floating around in clumps—gross), and make ya look good (usually). They also keep your hair from getting drenched in chlorinated water for the duration of your swim!
- I heard putting shampoo or oil in my hair before I swim will help—true? Chlorine in itself hasn’t been shown to be that dangerous when it comes to pool treatment—it’s the derivatives of it that occur when foreign substances enter the pool and interact with it (namely, chloramines). So yes, applying shampoo (or conditioner or oil) before you swim will leave your hair slightly more protected, but you will also be spilling a stinky-butt oil slick into the pool that makes it harder for everyone else to breathe. So yeah. Please don’t be that swimmer. You can get some of the effects of using product in your hair by simply showering before getting into the water—not only are you rinsing off sweat, deodorants, etc, but your hair takes on less pool water and chlorine when it’s already wet.
The Best Chlorine Removal Shampoos for Swimmers
Alright, let’s get after it and list out our best picks for top swimmer shampoos!
1. UltraSwim Shampoo & Conditioner for Swimmers.
This shampoo has been around for as long as I can literally remember—one of my first memories of age group swimming was watching the older swimmers on my team using this shampoo.
It’s at the top of my list because it’s been my old reliable for years and years. The shampoo removes the chlorine that is knuckled up to your hair, while the conditioner helps replenish the natural oils in your hair so that your hair feels soft and human again. It’s also fairly cheap and the bottles come in small enough sizes that they can be easily stashed in your swim bag.
2. Paul Mitchell Shampoo Three.
This is more of a “designer” brand of shampoo, but equally as effective as the UltraSwim. The shampoo was actually recommended to me by a stylist friend who recommends clients who use a lot of product in their hair (hairspray, etc) to use this particular shampoo to flush chemicals from hair strands. It works just as effectively with chlorine, bromine, or whatever else your local pool is treated with.
For best results, (and this goes for all the shampoos in this list), leave the product in your hair for a couple of minutes to let it do its thang. I know that we are typically in a rush after practice to get on with our day and get some food in ourselves, but swimmer shampoos are most effective when we allow them a chance to work.
3. Malibu C Swimmer’s Shampoo
Top marks for smell, but down-voted for the conditioner not being so awesome. The shampoo works as advertised, removing chlorine from the hair and restoring the lusciousness of what remains of the hair on my head.
Found that I had to use more of this stuff to make it truly effective, for whatever that is worth.
4. Solpri Swimmer’s Shampoo and Chlorine
The main ingredient in Solpri Swimmer’s Shampoo is Vitamin C. Not because you might have a cold coming on, or because it’s made of oranges, but because vitamin C works at ticking and breaking down chlorine from your hair (and skin). The shampoo and conditioner are a part of a 3-stage chlorine removal and revitalization program that includes a vitamin C-based swim lotion (aka moisturizer).
I like that it’s mostly natural ingredients in this set of products, and who doesn’t need themselves some more vitamin C in their lives?
5. TRISWIM Chlorine Removal Shampoo
This product is part of a chlorine-removal series that includes shampoo, chlorine, and a body wash that all tickle and rinse chlorine, bromine, salt water, or whatever else your local swim pool is treated with.
The best swimmers’ hair care is prevention. But because many people who find this article missed the prevention step, we will also cover how to care for swimmers’ hair if you already have it.
For those of you who are in a panic and want to know immediately how to fix swimmers’ hair then jump to the bottom of this post. Swimmers’ hair care: I’ve got it, how can I fix it?
In this article we will cover:
- What is swimmers’ hair?
- Before you swim: Protect your hair from chlorine.
- After you swim: Get the chlorine off.
- At home: What to do in between swims?
- Swimmers’ hair care: I’ve got it, how can I fix it?
What is swimmers’ hair?
Swimmers’ hair is badly damaged hair caused by swimming in chlorinated pools. It becomes dry, brittle and sometimes is accompanied by a light green tint. Swimmers do many other things to complicate the problem, but the main cause of swimmers’ hair is exposure to chlorinated pools.
The outer layer of the hair shaft is called the cuticle. Under normal conditions, hair is slightly acidic, and the scales of the cuticle lie flat. When the cuticle scales lie flat they protect the inner layers of the hair shaft and keep the moisture in. As a result, the hair is strong and looks shiny and healthy. Here is a good article talking about the anatomy of healthy hair.
But swimmers are constantly exposed to pool water which is kept slightly alkaline. As swimmers’ hair is exposed to pool water, the cuticle scales lift and the inner layers of the hair shaft are exposed. The pool chemicals, and especially chloride atoms, attach themselves to the swimmer. Because the cuticle scales have lifted, swimmers’ hair is particularly vulnerable to pool chemicals.
Contrary to common belief, swimmers’ hair doesn’t turn green because the pool is dying their hair. Swimmers’ hair turns green because some pools have lots of copper and metals in the water. Chloride atoms oxidize the copper, and then attach to swimmer’s hair. Over time, and if enough copper collects, the swimmers’ hair will have a green tint. Think old copper roofs, or old copper pennies that have turned green.
Before you swim: Protecting your hair from chlorine.
Hair absorbs water like a sponge. One of the best things you can do before swimming is to wet your hair in the shower. Let your hair absorb as much tap water as possible. You can then treat your hair with a little natural oil or a hair conditioner. This will create a thin barrier and help keep the pool water out.
Wear a swim cap. There is nothing that will keep all of the pool water off your hair, but a swim cap is about the best barrier available. A swim cap will reduce drag and make you more streamlined as well.
Here are our best pre-swimming tips:
- Wet your hair in the shower before you swim.
- Apply a little natural oil, or conditioner.
- Wear a swim cap.
After you swim: Get the chlorine off.
Chlorine does a fantastic job of disinfecting everything in the pool–including the swimmers. When you get out of the pool, I guarantee you are about as clean as you will ever be. After a swim (in a bunch of pool chemicals) you don’t really need more harsh chemicals. First and foremost, swimmers need products that will remove the pool chemicals, and most importantly, the chlorine.
Select products like these that remove chlorine:
Here are our best post-swimming tips:
- Use all shampoos sparingly (even anti-chlorine shampoos).
- Use Goodbye Chlorine conditioner on your hair in the shower.
- Apply swimmer-specific styling products for your hair.
At home: What to do in between swims?
The showers you take in between swims matter. For competitive swimmers the number of home showers will be fewer, and recreational swimmers will take more. The battle of chlorine continues at home. Harsh soaps and shampoos should be avoided at all costs. Clarifying shampoos, for instance, will make swimmers’ hair worse.
Swimmers should use products that release and gently remove chlorine, balance the pH of their hair and skin and moisturize.
Goodbye Chlorine’s soaps are good to use at home. They are extremely emollient. They also have tons of vitamin C which is great at releasing chlorine.
Swimmers’ hair care routine should exclude shampoos and include specialized conditioners and styling products. The key to maintaining healthy hair is to continue gently removing chlorine while adding back moisture.
Swimmers’ hair care: I’ve got it, How can I fix it?
So you have a bad case of swimmer’s hair and you want to know how to fix it? Jump here and buy our conditioner. Then come back and read the rest of this article.
This is no ordinary conditioner, it is specialized for swimmer to help prevent hair from becoming damaged from swimming pool water.
Our conditioner will repair damaged hair that is dry and brittle–otherwise called “swimmer’s hair“, “pool hair”, or “chlorine hair”. Stop using shampoo or other soaps that strip away moisture. Using these types of products will only make matters worse because the chlorine attached to your hair has a very strong bond that normal soaps won’t remove. Products that are designed to release the chlorine can do it without harsh soaps, and that’s a big benefit for people with damaged hair. Harsh soaps will only make matters worse.
There are many D.I.Y. home remedies and some of them probably work–especially those products that contain vitamin C. Vitamin C is very effective at neutralizing chlorine, so things like ketchup and lemons are likely to help. Our products work much better, however. Consider our soap which has 1,000’s x more vitamin C than a bottle of ketchup for example.
Think of our hair conditioner as a conditioner-cleaner. It releases chlorine, moisturizes, balances pH and gently removes impurities.
If you already have a bad case of swimmer’s hair, then wet your hair, apply generous amounts of conditioner, wrap your hair in a towel and let sit for 10-20 minutes. Rinse out and repeat if necessary. If your hair is severely wrecked then you may have to repeat a few times. After this initial treatment, then continue using the conditioner as recommended before and after swimming. Keep drying chemicals and harsh soaps away from your hair.
Products to Restore Your Hair After Chlorine Damage
A dip in the pool can be refreshing on a hot summer day, but chlorine exposure can cause damage to hair. Short, occasional exposure will dry out your hair for a day or so. But, if you’re a regular swimmer, your hair can undergo significant damage. Color treated, chemically treated, dry, or thin hair is most at risk for damage. You can limit damage by:
+ Saturating your hair with water before you enter the pool to keep it from absorbing more chlorine.
+ Using a swim cap to keep your hair dry.
+ Shampooing immediately after chlorine exposure.
While preventing damage is important, restoring moisture and protein balance to damaged hair will really bring your mane back to life. Luckily, there are many products and tricks that can help keep your hair healthy. Here are some favorites from Influensters like you:
Kerastase Soleil Huile Céleste Protective Spray For Sun-Exposed Hair
The Scoop: This light weight, protective oil protects all hair types from UVA and UVB sun damage, chlorine, and salt water. Hydrating macadamia oil coats the porous surface of hair to keep damaging chlorine from drying out each strand.
What Influensters Have to Say: “Great for the beach, pool anywhere that you’ll be in the sun. Just slick and go and know it’s protected. Greasy but good for preserving hair. When you come home and shampoo it’s well conditioned. ” – Mary Lee P.
UltraSwim Ultra Repair Conditioner
Price: $3.99 at Target
The Scoop: Shampoo and conditioner are vital to the treatment of chlorine-damaged hair. Hair should be shampooed and rinsed thoroughly immediately after leaving the pool. And, conditioning helps to restore lost moisture. UltraSwim is formulated to repair damage caused by chlorine to the vulnerable outer protein of hair. It can take you from dry strands to lush locks.
What Influensters Have to Say: “Hair in our house gets crispy in the summer with all the swimming we do. Pools, beaches, water parks, wind, sun, etc. It’s all damaging. This (used with the shampoo) brings moisture back to our hair and gets us ready for another day of fun in the sun. Seriously, we went from having three heads of crunchy damaged hair, to soft & manageable manes.” – Kelly R.
L’Oréal Kids Extra Gentle 2-in-1 Swim & Sport Shampoo Splash of Sunny Orange
Price: $2.64 at Walmart
The Scoop: Little heads are prone to chlorine damage, too. L’oréal Kids’ Swim and Sport is formulated to get chlorine out of hair. Your little one’s head will no longer smell like chlorine and his or her hair will be cleansed of the damaging pool chemical. The bright orange scent and “no tear” formula mean your kids will enjoy their bathtime.
What Influensters Have to Say: “Great for kids and even teens for in the summer to take to the pool to help get out the chlorine and it really works and inexpensive way to keep kids hair healthy and clean. I use this product every summer.” -Shaylene M.
Fairy Tales Energizing Leave-In Conditioner
The Scoop: This mild, tear-free shampoo was created to deeply clean and restore PH balance to hair after swimming. The natural formula uses passion flower, cherry bark, rosemary, soy, and wheat proteins to restore balance to hair. Leave-in conditioner is an important step in repairing damaged hair!
What Influensters Have to Say: “I bought this for my daughter when she was 4 years old because I wanted something safe to use on her Hair. It is a good product and I recommend it to everyone that has a little girl with long Hair. It helped her get rid of dryness” – Jessica S.
Suave Professionals Damage Care Conditioner
Price: $9.40 at Amazon
The Scoop: This conditioner has been fortified with proteins and amino acidts to repair shine and strength to hair damaged by the elements. Additionally a nourishing keratin and antioxident complex work to reduce hair breakage and restore your hair to a healthier state.
What Influensters Have to Say: “I grew up a swimmer and we were always looking for the best shampoo/conditioner combo to keep the chlorine out of our hair. Suave does a decent job balancing price and quality, I thought suave did a real good job.” -Tim B.
How do you keep your hair healthy after a dip in the pool? Let us know your tips and favorite products in the comments.
Goodbye Chlorine manufactures conditioner and other products for swimmers’ hair and skin. Click here to see our entire product line, or our buyer’s guide.
Listen to the audio version of this article.
Has your hair become brittle, crunchy and dry from swimming? This damage caused by chlorine is known as “swimmer’s hair” or “chlorine hair”. Let’s investigate the best conditioner for swimmer’s hair.
Exposure to chlorine damages hair. It’s a condition that’s commonly called: “Swimmer’s hair”. In extreme cases, swimmer’s hair will even have a green tint.
When you hair is healthy it is shiny, smooth and slightly acidic. Your hair feels smooth because the outermost layer of your hair shaft (the cuticle) lies flat. The cuticle interlock around the hair shaft and seal in moisture.
But after swimming, your hair cuticle rise and feel rough. Once your hair cuticle rise, the chlorine can remove the oils around your hair shaft. To make matters worse, the chlorine forms a tight bond to your hair and is very difficult to remove.
To solve the problem, avoid harsh chemicals. Instead, find products that are gentle and made for swimmers.
Protect Your Hair Before Swimming
One of the best strategies is to protect your hair before swimming. Here is a great article:
5 Pro Tips to Protect Your Hair Before Swimming
There are three general categories of hair conditioners:
- Rinse-out Conditioners – “standard” conditioner. Applied in the shower and rinsed out after 3 minutes. This type of conditioner you can use daily.
- Leave-in Conditioners – Leave-in conditioners are great detanglers. They are useful for people with hard-to-comb hair. They also protect your hair against heat and styling products.
- Deep Conditioners – Deep conditioners restore moisture to severely dry and damaged hair. They contain lots of oils and moisturizers. Apply for 15-30 minutes and then rinse out.
Conditioner for Swimmers’ Hair
The unique properties of chlorine present a challenge for swimmers. Conditioners used to treat swimmer’s hair should contain the following:
- Reduce and Remove Chlorine – Conditioner made for swimmers should reduce and gently remove chlorine. To repair swimmer’s hair you must first gently remove the chlorine.
- Rebalance pH – Use a conditioner that is pH balanced. It will help return your hair to its natural pH level.
- Restore Natural Moisture – Of course it should contain lots of conditioning and moisturizing ingredients.
- Assist Combout – Because swimmer’s hair has become brittle, selecting a conditioner with plenty of “slip” that assists comb-out is a good idea.
- Protect – A good conditioner for swimmer’s hair will continue to protect after you leave the pool.
If your hair is extremely damaged, consider using a spray chlorine neutralizer like Goodbye Green before using a swimmer’s shampoo and conditioner.
©istockphoto.com / Tashi-Delek
Is icky chlorine build-up wreaking havoc on your kid’s hair? You know, the crunchy, waxy kind that creeps up at the end of the summer? Try one of these shampoos that’ll turn her mop of straw into soft, silky locks just in time for school.
UltraSwim Chlorine Removal Shampoo
Found at: Amazon, Bed, Bath & Beyond, CVS, Target, Walgreens, Walmart, Ulta Beauty
Price range: $5–15
Heads up: You can feel the difference after just one wash thanks to the Vitamin E and aloe that help recondition her hair. It’s super kid friendly, too, meaning no tears!
Good to know: Ultraswim conditioner also available.
Fairy Tales Sun & Swim Lifeguard Clarifying Shampoo
Found at: Amazon, Fairy Tales Hair Care, Ulta
Price range: $8-17
Heads up: Designed for little fishies who practically live at the pool, this organic shampoo helps remove chlorine, salt water and that green tinge that sometimes creeps into hair.
Good to know: The fruity extracts help give hair an overall deep clean, and put the shine back into dull braids.
Malibu C Swimmers Wellness Shampoo
Found at: Amazon, Malibu C, Walmart
Price range: $30-36
Heads up: The active ingredients that combat damage caused by harsh pool chemicals and sea salt work well for kids and teens. Plus, this shampoo is 100 percent vegan, sulfate-, paraben- and gluten-free.
Good to know: Malibu conditioner and weekly hair treatment also available.
SwimSpray Chlorine Removal Spray
Found at: Amazon, SwimOutlet.com
Price range: $6–$24
Heads up: This one’s good to keep chlorine in check if you’re at the pool, but won’t get to shower until later after pizza with friends. Spritz hair a couple of times after a quick rinse to remove the funky chorine smell and be on your way. Shampoo hair as normal later. Fragrance- and sulfate-free.
Good to know: You can spray it on your skin, too.
TRISWIM Chlorine Removal Swimmers Shampoo
Found at: Amazon, SBR Sports, Inc., SwimOutlet.com, Walmart
Price range: $11-40
Heads up: This one has it all! Its special formula plus added vitamins and moisturizers are gentle on the hair, but über-tough on chlorine, salt water and yucky chemical odors. Plus, it also works as an everyday shampoo.
Good to know: The chamomile and watercress help with dandruff or dry, itchy scalps, too!
Remove Chlorine Naturally
Looking to try a natural option for her hair? Jackie Salas, hair stylist at Unisex Stylists hair salon at the Menlo Park Mall in Edison recommends a DIY alternative. “Swimmer shampoos are great, but if you’re attempting to remove chlorine late in the summer and there’s already a lot of build up in your child’s hair, you can also try an easy at-home treatment using baking soda,” says Salas. Simply mix a few tablespoons of baking soda with some warm water into a smooth paste. Work it into your kid’s hair and let it sit for about an hour, then wash out. “You can do this once, twice or even three times a week, and it’ll make a difference.”
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