How To Protect Hair From Chlorine

With winter finally out the door (can we get a high five)? We know you’ll soon be headed to the pool to soak up the warmer weather and up your fitness game. Just be sure to give your hair some extra love—the damage from the copper and chlorine in pool water is no myth: “When copper oxidizes against the hair shaft, it creates a green tint, which is especially visible on blond hair,” says Jessica Krant, MD, a dermatologist at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York. And the chlorine? “It dries out and dulls the hair by stripping natural oils from the scalp and hair shaft,” she says, which roughs up smooth hair cuticles and makes them stick out.

Translation: Chlorine makes your hair sticky, reduces shine and strips it of hair dye. But not to fret! We’ve got the scoop on how to protect hair from chlorine, so you can keep on enjoying your sunny pool days—gorgeous hair included.

Thoroughly Wet Your Hair With Water Before You Dive in

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 frizzes 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; It contains castor oil, and protects hair from the damaging effects of sun, salt, and chlorine.

Use a Protectant

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. Coat with Coconut Oil “Coconut oil (or your hair oil of choice) coats hair with a water-resistant shield that protects it from chlorine and copper,” Krant says. Leave it in while swimming to help prevent chlorine damage, and check out these 10 other ways to use coconut oil to make the most of the oil you have leftover.

Wear a Protective Hairstyle to Prevent Tangling

The way you wear your hair to the pool or the beach can have a surprisingly big effect on maintaining it. “Try to keep your head and hair out of the water as much as possible,” says Vo. “A cute bun, topknot or braid prevents your strands from soaking in the pool water while you float around and wade.” Need some inspiration? We’ve got plenty.

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.

Use a Normalizing or Clarifying Shampoo After Your Dip

You’re hot; you’re tired; you just want to be done for the day when pool/beach time comes to an end. We get it. But resist the urge to go straight from the water to whatever your plans are next. Colorists recommend taking the time to wash any chemicals or drying sea salt from your hair. “Different colors require specific shampoos and conditions for the right protection,” says colorist Lucille Javier from Sally Hershberger Downtown.

“For brunettes, Davines Alchemist Chocolate Shampoo and Mask helps restore the color and adds shine that chlorine can strip away. For blondes, you need a hydrating duo like Sally Hershberger Shampoo and Conditioner to help moisturize bleached hair. And for reds, a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner like Shu Uemura Color Lustre Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Mask is key.”

For a more budget-friendly option, there’s also TRESemmé’s new sulfate-free color-care collection, which includes TRESemmé Botanique Color Vibrancy & Shine Collection, which has no parabens or dyes added to it. So the products will do what they’re meant to do—gently clean your hair—without stripping away its color.

Use a Deep Conditioning Masque After You Shampoo

Restore your hair’s nutrients with a deep conditioning masque such as Shea Moisture’s Deep Treatment Masque. This will also help restore moisture. Comb Through Hair with a Wide- Tooth Comb. Avoid using a brush right after your hair maintenance routine after swimming. Using a wide-tooth comb will give your hair a break and untangle without added stress and possible breakage.

If you are discovering any form of hair damage, 24 K Beauty Bar in Orlando can help you to restore your messy damaged hair. With their professional staff and high-quality hair products, 24 K Beauty Bar has you covered. Find out more on 24 K Beauty Bar ‘s professional hair services by clicking here.