Hair Care For The Pool

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  • #21984
    Admin Mediterra

    Most pools are chlorinated and chlorinated water is rough on hair. But there are things you can do to care for it through your swimming experience.



    First, fully rinse and saturate dry hair in the shower prior to getting in pool. Hair is dry, dead and highly absorbent. It will soak up water quickly and you’ll want it to be saturated with the shower water not the pool water.


    Wear A Swim Cap

    Second, wear a swim cap. A swim cap will not keep pool water out completely, but it will keep most out, and it keeps pool water from flowing freely through the hair which increases its destructive effect. The cap also protects the hair from pulling and tugging with googles.

    There are silicone caps, latex caps, polyester caps. Polyester caps are a good way to keep hair out of the face, but some water passes through the material. Latex caps tend to be tight and become brittle over time. There are two designs for silicone caps, one with a lip at the base and one without. Those without the lip tend to slip up and off the head more easily. My personal preference and recommendation is a silicone cap.

    Try to avoid using hair ties. When hair is wet, it is weaker and prone to break. While in the cap and after swimming, avoid tying hair up or back until it fully dries. If you must tie it up while wet, consider a scrunchie, tied loosely.


    Clean The Skin

    Remove chlorine from hair and skin after every swim. The chlorine compounds used in pool sanitation is water soluble and can permeate the skin cell membranes. It’s not possible (as far as we know) to prevent the skin from absorbing chlorine water while in the pool, but afterwards you can reduce how much is absorbed and remove the residue that remains on the surface of the skin afterward. You may learn more about this in A Solution For Chlorine Smell. which is essentially a recipe for making an ascorbic acid (vitamin C powder) and water solution and putting it in a spray bottle to make it easier to spread over your skin before taking your shower.

    When swimming and showering frequently the natural oils in the hair are stripped away. It’s important to replace them with conditioner and or oils at the end of each swim session.


    Please, No Lotion Or Conditioner BEFORE Swimming

    If you can avoid it, we do not recommend putting conditioner in your hair or lotion on your skin before getting in the pool. Some of these substances will wash off and form a film on the surface of the pool and irritate other swimmers. We can instantly tell when someone else in the pool has put on lotion or conditioner and it is immediately bothersome to noses and breathing for other swimmers.

    Conditioner is very helpful for keeping hair health and strong, especially if your hair is died, colored, or treated in some way. If you must use conditioner in your hair before swimming then, before getting in the pool, fully saturate the hair in the shower, then coat the hair in conditioner and then put on a silicon swim cap to prevent as much leakage of that conditioner as possible. Fabric caps will not do this for you. Then please be sure to not remove the cap while you are in the pool.


    Drying Your Hair

    Avoid drying your hair in high heat. A hair consultant once advised, if the hair dryer feels too hot when directed on the hand then it is too hot for your hair. Consider adjusting hair dryers, straighteners and curlers to medium heat.


    Sleeping On Your Hair

    Avoid sleeping on a wet head. Remember hair is vulnerable when wet. With the weight of the head and movement while sleeping, the hair is far more likely to break in your sleep when wet.


    Post Swim Routine

    A post swim routine could be like this:

    Rinse off in the shower.

    Spray and rub in ascorbic acid solution on entire body, hair and face. The ascorbic acid solution will act like the sting of lemon juice, so it is best to avoid eyes and any cuts on the skin.

    Rinse and proceed with regular hygiene routine

    Shampoo and condition your hair (thoroughly).

    Afterwards, that chlorine oder can mostly be eliminated and any typical skin irritation and dryness from the pool can be significantly reduced.


    A Caution About Ascorbic Acid

    When combined with sodium benzoate, ascorbic acid becomes a known carcinogenic. Sodium benzoate is used as a preservative in several foods and hygiene product (such as lotions, shampoos, hair products, make-up, etc).

    If you choose to use the ascorbic acid solution, we recommend switching to shampoos and soaps that do not include sodium benzoate. You can do an internet search for various kinds and look through ingredients’ list. The one we may recommend (found in USA) is Verb Ghost and Dr. Bonner’s Pure-Castile Bar Soap.


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