Is Pool Chlorine Bad For Your Hair?

Swimming is great exercise and very healthy for your body but it’s not likely that many of us have ever stopped to wonder how chlorine damages our hair and skin before jumping into a pool.

Chlorine is used in swimming pools to kill unwanted bacteria and keep swimmers safe from infections and disease from the water. While there isn’t enough chlorine in swimming pools to cause permanent damage, it can leave your hair dry and your skin irritated and red.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to protect hair when swimming – here are just a few of the quickest and easiest tips to put into practice:


1. Rinse your hair with clean water before and after swimming

Your hair soaks in liquid fast. If you get your hair wet before you step in the pool, you can prevent some of the water with chlorine or damaging salts from being absorbed.

Also to reduce the damage and get your hair on the road to recovery, rinse your hair immediately after swimming. Don’t let the chlorine, salt, or other contaminants sit in your hair. If you’re really worried about damage, use a special shampoo formulated to remove chlorine from your hair.


2. Wear a swim cap

It may seem old-fashioned, but swim caps are still important to wear when swimming. You can enjoy swimming in a pool or saltwater without getting your hair wet at all. You can also wet your hair with regular water first then put on the swim cap since the wet hair will create a tighter seal of the swim cap to your head, keeping out the damaging chlorine water even better.


3. Use a leave-in conditioner before entering the pool

Applying a little conditioner before you enter the pool can help prevent some of the chlorine from being absorbed. Using a leave-in conditioner with a cap can not only help prevent chlorine from being absorbed but can also moisturize your hair while swimming!


4. Use natural oils

We already know that chlorine attacks the natural oil that’s guarding our hair. So to help out your hair’s natural defences, you can apply other natural products like olive oil or coconut oil to create an extra layer of water-resistant protection.

Olive oil is full of antioxidants and Vitamins A and E, and helps to protect keratin, the protein that’s found in hair and skin.

Coconut oil, on the other hand, is rich in fatty acids that moisturise your hair and scalp – and it’s often a lot cheaper than olive oil for everyday use.


5. Comb gently

Since wet hair tends to tangle pretty easily and brushing your wet hair can be damaging on its own, use a wide-toothed comb to detangle and comb through your wet hair.


6. Clarify your hair

A hair clarifier will help to remove any harsh chemicals from your hair. You can purchase a hair clarifying shampoo or go with a more natural remedy, such as apple cider vinegar that will do the same thing.


Who’s At Risk?

- If you have colored or chemically-treated hair, your hair is at a higher risk of getting damaged by chlorine.

- Chlorine can be extremely harsh on hair that is thin and fine.

- If you already have dry and damaged hair, then chlorine can cause even more damage to your hair.

- Permed or bleached hair is also more vulnerable to chlorine water.


Chlorine may be the worst part of pool water for your hair. However, it is required to kill unwanted germs in there. Since you can't avoid it altogether, the best thing you can do is understand what chlorine does to your hair and give it the right care and treatment. With this knowledge, you can also take appropriate measures to prevent chlorine from damaging your hair.


If you have any other questions about pool and spa products please do let us know - we are here to help!

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