Posted on August 24, 2022
With summer in full swing and pool days on repeat, protecting hair and skin from damaging chlorine is the last thing on the priority list.
However, it is very easy to safeguard yourself from the harsh chemicals found in pools without spoiling the fun. Here are 10 natural ways to protect your hair and skin from chlorine.
Chlorine is a common chemical used to disinfect pools from harmful bacteria, sterilize water and much more. Although chlorine serves its benefits in some industries, it is also quite harsh on our health.
Overtime, long term chlorine exposure on our hair and skin can cause many unwanted symptoms that could negatively affect aging and health.
As chlorine is a corrosive substance, prolonged exposure can contribute to:
1. Shower before using the pool:
If you can, avoid immediately jumping into a chlorinated pool. In order to protect skin and hair, make sure you thoroughly wet your hair and skin with a shower right before your swimming session. Doing so will help prevent chlorinated water from soaking into your hair and skin, as it is already wet.
2. Wear a swimming cap to minimize chlorine absorption:
A swimming cap can minimize chlorine exposure to the hair by acting as a physical barrier against the water. Always select a high quality cap that does not allow water through. If you do not have a cap, make sure your hair is tied.
3. Shower immediately after swimming to remove chlorine:
To reduce the effects of chlorine on the skin and hair, make sure you immediately shower with natural products to strip away any excess chlorine residue on your body.
4. Aim to use outdoor pools instead for less chlorine exposure:
Always swim in pools with adequate ventilation if possible. As gasses from the chemicals from the pool evaporate into the air, this will reduce the concentration of negative compounds in the pool.
5. Apply a thick layer of hair oil before swimming:
Using a carrier oil, like sweet almond oil, can help seal and protect the hair follicle against water by significantly reducing contact with the chlorine. The oil acts like a layer or barrier between the water and your hair. Remember to always wear a cap, hat or scarf over the oiled hair to reduce sun damage. Always ensure you are purchasing a carrier oil that is unrefined, pure and free from any other harsh ingredients to avoid exposing your hair to further unwanted chemicals.
6. Moisturize skin with oils to seal moisture and protect against chlorine penetration:
Like the hair, oils can be a great method to lock in moisture and act as a shield between the skin and the water. Simply rinse your skin and apply a layer of moisturizer or oil to protect the skin against the chlorine before you dip into the pool. Avoid using water-based moisturizers as they will quickly seep into the water upon contact.
7. Moisturize frequently after swimming to replenish elasticity:
After showering, ensure you frequently reapply a gentle, moisturizer to nourish and replenish lost oils from the skin. Use a few drops of sweet almond oil onto your hair after your shower to restore shine.
8. Keep hydrated:
Chlorine strips away moisture from your skin, leaving your skin and hair looking and feeling dehydrated. Always drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, particularly more after a demanding swimming session to replenish hydration and avoid dryness.
9. Use gentle, sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners:
It’s just as important to choose your products wisely post-swim to maximize hair and skin protection. Opt for a sulfate and paraben-free shampoo and conditioner to avoid further drying out the hair, and try natural soaps like Castile soap to rinse away chlorine and excess salts from your skin.
10. Use a vitamin C serum:
Chlorine works as an oxidant, which can cause harmful molecules to wreak havok on our skin and tissues. Vitamin C serums and to be moisturizers can help by neutralizing free-radicals produced via chlorine exposure to reduce any oxidative damage that contributes to signs of aging.
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