You can do a few things immediately before and after you hit the pool to prevent chlorine from damaging your hair.
- Saturate Your Hair with Water. Before you enter the pool, rinse your hair with clean tap water to saturate your hair. Have you ever noticed that a sponge will only absorb so much water, and once it’s full the water just runs off? Your hair is similar to a sponge. If you saturate your hair with clean tap water, your hair will be less likely to absorb as much of the chlorinated water in the pool.
- Use a Swim Cap. If you’re doing a lot of swimming or are concerned about damage, a swim cap can make a world of difference. Try out a silicone swim cap as it is lightweight, breathable, and won’t snag your hair.
- Rinse, rinse, rinse. After you exit the pool, a good clean rinse in the shower will start the process of removing the chlorine from your hair. In fact, it’s a good idea to rinse your hair often with clean water while swimming to keep flushing the chlorine and chemicals out.
- Shampoo. Shampooing your hair immediately after chlorine exposure is the best way to remove the bulk of the chlorine and stop the damage it may be causing to your hair. Some shampoos are specially made to help remove chlorine and are a great idea for regular swimmers.
- Moisture/Protein Balance. Just as important as removing the chlorine, you have to replace the moisture and protein that the chlorine strips from your hair as soon as possible. It’s important to condition your hair well after shampooing, and I highly recommend a leave-in protein conditioner to soothe dry, frazzled hair and prevent split ends.