Most women would rather cool down by the water without completely submerging to avoid getting their hair wet. But if you are anything like me, if water comes into sight you’d immediately jump in without any care in the world. The sad reality is that your hair will suffer the consequences.
If we have to take our pick, fresh water from a river or a lake is the least damaging amongst all water sources. But just the fact that your hair is wet means that the strands will be 3 times weaker and more prone to breakage. In addition to that, chlorine found in pools or salt from the ocean might leave your hair like a shipwreck.
The Effect of Chlorine on The Hair
Overexposure to chlorine damages the cuticles, making the hair brittle. In some cases, hair may even turn greenish because of the effect of copper - a metal found in pool water - and chlorine together which forms a thin film-like substance that sticks to the protein of the hair.
The Effect of Sea Salt Water on The Hair
Salty water from the ocean has a dehydrating effect on the strands, leaving them dry from the loss of moisture through evaporation. It also dries up the scalp and it becomes flaky.
How to protect your hair?
Enjoy your time in the water and feel confident that your hair will be somehow protected from its negative effects. Here are some of the best-kept secrets to protect your hair before and after diving into the water.
Soak your hair
First of all, wet your hair before going for a swim. If you’ll be swimming in the ocean or a pool, soaking your hair with fresh water will prevent the strands from absorbing too much salt or chlorine water because there won’t be much room left inside the strands. Also, this will make it easier for you to apply protection serums.
Apply a silicone-free leave-in conditioner evenly, from your roots all the way to the ends. The ideal pH level of a protection cream or serum should be between 3.9 – 4.6 to close the cuticles and protect the hair shaft. A natural alternative is to use oils like Moroccan oil or olive oil, protect the hair with a thin layer around the strands. Surely you’ll also want to use something that doesn’t contaminate the water, read all the ingredients, and make sure they are safe for underwater life.
Keep it together
Braid your hair or tie it in a bun to prevent breakage or additional damage when swimming around. As mentioned before, when hair strands absorb water, they become 3 times more delicate than when they are dry.
Hair Care After Swimming
If it’s a washing hair day, fantastic! Pay extra attention to your scalp. If you don’t want to wash it with shampoo try co-washing to clear it from the chlorine or the salts and dirt from the ocean. ATTENTION! If you swim daily or very regularly, we don’t recommend washing your hair with shampoo daily as it will be more damaging for your hair.
Pool or ocean + shampoo = definite damage.
Gain back any lost moisture
Apply a Moisturizing treatment between shampoo and conditioner to regain any lost moisture caused by the salt and the heat. Look for a hair mask that contains moisture-locking ingredients such as pro-vitamin B5, sugar, sweet almond, or olive oil.
Using a little bit of apple cider vinegar mixed with water and apply it to your hair but don’t rinse it off. This will help close and smooth the cuticles. You can also use carbonated soda to rinse off any chlorine left from the pool.
After cleansing your hair and scalp with shampoo and/or conditioner, finish by rinsing off any leftover product with cold water to leave it shiny and soft.
Make sure you are giving your hair exactly what it needs when it needs it. Follow your Hair Routine. You can start by completing our online test HERE to receive a calendar and guide on how to treat your hair with specific instructions. For any questions or concerns book your Hair Talk with us, we’re always happy to help!