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Keeping Your Hair Protected This Summer

This is a collaborative post

For those of us hitting our local pools to up our fitness game after an indulgent end of 2017, you might want to consider the damage you could be doing to your hair. Both chlorine and sea water can have an effect on your silky tresses, making them dry and brittle – the last thing anyone wants. In pools, the chlorine, bromine and other water-purifying chemicals in the water can make your hair feel coarse by effectively lifting the outer layer. As a result, it is wise to prepare your hair before throwing yourself into the swimming pool.

Pre-swim protection

The simplest way to help protect your locks from the chemicals in the swimming pool is by soaking your hair with fresh water around fifteen minutes before you take the plunge. This way, your hair becomes saturated in water and won’t be able to absorb much of the salty sea water, or chlorine from the pool. It is sensible to brush through your hair with a fine-tooth comb and some conditioner once finished, to prepare your hair for the chemicals it will be exposed to. Alternatively, argon, Moroccan or coconut oil are other great options for waterproofing and conditioning your locks, by acting as a barrier between the pool elements and your beloved hair.

Cover or put your hair up

Swimming ‘caps’ are another option to consider before jumping straight into the pool and playing with your inflatable pool floats. Philip Kingsley’s Swimcap for example conditions and protects against drying out hair almost instantly – and an added bonus, it smells amazing.

It is advisable to cover up your hair, or place it in a ponytail or bun, when lounging around the pool and on your inflatable pool toy. Although not very ‘fashionable’, it is worth considering wearing a swimming cap when splashing around in the water, however an alternative is a hat – such as a large floppy hat, strawhat or baseball cap – which will reduce the damage from the sun too.

Remember to Lather Up

It is not uncommon for your hair to develop a greenish tinge after swimming in a pool, especially if your hair is dyed. The concoction of ingredients added to the pool can de-neutralise your hair colour, particularly if you spend long periods of time in the water. Interestingly, it’s not the chlorine that causes this, but the copper sulphate added to control algae from developing. One way to sort this out is through applying a special, if a little bizarre, formula that we all have at our disposal: Tomato Ketchup. It is advised to massage in a few pumps of the red stuff into your hair and leave to soak for five minutes, before using your normal shampoo to rinse it out – good as new!

Aftercare is vital

It is important to rinse your hair out immediately after you have got out of the swimming pool, and shampoo as soon as you can. Even if you are tired from a long day at the pool, try not to skip this step. It is wise to hop in the shower as soon as you get home, and apply a conditioning treatment to reverse the damaging effects of the chlorine (or sea water) and the sun.

If you want to go a step further to make sure your hair is not damaged after a long day at the pool, you can even rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar. This simple product is found in every household and food store, and applying after swimming will miraculously revitalise your limp, dry and dull hair from the chlorine, copper and other impurities. Mix four parts water, with one part of apple cider vinegar and apply.


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