Once the temperature rises, we know we’ll be hitting the water a lot more. While the ocean and salt water can have many benefits for your hair and skin, unfortunately the same can’t be said about hitting the pool. So whether you’re lucky enough to have a pool of your own or maybe you’re an athlete who swims all year round, you should know how to protect your hair from chlorine with the right hair care.
While we’re thankful that chlorine destroys all the bacteria and germs in a pool, it really isn’t great for your hair. It strips the sebum - or natural oils - out of your hair, drying it out in the process, which causes the strands to become brittle and prone to breakage. This also means it can strip that hard earned hair color too - and if you’re not careful, jumping into a pool might even turn your hair green.
With so much at risk, we thought we’d put together a quick guide on how to protect your hair from chlorine this summer and so it can keep it looking its best!
A 6-step guide on how to protect your hair from chlorine
1. Shower before you get in the pool
It might sound a little counterintuitive to get your hair wet before you even hit the pool but it really does help. This is because wet hair is actually less absorbent than dry hair. The ultimate goal is to keep chlorinated water away from your hair shaft, so wetting your hair with fresh water beforehand will also slow down any chlorine trying to seep into it.
2. Coat your hair in coconut oil - or olive oil
Similar to the idea of washing your hair with fresh water, a layer of nourishing coconut oil or olive oil can coat your hair so chlorine doesn’t come in contact with it. The oils act as a water-resistant shield that can protect it from chlorine and copper - which can be found in the water and is actually what reacts to turn your hair green. Simply apply the oil generously from your roots to ends before you jump in the pool.
3. Use a clarifying shampoo
If you jump into a pool without some of these preventative measures, you can still get those chlorine deposits out with a good clarifying shampoo. So this is a shampoo that goes beyond its usual duties to provide deep cleaning and remove any stubborn build ups - like chlorine.
While there are a few clarifying shampoos on the market now, we recommend RPR De-Chlorinate My Hair Shampoo, which has been specifically designed for the purpose of removing chlorine deposits. Great for the summer but also super handy for regular swimmers, this deep cleansing shampoo gets rid of chlorine, that pesky chemical odour, minerals that can be found in bore water as well as product build up. So it will get the coconut or olive oil out if you’re using that step too!
4. Use a leave-in treatment regularly
We’ve talked about how important hair treatments are. A good one should go above and beyond your usual conditioner to actively repair your hair. We love a once-a-week deep conditioning hair mask to really help with the restoration of hair. This is especially important if you're a regular swimmer. We recommend the Moroccanoil Restorative Mask because it infuses protein back into hair strands that have been damaged by chemicals like chlorine and it reconstructs the hair by nourishing it with argan oil and shea butter.
But if you're time-poor - and let's be honest, sometimes you just can't be bothered - we also love a simple leave-in treatment, which can also work its magic two-fold when it comes to protecting your hair from the pool.
As a product by itself, RPR My Vitaliser Leave-in Moisturiser provides intense treatment for dry, coloured or damaged hair. It pumps it with moisture and it’s also filled with vitamins, proteins and tangerine extract to help restructure the hair shaft. The result? Your hair is healthier and shinier, frizz is smoothed out and UV filters help to protect your colour. This ties in with on a ‘how to protect your hair from chlorine’ level too - as a leave-in moisturiser, it not only helps restore your hair, but it provides an extra barrier that stops chlorine from seeping into the hair shaft.
5. Wash your hair right after getting out of the pool
We don’t necessarily mean a full wash with the clarifying shampoo and all - although that’d be great if you can manage that - but even a freshwater rinse will help. This can prevent any harmful chemicals and metals from building up in your hair and causing long term damage.
6. Wear a swimming cap
Last but not least, the ultimate way to protect your hair is wearing a swimming cap. We know, we know - it’s not stylish and maybe a little excessive if you’re just going for a dip but this really is the best way to protect your locks. Especially if you pair it with Step 2 and slather on some oils for extra protection. And if you’re a regular swimmer, then we say embrace the cap!
Keep your hair happy and healthy this summer
So now you’ve read our 6-step guide on how to protect your hair from chlorine, make sure you’re prepared before you go jumping into a pool this season. Especially if you want to make sure your blonde or coloured hair stays that way. We’re adding the RPR Swimmers Pack to our own carts today to make sure that we’re not suffering from chlorine damage this summer.
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