Beautiful southern California weather gets people out and in the backyard pools that dot our landscape. The price you pay in damage to your mane, however, can be pretty high. Prevent and repair chlorine damage to your hair: Straw-like feel, split ends, frizz, broken strands are some of the resulting conditions if you are out in the sun and in the water a lot.
You can tell your hair is damaged if, after showering, your hair dries almost instantly. That shows just how porous those color chemicals, chlorine and salt water have made it. The easiest fix? Instead of trying to fix bad hair, try to avoid getting it to begin with.
Avoiding Chlorine Damage
Your hair can only soak up so much water at a time. So give it a head start and wet it down before you get into the pool.
- Soak your hair with water before entering the pool or surf, dripping wet
- Coat your hair with a light conditioner on soaking wet hair before swimming
- Wear a swim cap, especially in indoor pools (more chlorine)
- Rinse out pool water immediately and use coconut oil from ears to ends
Treating Dry Chlorinated Hair
Once your hair is damaged, products can help smooth and make it look moist but nothing can permanently repair chlorine damage. Products like conditioners with silicones, plant oils and Shea butter seal the outer layer of hair strands so they look smoother, less frayed and dry, and feel softer to the touch. They help protect hair from more damage.
But once the big cat is out of the bag, try some of these short-term remedies to improve the color and texture.
- Mask hair overnight: Mix a quarter cup of honey with a quarter cup of olive oil for a hair mask
- Avocado oil for shine, coconut calms split ends, mayo softens;
- Monthly rinse with light-colored vinegar removes residual chlorine and salts
- Whipped egg on dry hair, then wrap it in a towel for 20 minutes to strengthen and add shine
- A 20 minute hair bath of ketchup removes ‘green’ tint;
- Boost dark strands with a tea after-rinse after a shampoo;
Let’s face it: chlorine and salt are pretty bad for your hair, especially if you color. The solutions above may help remediate some problems caused by chlorine and salt. But the only real long-term solution is to trim off the damage and start growing again.