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How to Remove Chlorine From Your Hair


While it's no secret that swimming is one of the best full-body workouts out there, there is one small drawback to it -- the frustrating bond that forms between chlorine and your hair. Chlorine can damage it, make it brittle, and for some of the worst cases, even turn your hair green. Luckily, if you give your hair a little love before and after your bout with the water, then you won't have to worry about that icky chemical doing anything to your lustrous locks. In this guide we'll go over a few tricks and tips on how you can prevent damage to your hair, learn about chlorine and its effects and most importantly, how you can remove chlorine once you're out of the pool.

    Get Wet Even Before You Go in the Pool

    One of the first and most simple things that you can do to your hair is making sure that you wet your hair before you go swimming. While this may seem like a small and unnecessary step, it's one of the most vital ways that you can be sure that the chlorine doesn't seep into your hair strands. Chlorine tends to soak easily into your hair when it's dry and it's the first thing that your hair has contact with. Imagine your hair being like a sponge. You want only good things to go into that sponge, so when the bad things go in, you'll be less likely to have any adverse effects. And while getting your hair wet doesn't completely prevent chlorine from getting in, it does slow down the process.

    Seal Your Lid Tightly

    Another important step to helping slow down the process of chlorine getting in your hair is wearing a swim cap. If you're serious about swimming, this is the best way to make sure that you aren't constantly exposing your locks to the harsh chemicals. Not only that, but it also helps you move faster in the water. For just the casual swimmer, you can still opt to not wear a swim cap, but make sure to follow the rest of the steps so you can be sure that your hair still isn't being affected by the chemicals.

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Chlorine

    The whole reason that pools use chlorine is to stop harmful bacteria from getting into the water, like E. Coli and other unsafe organisms from spawning in the water. While it's necessary in that regard, chlorine isn't so nice to your hair. Even after using the preventative measures of rinsing your hair and wearing a swim cap, chlorine can still make its way to your scalp. What we suggest to finally start removing that pesky chemical is to wash your hair. Washing your hair can give your hair its nutrients back and strip away the last of the chlorine attached to your hair. Using a good quality swimming shampoo can do wonders as well; these are specially formulated to get rid of the chemicals that can be left in your hair after getting out of the pool. Not to mention that it's a good idea to rinse off your suit in the shower as well.

    The Natural Approach

    Even if all of these methods fail or you forget to do the steps above, you can still opt for natural remedies. Using simple, household items like baking soda or apple cider vinegar can take the last of the remnants of chlorine out of your hair too. If you're wondering how to use any of these to treat your hair, simply take one part apple cider vinegar and four parts water and apply that to your hair. If you're using the baking soda method, try one tablespoon of baking soda and one cup of water and apply this directly to your hair. If your hair feels slimy while you're washing it with the solution, then that means that it's working. Rinse out of your hair and then follow with your normal hair care routine.

Hopefully these tips will help out your hair problems should you ever worry about being in the pool too much or if you're worried about damaging your hair. Swimming is worth it in the long run, even if your hair might turn green from time to time.

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Leena
4 weeks ago.
Hi I feel so bad Seeing a lot of hair fall out it can be frustrating and I heard about this product https://www.biotinxtremehaircare.com/products/biotin-shampoo has anyone used?
MICHELLE
3 months ago.
Searching for swim soap to wash away the chlorine in my skin
callie
6 months ago.
hi! i’m going to get highlights tomorrow and last time i had chlorine in my hair there was a chemical reaction so i’m wondering how do you know that there is no longer any chlorine in your hair?
Luna
9 months ago.
The hair on top of my head - the bangs area- is fried and damaged and even the new growing hair is also damaged. The rest of my hair is not damaged at all. I first noticed this after swimming in the pool but that was more than 10 years ago, can that be the reason? I tried hair masks, hot oil treatments and nothing worked, what should i do?
SwimOutlet
9 months ago.
Hi Luna!

We are so sorry to know of your concern. With your description it seems that you need to see a specialist. You may seek for a dermatologist who specializes in trichology.
Kesha
1 year ago.
How long should u use the shampoo
SwimOutlet
1 year ago.
Hi Kesha!

There is no particular time on how long you can use the shampoo. You use it just like a regular shampoo.
Taryn Rabon
1 year ago.
There is chlorine in my hair and when we try to highlight it it turns hot due to a chemical reaction any suggestions
callie johnson
6 months ago.
hi! this happened to me not long ago the best solution that totally changed my life is paul mitchell 3
Olivia
1 year ago.
Do you use the chlorine removal only or do you use regular shampoo too after you apply the removal ?
SwimOutlet
1 year ago.
Hi Olivia!

Just the chlorine removal shampoo or you may use a conditioner after.
Olivia
1 year ago.
So basically EVERY time I take a shower use the chlorine removal . (I take a shower every day)
Olivia
1 year ago.
Right the chlorine removal is what I use every time I take a shower ? So every other day
Emma
1 year ago.
Hi!

I have to do dry land AFTER swimming for one whole hour, so will my hair get worse because I leave my hair wet with chlorine. (I wash my hair after dryland)
SwimOutlet
1 year ago.
Hi Emma!

We are so sorry to hear of your concern. Aside from the tips mentioned above, please see some other tips below:

Use olive oil or coconut oil.
Olive oil or coconut oil are effective at coating the hair so that chlorine does not come in contact with it. These oils reinforce the sebum that is naturally produced by the scalp, so even if the hair gets wet with chlorine-treated water, the hair strand is safely coated by layers of oil. Olive oil is very nourishing and because it is natural, it does not weigh the hair down. Coconut oil is also a great alternative since it is equally as nourishing but it less expensive than olive oil. Coconut oil is great for sealing in moisture and is known to help strengthen the hair shaft.

Wet hair with non-chlorinated water.
This tip has a very sound scientific reason behind it. Wet hair tends to be less absorbent than dry hair, so wetting your hair before you step into the pool reduces the chances of your hair absorbing the water molecules from the pool. This is a good idea for the skin as well, and is the very reason why you should take a good shower to wet your hair and skin before your swim lessons.

Use leave-in conditioner.
A leave-in conditioner works the same way as the olive or coconut oils. It provides a safe, external coating that protects the hair strand from the chlorine. It creates a protective, hydrophobic barrier that prevents the chlorine from getting into the hair. Leave-in conditioners also smell better and can be rinsed off right after your swim. You can use leave-in conditioners that are formulated specifically for swimming in chlorine-treated pools to increase the protection you are giving to your hair.

Wear a swimming cap.
This is perhaps the best option if you are not too fond of putting different kinds of products on your hair or if you are not fond of getting your hair wet. A swimming cap is the best option since you won’t be exposing your hair to chlorine. Swim caps are also inexpensive and reusable.
Thomas
1 month ago.
So what happens when uve been in the water for 3+ hours every day and the swim cap traps pool water in with your hair?
SwimOutlet
1 month ago.
Hi Thomas!
Chlorine sucks the natural oils from your hair and skin, leaving them dry, rough, and damaged. Your hair needs some of its natural oil to remain smooth and healthy, and chlorine removes those oils. Chlorine can also cause chemical reactions in your hair, changing the natural color of your hair, weakening each hair strand, and causing split ends. The oils removed from the skin can leave your skin red and irritated depending on the sensitivity of your skin.
Jane
2 years ago.
The bleach in my hair is a vibrant green now after pool and hot tub at A hotel What do I do?
SwimOutlet
2 years ago.
Hi Jane!

Pour 1/2 cup of white vinegar, tomato juice or lemon juice over your hair after swimming. Work it through your hair with a wide-tooth comb, wait for 10 minutes and then rinse out in the shower. Vinegar, tomato and lemon juice are all very acidic, and they'll remove copper oxides from hair naturally.
Tonya Parker
2 years ago.
Does it have to be apple cider or can I use regular vinegar?
SwimOutlet
2 years ago.
Dear Tonya,

We recommend you to use an Apple Cider Vinegar. It more effective than a regular vinegar.
Thera
2 years ago.
Could I combine the apple cider vinegar and the baking soda into 1 spray and use it together all at once?
SwimOutlet
2 years ago.
Hi Thera,

We recommend not to combine both because it will cause chemical reaction and might damaged your hair. We recommend to use either of the two.
Amy
1 year ago.
I only wash my hair with baking soda, then rinse with apple cider vinegar... Baking soda strips out the damage, vinegar acts as a conditioner. No adverse reaction. My hair is soft, shiny, healthy, and only needs to be washed 2 times a week. I use a coconut oil treatment 4 times a year...
you stoopid
1 year ago.
you stoopid. remember baking soda and vinegar form 1st grade? itll happen in the bottle and you will just be spraying out regular water
Taylor
2 years ago.
I went swimming and then I took a shower but after my hair dried it felt tangled and felt as if the shower did not wash the chlorine out of my hair, do you know what that means?
Swimoutlet.com
2 years ago.
Hi Taylor,

Make sure you use products that will work or match with your hair type. You may also try home remedies if commercial products really do not work for your hair. Applying jojoba or coconut oil before you get in the water may help too.
Taylor
2 years ago.
Thank you for your help I will try that next time ????
Mac
2 years ago.
Hi I need help! My hair has suddenly turned green, which hasn’t happened since I was about 12 years old! Over the past few days I have used Malibu hard water shampoo, Malibu swimmers shampoo, baking soda mixture, Matrix clarifying shampoo, and I even went to a salon and had two Malibu treatements done and nothing is getting the green out!!! Any suggestions would be much appreciated!!
SwimOutlet
2 years ago.
Your hair turns green from the presence of hard metals (copper, iron, and manganese, in particular) in the pool water. Please check this link for remedies - https://babesinhairland.com/tips-and-tricks/5-easy-ways-to-get-rid-of-green-swimmers-hair/. Hope that helps.
Shana
2 years ago.
Does chlorine make your hair a bit like straw on the ends
Swimoutlet.com
2 years ago.
Yes it can, that's why it's important to get it all out.
😭
2 years ago.
i wanna cry my hair is so damaged yet i want to keep the color of my new, chorine dyed hair BUT MY HAIR IS TERRIBLE AND UNTAMABLE THE JACCUZI WAS FILLED WITH WATER TOO MUCH
swimoutlet.com
2 years ago.
I highly recommend checking out our shampoos and chlorine removal items here - https://www.swimoutlet.com/swimmers-shampoo-personal-care-c10096/
Abby
3 years ago.
Does it make your hair come off.
Swimoutlet.com
3 years ago.
Chlorine over time can cause your hair to break off due to dryness.
Morgan
3 years ago.
Does chlorine make the tips of your hair turn white?
Swimoutlet.com
3 years ago.
Hello Morgan,
It is possible that chlorine and other pool chemicals can break down your hair. It can also cause your hair to be more susceptible to damage from the sun's UV rays which will lighten your hair. We recommend wearing a swim cap to help protect your hair.
Abhinoor
3 years ago.
It is really very difficult to shampoo hair daily. Is there any other other remedie to remove chlorine without shampoo?
Swimoutlet.com
3 years ago.
Hello!
You can use household items such as apple cider vinegar or baking soda. You can read above under "The Natural Approach" to see how to use these items.
Swan
3 years ago.
Shampoo your hair with a natural Rich Moisturizing Conditioner I love Giovanni Brazilian Keratin Argan oil conditioner. It is the best to wash 2x once as you would like a shampoo then second wash leave in till done showering.. Dish the shampoo's your hair will thank you for it and clarify one a week I swim Laps & go 5 days a week & weekend off & its the only thing that saves my hair, Good luck hope you do find something that works for you!
Barbara
4 years ago.
Vinegar and chlorine together DO NOT CREATE A TOXIC GAS. Ammonia and chlorine do, but vinegar is safe, especially if you are just rinsing the chlorinated water out of your hair with a slightly acidic solution of water/vinegar.
libby
2 years ago.
they meant vinegar and baking soda...those 2 together causes a big reaction..that's what they put in those volcanos kids make for school!!
A
1 year ago.
Its not a big reaction if you dilute it which you should... It foams a bit, which feels great!
Rado
4 years ago.
We put tamato ketchup in is that a good or bad idea
swimoutlet.com
4 years ago.
Hi Rado, I have heard of people using this method when the hair starts turning a different color (usually green) to help restore the hair to it's normal color. I personally haven't tried it, but there is logic behind it. It's worth a try!
Jennifer
2 years ago.
This is basically using the vinegar in the ketchup to remove the chlorine, and the red of the tomato counteracts the green. Best for darker hair, blonde hair, it might darken or stain.
rosalina
4 years ago.
what if you don't have any of the stuff above and you just want a quick, easy, non-tocix/acid way to get rid of chlorine?
swimoutlet.com
4 years ago.
Hi Rosalina,
You can always shower and shampoo and condition your hair immediately after swimming. There are many shampoo brands that are natural, otherwise any shampoo will work. This method works for most people!
Pneal
4 years ago.
What about if u put conditioner in hair with a warm towel put in hair and then put a blow dryer to warm the towel then rinse I heard that works
swimoutlet.com
4 years ago.
Hi Pneal,
I have heard of that method before. It's definitely worth a try!
Emily
4 years ago.
I have about two feet of hair. Here's what I do to keep it healthy. It sounds complicated written out, but it only actually takes a few minutes. Before I even get in the pool, I soak my hair in Alberto VO5's ludicrously cheap conditioner, then braid or French braid it. I always wear a swim cap both to protect my hair and keep my conditioner from gunking up the pool. You could use another conditioner, but make sure it's silicone free because silicone will make your cap slide off your head. After I swim, I detangle my hair with a wide-tooth comb. NEVER use a brush on wet hair. Wet hair is super delicate and brushing it will damage it. I wash my hair and swimsuit with Ultraswim anti-chlorine shampoo and use some more conditioner. I like the same cheap VO5 because it makes my hair look good, but you might find you prefer to shower with a fancier conditioner. Finally, invest in a couple Turbie Twists or other microfiber hair turbans. They're much gentler on your hair than regular bath towels, and you can leave your hair wrapped up in them while you dry off with your regular towel.
Jordan
4 years ago.
I used all of these but the chlorine won't come out
swimoutlet.com
4 years ago.
Hi Jordan,
If following these steps didn't work for you, I'd suggest trying the Ultraswim Shampoo 7oz (Product Code 2674) if you haven't already. This shampoo works really well. I hope it helps!
cp
4 years ago.
Vinegar and chlorine mixes to create toxic chlorine gas, it's really not a good combination. Baking soda is very harsh on the hair and doesn't do anything against chlorine. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is much safer for your hair than either of the above, and is effective against chlorine. Of course ascorbic acid should be diluted, but hair likes acidity. It doesn't become unsafe to use.
Ellie
4 years ago.
Very true! Glad to see someone else thought this!
Kat
4 years ago.
Vinegar mixed with chlorine doesn't produce chlorine gas. Vinegar mixed with ammonia does. :) It's fine to rinse "pool hair" with diluted vinegar.
Kat
4 years ago.
Gah.... mistyped.
Correction: Chlorine-based bleach mixed with ammonia produces chlorine gas.
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