How to Remove Chlorine From Your Hair
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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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Abby
3 months ago.
Does it make your hair come off.
Swimoutlet.com
3 months ago.
Chlorine over time can cause your hair to break off due to dryness.
Morgan
8 months ago.
Does chlorine make the tips of your hair turn white?
Swimoutlet.com
8 months 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
8 months ago.
It is really very difficult to shampoo hair daily. Is there any other other remedie to remove chlorine without shampoo?
Swimoutlet.com
8 months 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
4 months 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
1 year 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.
Rado
1 year ago.
We put tamato ketchup in is that a good or bad idea
swimoutlet.com
1 year 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
3 weeks 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
1 year 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
1 year 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
1 year 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
1 year ago.
Hi Pneal,
I have heard of that method before. It's definitely worth a try!
Emily
1 year 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
1 year ago.
I used all of these but the chlorine won't come out
swimoutlet.com
1 year 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
1 year 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
1 year ago.
Very true! Glad to see someone else thought this!
Kat
1 year 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
1 year ago.
Gah.... mistyped.
Correction: Chlorine-based bleach mixed with ammonia produces chlorine gas.
Basil
2 years ago.
Vitamin c alone is very acidic and can destroy the hair. Why not use exfoliants to remove the chlorine and minerals and at the same time condition with lecethin, silk amino acids and keratin. You can use ascorbit acid and grape seed extracts to close the cuticle back down. That would leave the hair with great shine and manageability.
Adrienne
4 years ago.
I use Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) powder. (I get mine at Trader Joe's; one large bottle lasts me almost all year!) I mix about 3 Tablespoons in 1 cup of warm water. Once it is fully dissolved, I add 1/3 to my shampoo, 1/3 to body wash, and for good measure, 1/3 to my conditioner.
sue
2 years ago.
Vitamin C; once it is dissolved stable for only 30 days. Later on the solution is actually unsafe to use.
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