Summer weather is still going strong, which means that many of us have a few more pool days on the agenda. A dip in cool water can feel wonderfully refreshing on a hot day, yet swimming isn’t without its downsides. Some of the biggest risks of spending time in the pool are potential damage to hair and to skin. Indeed, repeated exposure to chlorine—to say nothing of sunlight or even just water itself—can lead to some problems.
What kinds of problems? Well, for one thing, chlorine leaves hair dry and brittle. It can be a leading contributor to split ends. As for skin, time spent in the pool can leave the skin itchy, blotchy, and red.
The good news is that pool day damage can be minimized. All it takes is a few basic precautions, which we’ll spell out below.
Protect Your Hair and Skin on Pool Day
Oil your hair before you go swimming. Chlorine is actually a positive thing, because it kills nasty germs in the water and just generally makes swimming pools sanitary. The downside is that, in killing germs, it also strips healthy, protective oils from your hair, leaving it vulnerable and exposed. You can protect your hair from damage by putting some oil on it before you go swimming; coconut oil, sesame oil, and almond oil work especially well. Any leave-in hair product that’s made with silicone can also protect your hair.
Use other methods to protect your hair. In lieu of oil, there are other ways you can safeguard your hair against the ravages of chlorine. For example, rinsing your hair in the shower before you swim—really getting it nice and wet—will help slow the effects of chlorine. After you rinse your hair, tucking it into a swim cap can protect it further.
Use the right hair cleansers. Believe it or not, there are specialty shampoos out there that are designed to rid the hair of chlorine and other harmful chemicals. Investing in some of these is recommended, especially for those who swim often. You can always contact us at LH Hair for some specific product recommendations.
Shower after swimming. Taking a shower after you swim is really the best, simplest way to wash away all those chemicals and to protect your skin from their effects. Use plenty of soap and water, and pamper yourself with some moisturizing lotion when you’re done.
Toss your contact lenses. If you happen to wear contact lenses in the water, the bad news is that they soak up chlorine and can lead to dry, itchy, red eyes over time. There’s really nothing to do about this save for stocking up on cheap, daily lenses and switching them out as soon as you finish swimming.
Swimming is good for you, of course, and fun too—but it’s not without its hazards. Make sure you protect yourself—including your hair and skin. For more tips on hair care, don’t forget to visit us online at LH Hair.