How to prevent chlorine from damaging hair

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During the summer months when avid sun-lovers flock to swimming pools in a bid to cool down, it is easy to neglect your hair whilst you are busy catching rays and having fun, making it dry and brittle. It is easy to forget that the chlorine, bromine and other water-purifying chemicals can damage your hair significantly, just as much as your skin when exposed to the sun. As a result, it is highly important to ensure your hair is prepared and your pool has the precise chlorine and pH levels.
How can you protect your hair?
Pre-swim hair care
This is a step many of us forget, as on the hottest of summer days, all we want to do is jump head-first into the pool. However, it is vital to complete a hair care routine to prevent damaging your hair. The best way to do this is simply by soaking your hair under a shower, to saturate your hair with fresh water so your hair won’t be able to absorb a large amount chlorine from the water. After this, it is sensible to brush through your hair with a comb, whilst applying conditioner, which will essentially act as a barrier between the pool elements and your hair.
Lather up
It is not uncommon for your hair to develop an abnormal tinge after swimming in a pool, especially if you dye your hair. The various elements added to a pool can de-neutralise your hair colour, particularly if you tend to spend a long duration of time in the water, each day. A way to rectify this is through applying Tomato Ketchup. As strange as this sounds, if you massage the sauce into your hair and leave to soak for five minutes, before using your normal shampoo to rinse it out – your hair will be back to normal in no time.
Aftercare is crucial
After you get out of the pool, it is advised to immediately rinse your hair out – using shampoo if you can, and apply a conditioning treatment to reverse the damaging effects of the chlorine and the sun. This is a step some people neglect, but even if you feel worn-out after a long day at the pool, try not to give this step a miss.  
How to ensure your pool pH levels are correct
Making sure the chemicals and pH level in the pool stays stable is not easy – it’s a balancing act – but it is vital to avoid damaging your skin and your hair. If pH or alkalinity is too low, or other pool chemicals, such as chlorine and bromine, aren’t are the correct level, it can cause problems; the water must be balanced and measure safely at all times.

The best way to test your pool’s pH levels is through using water testing strips, which, when placed in water, immediately show if the water is not at optimum levels. Furthermore, adding too much chlorine – which is easily done – can cause skin and eye irritation as well as causing adverse effects on exposed hair. On the other hand, when levels of sanitisers are too low, the likelihood of algae, bacteria or germs thriving and contaminating the water is incredibly high. A solution for this is to invest in a chlorine dispenser that sits on top of the pool water and releases safe amounts of chlorine over time.


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