Few things are quite as enjoyable as a languid swim on a hot day. People that spend a significant amount of time in the pool will notice that their hair may be taking on some damage. The chemicals used to keep pools clean and hygienic can take a toll on hair, but there are some precautions everyone can take to minimize damage.

Most public pools require that people shower before entering the pool. It removes skin cells that can pollute the water, but it’s also important for hair. Fully hydrated hair absorbs less chlorine while swimmers are in the pool. Chlorine damages hair by leaching away natural oils, leaving it dry, brittle and rough. Hair that is damaged will experience more split ends and lose its sleek, glossy appearance.

Exposure to copper in pools that’s been oxidized by chlorine can also result in a green cast to hair that’s been highlighted, dull out brown hair, and adversely affect color-treated hair. It’s always a good idea to protect hair by wearing a swim cap. For those with long hair, a braid won’t prevent exposure, but it will help keep hair from tangling.

After exiting the pool, rinse hair off immediately to remove as much of the chlorine and other chemicals as possible. There are specialized shampoos on the market designed specifically to remove chlorine from hair. Clarifiers can also be helpful in removing chlorine. Don’t forget to use a comb, not a brush, to gently remove tangles and prevent additional damage.

Swimming in the ocean or an in-land lake also poses risks for hair from salt, UV rays, and other contaminants. No matter where people are swimming or how often, it’s a good idea to take the time for some pampering from a haircare professional. They can provide treatments to reinvigorate locks, address issues with discoloration, and recommend products for specific needs.

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