Hair and Skin Care after Swim
Many of us enjoy swimming, and water gives us a sense of freedom and liberation. There are many benefits of swimming known to all of us. However, even though chlorine in the pool is needed for disinfection purposes, chlorine can destroy proteins in our bodies, causing our hair and skin to become very dry.
Chlorine can cause the swimmer’s hair to be frizzy, bleached out and dry with split ends. It also dries out the scalp, and can cause dandruff. The inner layer of the hair is covered by an outer layer called the cuticle, which is protected by a natural lubricant called sebum. Chlorine absorbs the sebum from the hair, leaving it unprotected and dry. And when the hair is chemically treated, it is even more vulnerable to the effects of chlorine.
Here are some tips to protect our hair and skin after a good swimming session:
- Apply a thin layer of oil to your hair before swimming. This can be olive oil, baby oil or coconut oil.
- Wet your hair with non-chlorinated water before swimming. This will reduce the amount of chlorine that can be absorbed.
- Wear a rubber swimming cap. It might not keep all the chlorinated water out, but it will still help.
- Re-wet your hair frequently to rinse of the chlorine. Keep it saturated with clean, non-chlorinated water.
- After swimming, rinse your hair with tap water to remove all the chlorinated water.
- Wash your hair with moisturizing shampoos and conditioners.
- Use a wide-tooth comb to untangle your hair when it’s wet.
- To dry your hair, pat or squeeze gently with a towel, or blow dry it gently at cool or medium temperatures.
- Shower with anti-bacterial soap before and after your swim. Chloramine develops when chlorine reacts with sweat, and this harmful chemical can affect your skin.
- Apply a waterproof sunscreen designed to protect against chlorine sensitivities. Coconut oil and Vitamin C are both highly recommended to block chlorine from getting to your skin and minimalize its exposure.
- Shower frequently between swims to reduce the amount of overall chlorine your skin will absorb.
- Apply after-swim lotions or moisturizers that are specifically designed to neutralize chlorine’s causticity. Water itself also removes moisture from the skin, and the natural layer of oil present on all of our bodies disappears when we are immersed in water. Thus, moisturizers are very important.
- Drink lots of water before and after your swim.