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I am a great big pool lover, go swimming at least three times a week year round. It keeps my slim, agile and fit and every time I leave the pool I feel like a reborn person. I can't say the same for my hair unfortunately. My hair is slowly becoming incredibly and starting to look a little bit like straw. Now I have to add that I actually also do bleach my hair. The combination of the two is leaving my locks looking sad. 

What can I do? I don't want to stop either bleaching my hair or going to the pool and also hate those pool caps or whatever you call them. 

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Hi! If you are not going to be wearing a cap (I'd revisit that myself, but hey), there are still plenty of things you can do to protect your hair from being damaged by the chlorine in your pool. Here are some ideas:

  1. Take a shower before you jump in the pool! Your hair will absorb the non-chlorinated water and this lessens the ability of chlorine to penetrate your hair. 
  2. Put something oily on your hair for the same purpose: coconut oil, a hair serum, something like that. 
  3. Get special shampoos and conditioners designed for people who swim a lot, and use them right after you come back from the pool, or even better at the pool shower itself. 
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OP here. Those are some amazing tips and I would like to thank you very much. Particularly as I had never heard of shampoo and conditioner especially for frequent swimmers, this is very useful. Do you happen to know any brand names and if you do know some, are there any in particular that you know are good? If you could share, I'd like that a lot. I'm not sure about putting oily stuff on my hair before swimming. I think that is not courteous to other swimmers as it makes the pool dirty, even if just a little bit.

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I love swimming too. Because of the exact issues you describe, I have taken care to always wash my hair and condition it (not with special products for swimmers, I have never heard of those either!) right after going for a swim in the pool. Of course my goal was to prevent the chlorine from drying my hair out.

The result?

Completely unexpectedly, my hair has actually become very greasy. I Googled it and that's what led me here and to many other places, but I conclude that it has to do with the fact that stripping oil from your hair can increase oil production. So, here I am, with the exact opposite problem. Is this useful to you? Probably not but I did want to say that if you wash your hair after every single swim, you may end up like me, with greasy pool hair rather than dry pool hair. Worth thinking about, and neither are nice!
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478 posts

Hi,

There's UltraSwim chlorine removal shampoo, which is available from Walgreens among other places. It strips your hair of the chlorine in your pool with just a single wash, can be used by people with all hair types, and is even gentle enough to be used by children! They have a conditioner as well. Not only do these UltraSwim products protect against chlorine build up in your hair but in addition they also infuse your hair with vitamin E, aloe vera and other components to make your hair silky soft. I am sure there are other options but this is the only one I personally know of.

Rosie

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I would rather wear a swimming cap anyway. Because I read on a bottle of hair dye, because I am really quite grey and also dye my hair blonde, which used to be my natural color, that if you go swimming right after bleaching your hair, there is a slight possibility that your hair will get a blue-ish taint. That sounds horrible doesn't it? You might find it charming, who knows? Anyway, I don't, so I would wear a cap, because I don't want blue hair and also want to prevent my hair from getting even drier without spending a fortune on special shampoos.
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Oh, there's so much you can do to protect your hair from the swimming pool! Starting with wearing a cap, but if you don't want to then there's always wetting your hair before you get in the pool, but also avoiding shampooing your hair before you actually go swimming because shampoo does strip the natural protective oils from the hair and leaves your hair wide open to damage from chlorine. Do condition your hair and/or put some natural oils in your hair to create a natural barrier between your hair and the chlorine.
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Thank you for the tips, everyone! I came here looking for answers to the exact same problem: after frequent swimming for a month or so, my hair quality has really suffered. My hair is now looking dull and damaged, not a good look at all.

So, I now have tips on how to prevent swimming pools from drying my hair out even more. What I don't know yet is... if you don't mind, how can I restore health to my now very dry hair as soon as possible? Are there particular products for hair damaged by chlorine? If you know something please help.
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