Have you taken a good look at your hair lately? Like a really good look? Chances are you’ve noticed some slight damage lingering since the summertime, and there’s one big culprit for that — chlorine. Apart from the sun, chlorine is one of the most common reasons for hair damage during the summer. If you’re one to take a dip in the pool year-round then this may be a bigger concern, well beyond summer. While it’s great for treating our swimming pools, it’s not so great at treating our tresses. But if you’re wondering what chlorine actually does to your mane, we’re here to give you the full breakdown.

What Chlorine Does to Hair

Our hair is full of natural oils and because chlorine is a harsh chemical element, it can strip those oils right out. Think about it, since chlorine acts as a disinfectant and bleaching agent, just imagine what it can do to your hair. If your hair feels dry or brittle after going for a swim, then it could be a direct result of chlorine damage. Chlorine also has the ability to weaken the strands and it can even cause split ends. In summary, it has the power to alter the physical properties of your hair.

The “Green Effect”

One of the most common things we hear about chlorine is that it turns your hair green. For some this is true, and it mostly affects those with blonde or lighter hair tones. However, this actually isn’t the work of chlorine. The main culprit here is copper, and when copper is present in swimming pools it becomes oxidized by chlorine. The result? A slightly green tint throughout your strands.

Preventing Damage


To prevent damage from chlorine, there are some simple steps you could take. Before entering a swimming pool, rinse your hair with regular tap water. You can also apply a leave-in conditioner after rinsing out your hair to coat your strands before they come in contact with chlorine. Once you wash your hair after swimming, make sure to use a deep conditioner, hair oil, and hair serum to apply the moisture that you lost back into your hair. As much as most of us would rather not do this, the biggest preventative measure you can take is wearing a swim cap as you take a dip in the pool.


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