Protecting Color Treated Hair From Chlorine

May 15, 2013

Chlorine and Color Treated Hair

The best way to protect your hair from chlorine damage is to avoid contact with chlorinated water.  Wear a cap or don't get your hair wet.  Of course, that's no fun at all.  If you do get your hair wet in the pool, then the most important thing for your hair is getting the chlorine off after you swim.

Chlorine chemically attaches itself your your hair and skin.  Your ordinary shower products (even those fancy products formulated for color treated hair) will NOT get the chlorine out of your hair.  (You can test this yourself by wetting a section of your hair and noticing that it still smells like chlorine even after you shower).

Interestingly the stylists who seem to know the most about coloring and styling hair seem to know very little about chemistry or what is actually happening to your hair in the pool.  (Here is an example in Style Bistro).  The Style Bistro article advises that "[i]t's more about trying to get something slick on there that will make the chlorine slide off."  Chlorine does not slide anywhere.  It bonds to your hair and then stays bonded to your hair until either (1) the chlorine finishes reacting with (and damaging) your hair or (2) you wash it away.

Fortunately, getting chlorine off of your hair is incredibly easy.  And you can do it with a very safe and consequence free "treatment."  Just spray your hair with pH-buffered vitamin C after you swim (Here's how to wash the chlorine away).  Done.  That's it.  The vitamin C spray will immediately neutralize the chlorine.  Then you can go about your normal shower routine with the products of your choosing.

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