Q. Hey Bre! I love your blog! I was wondering if you could help me with my hair. I am blonde (naturally and not so much) and every summer my hair is green by August! I love the pool and use it often, but is there anything I can do to prevent it from happening? Is there any way I can prevent the pool’s drying effect on my skin too? Thank you so much! Britta.
A. Thank you for the great question! Pools are great for taking a refreshing swim in the summer heat, but they can really wreak havoc on your hair and skin. If you own the pool, see about switching pool chemicals. You can go from traditional chlorine to a chlorine free system, such as Baquacil. You will be able to enjoy the pool without the harsh side effects of chlorine such as: your green hair, irritated eyes, dry, irritated skin, and it won’t fade your swimsuits or pool liners. With my extremely sensitive skin, my family had to research other chlorine free pool chemical options and they are really happy with Baquacil. My skin and highlighted hair is also happy!
If the pools you frequent are not your own, there are ways to prevent your hair from turning green and your skin from becoming dry and irritated. I learned these methods first hand when I was swimming in school. My skin was becoming extremely irritated from the chlorine, my hair was tinged with green, and I had to find a way to cope. Before you hit the pool you need to do some prep work.
Get wet. I know it seems odd to get your hair wet before jumping in the pool but it helps prevent your hair from turning green. Douse your hair completely with fresh water. If your hair is already wet and saturated before swimming the hair follicles cannot absorb the chlorine in the pool water as much. To prevent further chlorine absorption, cover your hair with a swim cap. If this is not an appealing option to you, apply a thick conditioning hair protectant to your hair from roots to tips instead. Refer to this post for my hair product picks. The water and conditioner logged hair will not be able to absorb the chlorinated water as much. This preventative two step process works great. This also works if you plan on taking a dip in the ocean as well.
Coat your skin. To prevent skin irritation and the chemical burn I was experiencing swimming at school, I applied a skin protectant before every swim. I needed something that was thick and that would stand up to the water, so I reached for Alba Botanica Un-Petroleum Multi-Purpose Jelly. The blend of castor seed and coconut oils and beeswax served as a protective barrier between my skin and the chlorine. It is a fabulous product to have on hand as you will find multiple uses for it. If you’re an avid swimmer, I highly recommend protecting and treating your skin with Un-Petroleum Jelly.
Rinse cycle. Upon exiting the pool you want to rinse off as soon as possible. Leaving chlorinated pool water on your hair and skin is a recipe for irritation and trouble. Take advantage of outdoor showers whenever possible (I love them!) or simply rinse off with a gardening hose.
Lather up. After a day at the pool you need a proper shower. Shampoo your hair thoroughly, and reach for Paul Mitchell’s Shampoo Three. This cleanser penetrates deeply to remove chlorine and iron minerals from the hair. For your body, use Chlorine Neutralizing Formula Soap. This gentle, rich lather producing bar, neutralizes the effects (and odor) of chlorine on skin. Both are perfect products for swimmers. Moisturize your face and body immediately upon exiting the shower.
Hot oil. If your hair needs some extra TLC, and extra help in removing chlorine chemical deposits, try an at home (or in salon) hot oil treatment. Work the oil through damp hair, then blast your hair with the blow dryer, as the heat will help it penetrate more effectively. Leave it on for ten to thirty minutes, depending on the severity of your green tinged hair. This is great for chlorine tinged hair as well as hair that has turned brassy in the summer sun.
Do you have any tricks for combating green hair and dry skin from the pool? Any blonde readers have any tried and true chlorine removing products?
If you have any skincare, makeup, nail, or hair questions don’t hesitate to leave me a comment or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org!