How to Remove Chlorine From Your Hair

Chlorine is often used in both personal and public pools around the world because it sanitizes water in two ways.

  1. It clarifies the water and kills the majority of microbes, bacteria, and viruses that may be present in the water.
  2. Chlorine oxidizes the pool to eliminate organic matter such as algae in the water.

This is beneficial because it helps reduce the odds of infections and such. However, long-term exposure to chlorine may have negative unintended consequences.

In this post, we are going to cover the side effects of chlorine in your hair, how to prevent chlorine buildup, how to remove chlorine from your hair, and some home treatments you can use if you don’t want to use off the shelf products.

Let’s get started.

Side effects of chlorine on hair

There are some side effects that you should be aware of, some of them may happen immediately while others could appear after long periods of exposure. Either way, here are the side effects of chlorine exposure.

  1. Chlorine bonds to the hair and over time, this causes negative side effects such as loss of shine, flexibility in hair, split ends, and damaged strands.
  2. Chlorine removes the natural oils from your hair, leaving it dry, rough, and damaged.
  3. Chlorine makes your hair porous, and brittle, thus making it prone to breakage.
  4. Chlorine may cause chemical reactions in the water that could change its natural color, making your hair strands weaker, and causing split ends. The change in hair color isn’t because of the chlorine, though. It’s because of metals in the water, such as copper that have been oxidized by chlorine. The oxidized copper is then absorbed by your hair making it look slightly green.
  5. If a person has pre-existing conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, or psoriasis, it may exacerbate them.

How to prevent chlorine buildup on your hair

The best way to minimize the absorption of chlorine in your hair is to create a water-resistant protection layer and then, when you finish swimming, wash the bleach off your hair by breaking through the “Chlorine Cover” to take the chemicals out.

Having said that, here are three things you can do to prevent chlorine buildup in your hair.

1. Wear a swimming cap

Many people don’t like wearing swimming caps because it may feel uncomfortable, but after a while, you’ll get used to wearing them. It’s important to wear one because it minimizes exposure to chlorinated water.

Pro Tip: Soak your hair in freshwater before you put it on to create a tighter seal.

How to Remove Chlorine From Your Hair - Wear a swimming cap

2. Soak your hair

If you don’t have a swimming cap or you just don’t want to wear one, soaking your hair in freshwater will cause it to become supersaturated and won’t absorb as much pool water. It’s not an actual solution but it helps reduce the possible damage.

3. Use a pre-swim conditioner

Swimmers should use a pre-swim conditioner to neutralize the absorption of pool chemicals to prevent any potential negative side effects. Not everyone uses them before swimming, though.

Pre-swim conditioners like Trihard’s pre and post-swim conditioner reduce the absorption of chlorine in your hair by creating a water-resistant layer that will wash the bleach off your hair.

How to remove chlorine from your hair

Just like there are some things you can do before swimming, there are things you can do to remove chlorine from your after swimming.

Here are some of them.

1. Use post-swim hair conditioner

Post-swim hair conditioners replenish hair's moisture after some of it is stripped from swimming in chlorinated water. Some conditioners like Trihard’s Pre and Post-Swim conditioner also help hydrate and moisturize after-swim dry skin and hair, relieve itchy skin and scalp and eliminate the unpleasant pool smell.

How to Remove Chlorine From Your Hair - Use post-swim hair conditioner

2. Use the right shampoo

Most shampoos don’t help remove chlorine after it’s already bonded to your hair because of how soap works. Most soaps are designed to break up oil into smaller drops, so it can then mix with the water. Chlorine isn’t an oil so it won’t be broken up by soap.

To fully remove chlorine from your hair you need special shampoo like Trihard’s swimmer’s shampoo. This shampoo is designed to remove chlorine and saltwater from swimmers’ hair and scalps.

How to Remove Chlorine From Your Hair - Use the right shampoo

How to treat your hair at home

If swimmer conditioners and special shampoos aren’t your thing, there are some home treatments you can try to remove chlorine from your hair. Here are some of them.

1. Use baking soda

Baking soda is probably the cheapest home remedy. All you have to do is take one tablespoon of baking soda and one cup of water, mix them well. Then apply it to your hair.

If your hair feels slimy while you're washing it with the solution, then it means it's working. Rinse your hair completely and then follow your normal hair care routine.

Allow the solution to soak your hair for a couple of minutes before shampooing and combing it if possible. This is to make sure the hair is evenly coated.

2. Cider vinegar

Mix one part apple cider vinegar and four parts water, then apply the mixture to your hair. Let it soak for several minutes and rinse completely. Then follow your normal hair care routine.

Summary

How to Remove Chlorine From Your Hair

Long-term exposure to chlorine may have negative unintended consequences, however, there are some things you can do to protect your hair and prevent it from absorbing much-chlorinated water.

The best way to minimize the absorption of chlorine in your hair is to create a water-resistant protection layer and then, when you finish swimming, wash the bleach off your hair by breaking through the “Chlorine Cover” to take the chemicals out.

Use a pre-swim conditioner to prevent chlorine damage to your hair or apply a post-swim conditioner to remove any chlorine that may have bonded to your hair.

Once you get home wash your hair with a swimmer’s shampoo to hydrate your hair, relieve itchy scalp, and remove any chlorine buildup and smell you may have.

If you’d rather use home remedies, try mixing baking soda or cider vinegar with water to create a mixture. Then wash your hair with the solution and leave it on for a few minutes. After that, continue with your normal hair care routine.

That’s it. Hopefully, these tips will help take good care of your hair and make sure you prevent any chlorine damage from happening.