What is Swimmers' Hair?

Have you heard the term “swimmers' hair”? It refers to hair that’s significantly damaged and potentially discolored from exposure to chlorinated water. Unfortunately, even a quick dip in the pool or hot tub can saturate your hair with chlorine, leaving it susceptible to chlorine damage. 

Read on to learn about the phenomenon of “swimmers' hair” and how to nourish your locks, even while enjoying time in the pool. 

Defining Swimmers' Hair

Swimmers' hair is dry, damaged, and potentially discolored hair caused by frequent exposure to swimming pool chemicals. Although this term is often attributed to professional or competitive swimmers, many casual and non-competitive swimmers experience the effects of chlorine exposure on hair. 

Possible symptoms of swimmers' hair include:

  • Dryness 
  • Frizziness
  • Coarseness
  • Brittleness
  • Split ends
  • Green tint

What Causes Swimmers' Hair?

Pool chemicals cause swimmers' hair. These chemicals help keep pool water clean but damage hair and skin. 


Chlorine is the primary chemical found in pool water that can cause hair damage. It’s a disinfectant that, when added to pool water, creates hypochlorous acid. This is a weak acid that eliminates bacteria to reduce swimmers’ risk of waterborne illness and infection. Chlorine also prevents algae formation in swimming pools.  

When chlorine comes into contact with hair, it removes the natural oils that keep hair healthy and hydrated. This can give hair a course, brittle texture and make strands more prone to breakage. Additionally, over time, chlorine can weaken hair by making it more porous.  


Bromine is another chemical that may be added to pool water for disinfection. It’s an oxidant, sanitizer, and algaecide that can be used as an alternative to chlorine. Bromine is more effective in warm temperatures than chlorine, so it’s often preferred for use in spas and hot tubs. Unfortunately, like chlorine, bromine strips hair of natural oils that provide hydration and protection.


Copper is another chemical that’s often added to swimming pools for cleaning and disinfecting purposes. It’s responsible for the green tint that blond hair tends to acquire when it’s exposed to pool water. Chlorine oxidizes copper, which then attaches to the protein in hair and can turn it a shade of green, particularly for those with blond hair. 

Do Swim Caps Damage Hair?

Swim caps might damage hair especially if it’s already damaged by chemicals contained in water, particularly if they’re made of latex or not the ideal size for the swimmer's head. 

Many swim caps are made out of latex, an elastic material that’s derived from rubber. It provides excellent flexibility, so it’s often used to make one-size-fits-all swim caps. But, this comes with a downside – the latex can repeatedly pull on hair when you take the swim cap on and off, potentially damaging your hair follicles. 

With that in mind, swim caps can provide a few benefits. For one, it keeps your hair out of your mouth and eyes while you’re swimming. For many, this creates a more comfortable experience in the pool. Additionally, while a cap won’t keep your hair perfectly dry, it can reduce your exposure to chlorine. 

To reap the benefits of a swim cap without risking damage to your hair, pay attention to the fit and material. The cap shouldn’t be too tight or too loose; many top brands offer a sizing chart to help you get the perfect fit. Opt for a silicone cap, which will provide a snug fit without pulling your hair. 

Trihard Swimming Cap is made of silicone. It is easy to put on, preventing hair pulling and damage. 

Can You Fix Swimmers' Hair?

You can fix swimmers’ hair by thoroughly washing your hair after leaving the pool with an anti-chlorine shampoo. This type of hair care product removes chlorine from the hair and scalp to prevent dry, damaged hair. 

Trihard’s Swimmers Shampoo is another remedy that effectively removes pool chemicals while replenishing your hair’s moisture with a blend of natural oils. In this unique formula, magnesium chloride, dead sea salts, and red algae work together to eliminate pool chemicals and fix the adverse effects of swimmers’ hair. Argan oil, shea oil, keratin, jojoba oil, and red algae effectively hydrate dry, post-swim hair, helping to restore your hair’s silky texture. 

Anti-chlorine shampoo is also an effective remedy if you struggle with an itchy scalp after leaving the pool. Trihard’s Swimmers Shampoo Extra Boost features aloe vera, menthol, and red algae to alleviate post-swim scalp irritation. For those who love the soothing, energizing effect of menthol, the Swimmers Shampoo Extra Boost is a fitting choice – it contains extra menthol for a cooling, refreshing feel. 

Trihard’s Swimmers Conditioner helps to create a protective barrier to your hair when used before swimming sessions. And when you use it after swimming, it restores the swimming hair symptoms. 

How Do You Prevent Swimmers' Hair?

You can prevent swimmers' hair by using a pre-swim hair treatment, like Trihard’s Pre & Post Swim Conditioner

This versatile product can be used before hopping in the pool to neutralize your hair’s absorption of pool chemicals and after pool activities to hydrate, eliminate chlorine, and soothe hair. It includes a proprietary blend of red algae, dead sea minerals, and magnesium chloride. Use this leave-in conditioner as a protective layer against the drying, damaging effects of ocean and pool chemicals.

Additionally, consider these tips for preventing swimmers' hair:

  • Rinse your hair with clean water before swimming. This will reduce your hair’s absorption of chlorinated water. 
  • Wash your hair as soon as possible after leaving the pool. The sooner you wash away the chlorine, the less likely it is to cause adverse effects. 
  • Braid your hair before getting in the pool if you have long hair. This may reduce your hair’s contact with the drying pool chemicals. 

Used together, Trihard’s Pre & Post Swim Conditioner and Swimmers Shampoo can help you keep swimmers' hair at bay, no matter how long you stay in the pool. These sports care products are specifically formulated to neutralize drying pool chemicals and restore your hair’s moisture to combat lasting damage. 

Trihard’s products come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can take your time to find out if these formulas are a fit for your routine. Whether you’re currently struggling with swimmers' hair or just looking to prevent it, consider adding these products to your hair care lineup.

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