Swimming and Beauty: Protect Your Hair, Skin, and Nails from Chlorine

Learn how to protect your hair, skin and nails from chlorine, a chemical used to keep pools bacteria-free.
Swimming and Beauty: Protect Your Hair, Skin, and Nails from Chlorine

Last update: 19 June, 2023

Protect your hair, skin, and nails from chlorine if you swim. Remember that no pool is free of this chemical, so you’d better know how to prevent it from affecting these precious areas of your body.

As detailed in a publication on DCSI Dermatology details, prolonged exposure to chlorinated water can cause dryness, itching, eczema outbreaks, discoloration, and signs of premature aging. How to prevent these effects? In the following article, we’ll give you some recommendations. Take note!

Protect your hair against chlorine with these tips

The chlorine present in swimming pools as a disinfectant agent has negative effects on hair. According to a publication by Hair Professionals Career College, this chemical absorbs the hair’s natural oils, resulting in dryness and damage.

To be more precise, it dries out the strands and makes them quite brittle, as it acts abrasively on its own and from exposure to the sun. In addition, in the case of colored or blonde hair, it gives it a greenish hue and causes it to lose color more quickly.

But what can be done to avoid these negative effects? The answer is simple: take care of your hair, keep it hydrated, and don’t despair. Here are a few tips that will allow you to have beautiful hair without sacrificing your passion for swimming.

  • Moisturize your hair: do this before and after the sport. You can do this by applying the moisturizing product of your choice.
  • Wear a swimming cap: this will prevent the chlorine from having a direct impact on your hair.
  • Rinse thoroughly: after practicing your favorite sport, it is necessary to wash with plenty of water, making sure there is no chlorine left in it.
  • Apply sunscreen: that’s right, there are special products to protect your hair from UV rays! This is important as the sun tends to enhance the effects of chlorine.
  • Use special shampoo for dry hair: even if you implement the tips we give you, nothing will prevent your hair from being affected. Therefore, it’s ideal to use this type of shampoo preventively and to avoid further damage.
  • Apply conditioner every day: this product has the function of moisturizing the hair after normal washing. So don’t leave it out every time you bathe your hair, especially when you go to the pool.
  • Prune the ends regularly: this is done to prevent damage to the ends, such as split ends, from continuing to damage the strands. Do it every two to three months.

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Protect your skin from the effects of chlorine

As stated in a research published in the Journal of Sport and Health Research, one of the most common complaints reported by professional swimmers is dry skin. Because of this, it’s necessary to protect your skin before, during, and after swimming practice.

The following are some tips that will prevent your skin from being affected by this chemical:

  • Take a shower before the practice: this way, you’ll prevent some of the products you use daily -such as creams, lotions, and deodorants- from generating adverse reactions when in contact with chlorine, irritating your skin.
  • Don’t wear jewelry or metal: as in the previous case, they tend to react to chlorine in the water and can release toxic and irritating substances.
  • Moisturize your skin: to counteract the effects of chlorine after being in the pool. Ideally, use an ultra-moisturizing cream that helps control the skin’s natural pH and is especially for dry skin.
  • Always use sunscreen: as experts indicate, this product helps protect the skin from the harmful effects of constant exposure to the sun. They also recommend that if you swim frequently, use a hypoallergenic one.
  • Shower thoroughly after swimming: this is to remove all traces of chlorine from the body. The key is to do it with plenty of water and, in a previous stage, not to use soaps or other products.

Like this article? You may also like to read: 10 Gym Hygiene Tips Everyone Should Follow

Remember to also protect your nails from chlorine

Protect your nails from chlorine, just as you do your hair and skin. Even though they look so firm and hard, nails are quite delicate. A post on Offarm explains that nails, in addition to keratin, retain between 7% and 16% water.

When exposed to more than 30%, nails become soft and can break more easily. On the other hand, when exposure to water is less than 7%, they become brittle and dry.

Thus, when they stay in swimming pools for a long time, they become soft at first, but due to the effect of chlorine, they become dry. Some of the tips you can follow to protect them are the following:

  • Do not neglect hydration: do not think that being submerged in water is enough to moisturize the nails, the ideal is to use creams that have oils such as argan, to counteract the dryness.
  • Use protective nail polishes: these products create a kind of film that prevents chlorine from penetrating directly into the nails.
  • Eat a healthy diet: from the inside out, you can strengthen your nails to make them resistant to the effects of chlorine. Eat fruits, vegetables, legumes, eggs, and dairy products, among other products rich in vitamins A, B, C, and D.

That’s how easy it is to take care of your hair, skin, and nails against chlorine

Protect your hair, skin, and nails against chlorine in no time! As you can see, this care is simple and can be easily included in your routine, especially if you’re a passionate swimmer or if you spend many hours underwater.

Even if you are busy, take the time to follow these guidelines. This is the only way to avoid further damage in the future.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.