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What effect does chlorine have on hair and skin?

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Pool chemicals (chlorine) chemically react with a person's hair and skin. That reaction causes skin irritation, hair damage, and the "chlorine" smell that lingers after swimming. The only way to fix this problem is to fix the damage done by the pool chemicals reacting with the skin/hair. One way to do this is by using a concentrated solution of vitamin C. See SwimSpray.com for a description of how this works. Regular shampoos and conditioners do not eliminate the smell and odor the linger after swimming in pools.

Chlorine has the ability to burn the tips of your hair off, resulting in a strand of hair having a blunt end. When the hair grows back an illusion of thicker and darker hair is given. Furthermore, hair loss on the head can be significant. The hair, if exposed on a regular basis, will dry out, resulting in an increase in split ended hair strands and bleached ends. Chlorination disrupts the complex electronic structure responsible for color and it can break down the proteins in hair, essentially chopping them into smaller pieces that fall apart. It makes the hair brittle. Permed hair will relax. If the curl is natural, then no appreciable damage is evident. It can cause frizzy damaged hair.

If you swim a lot then you should treat it with good shampoo and conditioner. I have very frizzy and damaged because I swim nearly everyday. I shampoo and condition it after every session so the chlorine won't stay in my hair. I leave it down since tying your hair up can make it frizzier.

I swim 6 days a week for 2.5 hours and my hair takes a beating from all the chlorine. Many companies make very good anti chlorine damage shampoos. Aveda brand works very well but can tend to be a bit pricey. Intense shampoo like that is only necessary if your hair is exposed very often. For leisure swimmers or low intensity swimmers most salons offer a product. I occasionally use a Malibu 2000 shampoo and it works REALLY well. It also costs about 5 dollars. Notably, SwimSpray includes Malibu's active ingredient in a much more effective concentration.

Chlorine damages the oil and mineral balance of skin cells, destroying the fluid balance, resulting in dried out, dead cells. This in turn leads to dry, peeling skin, which makes the surface of the skin appear shiny. Chlorine is harsh on your skin. It can dry it out easily. Make sure to apply moisturizer after being in a chlorine pool. Special after-swim moisturizers can be sold at swim stores such as Team Aquatics. They can also be found at department stores.
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