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Chlorine and Sun Damage Prevention, Removal, and Treatment

Summer’s coming, and green is NOT the “in”-color this season!

Here in Arizona, especially when the heat is so intense, nothing feels more relieving than spending an afternoon or starting off the day with a nice refreshing dip in the pool. Fo

r the kids, sometimes playing in a pool is the only way to actually play outside in this intense heat. Many of us know that as nice as it feels to cool off in the pool, it can really do quite the number on a beautiful head of hair. I’ve been a swimmer and diver from the time I was 2 yrs old and I am literally a fish in the water. I would spend hours upon hours each day in the pool and the sun. I also had blonde hair, so this means that many times as a child I was sporting a lovely shade of GREEN, SLIMY, DAMAGED HAIR.

Many of you know this lovely green sliminess comes from the build-up of chlorine, which is then baked onto the hair by the sun. As I started really caring about how my hair felt and looked, I started becoming a little more disciplined about trying to prevent and repair the damage that chlorine had done to my hair. Because I was in the pool year round, I tried to prevent as much damage as possible. Sometimes, you can only do so much. But, using a few of these methods, I was really able to limit the amount of damage that occurred, and I completely prevented the green tint throughout my teenage and adult years.
Here are a few tricks to PREVENT chlorine build-up and sun damage BEFORE getting in the pool!
#1. MAKE SURE TO FULLY SOAK YOUR HAIR WITH CLEAN WATER BEFORE ENTERING THE POOL
* A strand of hair is like a sponge, in that it has thousands of little holes in it. If you have a sponge that’s already soaked, it won’t absorb much at all. So if the hair is already wet with clean water, it won’t be able to absorb as much of the chlorinated water.
#2. FULLY SOAK AND COMB CONDITIONER THROUGH YOUR HAIR
* Soaking the hair with water and conditioner helps the hair absorb the conditioner, which acts like a barrier to protect the hair from further absorbing the chlorine.
* For anyone who may be in the pool for a prolonged time, such as swimming laps or swim team practice, placing a swimming-cap over the pre-conditioned hair is best to prevent chlorine damage or build-up. It will help keep your hair out of your face, and it also helps prevent your color from fading from exposure to the sun.
#3. SPRAY A PRE-MIXED SOLUTION IN THE HAIR
(Biolage Conditioning Balm)
* For those of you who are super busy, or have those little ones that could care less about preventing green hair, this method is better than no treatment at all. It’s something the kids could do in the car on the way to swimming lessons, or just before getting in the pool.
* Fill half of a regular spray bottle with conditioner and the other half with water. Shake it up, and keep it in the swimming bag for easy access. If you don’t have time to soak your hair in the shower or hose, you can at least spray as much as you can on the hair before getting in the water to get some conditioner in there.
Here are a few simple methods to REMOVE Chlorine on a DAILY BASIS
#1. ALWAYS SHAMPOO AND CONDITION AFTER SWIMMING
(Biolage Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner)
* Even if you intend to get out of the pool for a few hours and get back in, shampoo and condition the hair in clean water as soon as your swimming session is done. This is especially important if you are going to be in the sun. Because chlorine is a chemical, the sun will bake it onto the hair making it harder and harder to remove.
* If this is too time-consuming, or you don’t want to use that much shampoo and conditioner everyday, then this is also a time to use the spray bottle method mentioned above. A little something is better than nothing.
#2 USE A SPECIFIC SWIMMER’S SHAMPOO OR A CLARIFYING SHAMPOO
Malibu Swimmer's Water Action Treatment
(Malibu Swimmer’s Water Action Treatment)
(L’Anza Clarifying Shampoo)
(Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo)
(Bumble & Bumble Tonic Shampoo)
* If you are in the pool on a daily basis, using a swimmer’s shampoo is best; not only for prevention, but chlorine build-up removal as well.
#3 USE A GREAT CONDITIONER AFTER CLARIFYING THE HAIR W SHAMPOO
* It is important to use a good, deep conditioner daily; especially if you’re in the pool often. Because chlorine removes the hair’s natural proteins (which are the source of it’s strength), using a high-protein or deep conditioner greatly helps to replace the protein removed by chlorine and the sun.
(Biolage Conditioning Balm)
* You can also use a leave-in conditioner to help rebuild the structure of the hair!
(L’Anza Leave-In Conditioner)
So, what if you’ve tried these, but your hair is still turning green? Now what?
Here are a few methods to get the green slime out.
#1. RINSE WITH VINEGAR
* Rinse the hair with a solution that is half vinegar/half water before shampooing. (This is the most natural method. It may not work on severely damaged hair.)
#2. BAKING SODA SHAMPOO
* Add baking soda to your shampoo and really work it through your hair. Try to squeeze the hair from root-to-end as you work it through. You may even see or feel the green slime coming off the hair. That’s a good sign! It means that the chlorine build-up is coming off. Shampoo until your hair and scalp feel clean. Rinse very, very well and use a deep conditioner to close down the hair shaft you just opened to remove the chlorine.
#3. TOMATO PASTE
* Apply tomato paste to your clean, wet hair. Comb through, and let it sit for up to 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly, and shampoo and condition after. This works well for hair that’s a stubborn shade of green.
#4. TREATMENTS THAT COME WITH SWIMMER’S SHAMPOO SETS
* Sometimes in swimmer’s shampoo and conditioner sets there will be little packets of a solution that you mix together and apply to clean, wet hair. Comb it through, squeezing the hair from root-to-end. You can bag the hair and add a little heat for a few min before squeezing it out. Rinse very well. Shampoo and deep condition afterwards.
#5 GET HAIR CUTS REGULARLY, AT TANTRUM HAIR SALON!
* Keeping the dead, porous ends trimmed off will help keep the hair looking bright and beautiful, and will feel great.
I hope that these methods will help you keep your hair looking and feeling great throughout the swimming season. All the example products I mentioned are available here at Tantrum Hair Salon, along with great stylists to help you out with that summer trim! Happy swimming everyone!!

Natalie


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