How To Protect Your Hair From Pool Chlorine

It's no secret that swimming can be a refreshing and enjoyable activity. Not only can swimming help you relax and cool yourself off, but it can also be a great cardio workout. As it turns out, however, there are a few downsides to swimming and spending too much time in the pool. If you're an avid swimmer, you may have noticed that your hair tends to get a little dry and discolored after staying in the pool too long (via StyleCraze). That's because chlorine, which is used to treat and disinfect pool water, can actually cause damage to your hair.

"Chlorine can really dry out the hair and it can make it feel kind of brittle," Austin Burns, a senior stylist and colorist at Mirror, Mirror in Austin, Texas, told Shape. This is especially true for people with more porous hair or those who have had their hair dyed or treated with keratin. Regardless of the type of hair you have, however, everyone's hair is at risk of some damage by chlorine.

Wet your hair before getting in the pool

Fortunately, there are some proactive steps you can take to help protect your hair from chlorine damage. While there is no way to completely protect your hair, you can help prevent any significant damage by wetting your hair before jumping in the pool (via Well+Good). "When you wet your hair before swimming in a pool or ocean, you fill the shafts with clean water rather than chlorinated or salt water," James Miju, a hair colorist and the owner of LV1 Studio, told Well+Good.

This can help reduce the risk of discoloration and dryness, which often causes hair to become brittle and prone to breakage. Hair care experts also recommend using leave-in conditioner in your hair after you've finished swimming and towel-dried your hair. According to celebrity hairstylist Laura Polko, the conditioner can help act as a buffer between your hair and the chlorine to help prevent any further damage.