While a dip in the pool can be a refreshing reprieve on a warm summer day, chlorinated water can do a number on your hair. While chlorine kills bacteria in water, it can wreak havoc on hair strands, rendering them dry and dull as it strips away the sebum that protects the hair. Chlorine can also deposit metals and minerals into your hair shaft, casting a greenish tint on blonde and color-treated hair.

Luckily, chlorine damage isn't inevitable, and there are simple pool hair care steps that you can take to show your tresses some love — let's dive into how to protect hair from pool water.


Hair Care Before Swimming 

1. Rinse your hair with water before swimming. 

The easiest thing you can do to protect your hair is to rinse it with tap water before swimming. This step essentially limits how much chlorinated water absorbs into your strands. Your hair works like a sponge, meaning there's a limit to how much water it can hold.


2. Establish a before-swimming hair care routine with hair lotion. 

Many swimmers use hair lotions or leave-in conditioners to help safeguard their hair from chlorine damage — you can use these on wet hair after your pre-swimming rinse. Coating your hair with a moisturizing hair lotion will help create a protective layer that helps to keep hydration in and chlorinated water out. 


Hair Care During Swimming

3. Tie up your hair.

Here's another simple step: Keep your hair on top of your head and out of the water to limit its contact with chlorine. Instead of letting your hair down, fix it into a top knot or bun. 


4. Use a rubber swimming cap when you swim. 

While a swim cap isn't the most glamorous hair accessory, your hair will thank you after you leave the water. A physical barrier between your hair and the water will help protect your hair from chlorine damage. 


Hair Care After Swimming

5. Rinse your hair after swimming to remove the chlorine. 

A quick rinse with tap water can be sufficient post-swim, but don’t forget to pamper your hair with cleansing, moisturizing shampoos later on. Shampooing will help you remove chlorine from your hair — you can pick up Desert Essence Lemon Tea Tree Oil Shampoo to clarify your hair without an unpleasant drying effect or Desert Essence Essence Coconut Shampoo to gently remove pollutants and restore shine. A coconut conditioner can also nourish dry hair to leave you with a shiny, manageable mane. 


6. Gently pat your hair dry and go easy on blow dryers.

If you can, take it easy on your hair and allow it to air dry after swimming — blow dryers can dry out your strands in the long run. To soak in excess moisture, you can use a towel to pat your hair dry gently and avoid harsh wringing motions. If you prefer using a blow dryer, remember to leave it on the cool setting.


7. Use restorative hair treatments in your post-swim hair care routine. 

For healthy strands, keep up with a hair care routine throughout the swimming season (and beyond). On a weekly basis, you can use a hair mask with ingredients such as coconut oil, which is rich in Vitamin E and saturated fatty acids for maintaining glossy hair. Plus, you can nurture your hair with jojoba oil — this multitasker from Mother Nature works beautifully as a deep conditioning treatment, scalp moisturizer and anti-dryness solution for silky soft strands. 


A dip in the pool doesn't have to come with the dread of chlorine's drying effects on hair. There are easy steps that you can take to maintain healthy strands, from giving your hair a pre-rinse to using a swim cap. And with a botanically powered hair care routine from Desert Essence, your tresses can truly thrive, no matter how much you visit the pool.