If I lived closer to the beach, I know where I’d be all summer long. But maybe the distance is a good thing because if it weren’t so, I’d have hair issues to deal with from the salt water.
I grew up swimming in chlorinated pools without much worry about my hair, except for the fact it was frequently in a tangled mess. So I never really did anything about it. But these days, I know better and would never go to bed without first doing a variety of things to my hair to ensure that the chlorine isn’t eating it away.
I think it’s very important to protect your hair from beach and pool water (if not altogether avoid it), but when things get hectic and you have already caused damage, there is a way to help restore it. But first, you should know why you need to protect it in the first place.
What chlorine and salt water does to the hair
If you don’t already know, chlorine can be very corrosive to your hair. It actually changes your hair’s properties and it affects the electrical charge of the minerals that are bonded with your hair, and reacts with them. That’s why you see some people’s hair change to a greenish tint (mine never did, no matter how much I swam).
Like salt water, it removes your hair’s natural oils* and causes it to become excessively dry. Surely, we’ve all noticed this after the pool and beach. Chlorine forms crystals in between your hair fibers, which separates them and disrupts the structural integrity of your hair shaft.
At this point, your hair is weakened and your ends start to split. Chlorine crystals are also known to cause issues with your hair cuticle, making it rough and more susceptible to breakage and damage.
Salt water is known to be osmotic, which means that it draws water from your hair. This is why it becomes dull, rough and tangled. You never want to detangle your hair in this state!