Beauty Q&A: How to Stop Chlorine from Affecting Hair
Q. Maryanne Comiskey from Mullingar writes: I go the gym three times a week and always finish up with a swim, but the negative effect that chlorine has on my hair is really bothering me. My regular shampoo doesn't get rid of the smell. Is there a magic product out there that I don't know about?
A. This is a common problem. Chlorine is a powerful chemical that keeps bacteria at bay in swimming pools, but can damage the delicate structure of the hair shaft by sucking out the sebum and leaving it dry and brittle. It can also have a drastic impact on coloured hair, especially blondes, who may notice a greenish tinge after regular exposure to the chemical. Then there's the lingering "eau de chlorine" fragrance, which annoyingly stays with you all day.
You can prevent some of the damage by applying conditioner before putting on your bathing cap, which should be made of rubber and be as close-fitting as possible. After your swim, rinse your hair thoroughly before shampooing and conditioning again.
There are shampoos that specifically target this problem. Pureology Shampoo ([euro]18.30), available at L'Oreal hair salons, removes chemicals and is a popular choice with regular pool swimmers. The K-Pak Hair Protection System from Joico ([euro]16.90) is a chelator that removes chlorine and mineral deposits caused by hard water. Tel: 045-856490 for stockists.