This one is for those men who are number one swimming enthusiast, the ones who go for swimming weekly, daily or even those who keep thinking about the pool in the midst of a boring meeting. There might be doubts and questions regarding whether you can experience hair loss from swimming pool water or is it just a rumour!
Yes, the presence of chlorine in water can affect both: the growth of your hair and the normal quality and texture of it.
Chlorine and hair loss are connected to each other and you must take care of it if you are professional or even an amateur swimmer. Even if you are not a swimmer, but your hair is exposed to the chlorine water, then you must read the article further.
Why is water chlorinated?
The discovery of chlorine is traced back to 1774 in Sweden as the foul odour and the germs in the water were a major problem faced by the people.
Chlorine is a major disinfectant. The unfiltered water carries many water-borne diseases that can cause infections, fever and even in severe cases of death. Thus, the practice of addition of chlorine to water is a way to disinfect water from several hidden viruses and harmful bacteria.
But, lest we dive into the benefits of chlorine, let us address the issue of chlorine and hair loss.
Does chlorine cause hair loss?
On one hand, it disinfects water, but on the other hand, chlorine negatively affects our skin and hair. Chlorine is said to act against the hair and the hair scalp by the majority of scientists. The reason? The reason being the removal of natural and essential oils in the hair.
Chlorine, when it comes in contact with the hair, causes chemical reactions that lead to different changes in the hair, like changing of hair colour, weakening of hair follicles, extreme dryness and frizziness because of the loss of oils from the hair and increase in split ends resulting in extreme breakage of hair.
Is chlorine water always harmful, then?
Now the major concern that must have arisen hitherto is that chlorine and hair loss are inevitable. Skin or hair coming in contact with chlorine water does not mean that it is bound to harm you at all costs.
In today’s time, you usually drink from either filters or filtered mineral water because tap water is mostly unfiltered. But the water from filters is safe for consumption and healthy alternative for the body and boosts immunity because it is disinfected and made pure and has added minerals, which makes it fit for consumption.
The water from the tap is unfiltered or has a little amount of chlorine to make it fit to use.
But, if this same water sees a spike in the amount of chlorine then it will surely cause irritation in your eyes, hair loss, change in hair colour and you will see many unwelcome changes in the body.
The prolonged exposure to water that contains an unusually high amount of chlorine levels in it makes the oxidising properties of chlorine to cause the formation of hypochlorous acid and consequently, dryness in the skin and hair.
Once chlorine damages hair, is it possible to restore their quality?
Fortunately, yes! You can bring back the original healthy condition and quality of your hair, even if they have been exposed to chlorine or if you have experienced hair loss from swimming pool water.
The chlorine and hair loss connection is not an irreversible phenomenon as it is thought to be. But one, at the same time, must be aware of the harms that long-time exposure to chlorine on hair. People who experience hair fall due to chlorine after a few weeks or after a certain short period will easily heal and restore the hair volume and quality, than the person whose hair is exposed for quite a long time.
Another important issue up for discussion here is the hair volume. A major misconception of chlorine and hair loss is the chances of thin hair healing are less than thick hair. This is not true. The strength of hair depends on diet and your hair follicles and not on the volume of the hair.
Effects of chlorine on hair
- It might change the natural colour of the hair.
- Constant contact with chlorine can result in loss of shine in your hair.
- Hair can lose flexibility after a certain period that results in their breakage.
- Strands of the hair can split and damage with time because of the intervention of chlorine with hair fibres that eventually disturbs the hair shaft.
How to take care of chlorine damaged hair? Easy come!
Hair is made of Keratin which is made of protein, covered with a natural oil known as sebum, that covers the rest of the body, too. The role of sebum is to retain body moisture and prevent ageing, as it contains Vitamin E.
So what happened when chlorine comes in contact with hair, due to its high oxidising properties, it reacts with the keratin present and removes the essential oil, sebum from the hair. Thus, paving a way for further hair problems.
Here is how you can avoid hair loss from chlorine :
- Rinse hair:
The best, easiest and the most basic way to protect from damage of chlorine is to rinse your hair once before you dive into the pool with normal water. An example delineating this fact is, hair is like a sponge that absorbs only a certain amount of water and then stops taking any more of it until you squeeze that out.
- Applying hair defence creams:
Hair defence creams like aqua guards protect the hair from the chlorine damage and loss of natural oils. This is best for regular swimmers.
- Wear a swim cap:
The easiest one is to wear a swim cap made of silicone to prevent damage if you don’t trust defence creams or if your hair is sensitive and weak.
- Massage the hair
Massaging hair weekly is an effective way to replenish the oils lost from chlorine. Deep conditioning is a need for hair, preferably with amla oil or coconut oil.
These are some of the ways which can help you greatly to find against chlorine and hair loss. Hope the article helped you with the basic information that everyone must know.