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Jul 20, 2009

Natural Hair & Chlorine

Ahhh....the summer! Time to pull out those bathing suits, and hit the pool, or if you're lucky the beach and get your swim on. Well its all good until you face your mirror and see the ill effects of the chemicals that are poured into those pools on a daily basis. The #1 chemical used is Chlorine. You know that stuff that is super drying, and smells funny when you climb out of the pool?

Well, The structure of your hair is vulnerable to drying agents, especially the chlorine in swimming pools. The cortex, or inner layer, of hair is protected by the cuticle, or outer later. Sebum is a natural lubricant that protects the cuticle. The chlorine in pools sucks the sebum out of your hair, which may cause the cuticle to crack. This damage causes your hair's natural sheen to diminish, and the unprotected cortex to "split" (split ends).

What can you do to prevent this?
  • Go light on hair coloring when you wear your hair natural.
  • Wear a rubber bathing cap. Although it doesn't keep all of the water out, it helps. Sports stores that sell swimmers' equipment should have caps in a wide range of sizes.
  • Before putting the bathing cap on, put conditioner in your hair.
  • After swimming, rinse hair with tap water, preferably using a protein shampoo.
  • Make sure to put leave in conditioner in the hair
  • Use a wide-tooth comb, not a brush, to detangle wet hair.
  • To dry hair - don't rub - pat or squeeze gently and/or wrap in a towel.
  • Plait hair into sections so that it will dry.
To prevent a buildup of residue of shampoo on the hair shaft which can cause your hair to be dull and lifeless use a Apple Cider Vinegar rinse like we talked about last month. This acid rinse will help restore the natural shine to your hair. With highly textured hair our problem is that we have extremely dry hair. So, it is recommended that you use a protein shampoo labeled with substantive protein. The shampoo should be more than slightly acidic.

If you follow these steps you should be able to survive the chlorine hex, and enjoy swimming with no problems!

Stay Blessed & Happy Locing!

1 comment:

Ms. Crown of Hair said...

Thanks for the info! I was wondering how I would take care of my hair during my trip to Miami!