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Swimming laps at the pool helps you burn calories to rock that swimsuit, but the constant exposure to chlorine can wreak havoc on your hair. Instead of turning to store-bought products full of chemicals, make your own shampoo and conditioning treatments designed to combat chlorine damage. You'll look good in and out of the pool.
Problems With Chlorine
If you've spent much time in a pool, you're familiar with swimmer's hair. Those green-tinted, brittle strands with split ends and plenty of breakage are a far cry from attractive. The chlorine used in many swimming pools affects the pH of your hair, stripping it of moisture and leaving it feeling brittle and smelling like the pool. For blondes, things get worse from there. Exposure to copper in pool water is what leaves your golden locks looking sickly green.
Rinsing off as much chlorine as possible as soon as you get out of the pool can help minimize damage. Start by making a basic mild shampoo by combining a quarter cup of distilled water, a quarter cup of liquid castile soap and a half teaspoon of olive oil. Before you hit the water, mix together 1 teaspoon of this basic shampoo with a quarter cup of fresh-squeezed lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Rinse your hair, then massage the mixture into your locks, paying close attention to the ends. Cover your head with a shower cap for 20 minutes before rinsing away the shampoo.
Swimming can strip your hair of moisture, so you'll need to rehydrate at home. To make your own deep-moisturizing conditioner, mix together 1 cup of organic mayonnaise, half of a ripe, firm avocado and 2 tablespoons of sweet almond oil. Apply the conditioner to your damp hair and cover it with a shower cap. After 20 minutes, rinse and shampoo as usual. The mayonnaise helps strengthen brittle, damaged hair while the avocado and almond oil add moisture and shine.
Other Ways to Protect Your Hair
Sometimes you just don't have the time to whip up your own shampoo and conditioner. Even if you're in a hurry, you can still take steps to protect your hair in the pool. Start by rinsing your hair with nonchlorinated water before you swim to reduce the amount of chlorine your hair absorbs. Coating your hair with a basic conditioner before you swim will also help limit chlorine absorption. While not the most fashionable of accessories, a swim cap adds another layer of protection between the pool chemicals and your lovely locks.