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How to protect your skin, hair from pool chlorine!

Last Updated: Friday, July 11, 2014 - 23:38

Zee Media Bureau

Swimming or relaxing in the pool during these hot summers may give you the much needed respite from the scorching heat, but this joyous moment can also bring trauma to your skin and hair.

This is mostly because of chlorine, a bacteria and germ fighting ingredient that is added to most pools to keep them clean and fresh.

Hence, celebrity Dermatologist Kiran Lohia, Medical Director of Lumiere Dermatology, New Delhi, tells you how to keep pool chrorine from destroying your hair and skin and look gorgeous even as you continue to enjoy your regular swimming.

For your Skin

The chlorine in your pool may help keep it clean, but it can be quite drying and irritating to the skin. Repetitive chlorine exposure can cause swimmer’s itch or dermatitis, resulting in this particularly phenomena. Furthermore, if the pH (acid-base balance) of the pool and chlorine is not balanced to 7.2-7.5, then these symptoms can worsen; leaving your skin with a red rash that is uncomfortable to say the least.

So, how do you solve this? First of all, make sure the pH of the pool is balanced to the required pH, thereby reducing your risk of this pesky issue. Then, make sure you wash the chlorine off your skin immediately after you swim so that this chemical cannot cause further damage. Finally, make sure you use a good body lotion immediately before you go in the pool to protect your skin and after you shower to seal moisture in. This doubling up of your lotion usage will help improve your skin so you can continue your pool swimming!  

For your Hair

Unfortunately, chlorine is extremely damaging to the hair shaft. Hair has a protective layer of natural sebum that keeps it supple and shiny. Chlorine has a drying effect that strips those oils right off, causing hair to break and look frizzy and aged.

Chlorine and salt can also get under the hair’s cuticles; the scale-like layers that cover the shaft and make it look shiny and smooth. The cuticles usually are flat, but when they’re roughed-up, bumpy and uneven, the hair looks brittle and unmanageable. The worst part is that the problems of too much chlorine doesn’t just look and feel unappealing; it can also weaken the hair so much that you get breakage, split ends and the hair ultimately becomes too fragile to style.

Luckily, preventing chlorine damage is possible. The best thing to do is to start wearing a swim cap. This tightly adherent cap will prevent the water from affecting the hair, so that you can keep your treasured locks gorgeous. Now, for those that feel uncomfortable in swim caps,

There is also a solution for those that feel uncomfortable in swim caps. First of all, you can try to wet your hair with fresh water first, so that less chlorine water can saturate the already wet hair. Another option is to apply oil or conditioner before entering the pool, so that you can have a protective barrier on your hair cuticle.

Thirdly, please always remember to wash out the chlorine from your hair after swimming. This will displace any excess chemical so that you can minimize the damage. Fourth, always use a conditioner and apply moisturising, repairing masques to the hair weekly, so you can heal at least some of the adverse effects of your pool adventures. Finally, for both your hair and your skin, now many are avoiding chlorine pools entirely, and going for saltwater pools, which keep it clean without causing problems to your integument or those irritating red eyes!

First Published: Friday, July 11, 2014 - 19:43
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