Beach Hair – How To Get Chlorine And Salt Water Out Of Your Hair

Beautiful lady with beach hair reading a book on the beach

Beach hair, it’s inevitable when you spend your days at the beach or pool. Chlorine strips your hair of its natural protective oils, and the salt in seawater pulls the moisture out of your skin and your hair.

Both seawater and chlorine swell the cuticle on the outside layer of the hair,  and the damage shows. It also makes hair tangle and knot more easily, fades the color, and irritates the scalp. 

Clearly, it isn’t good to leave chlorine and saltwater in your hair, so what can you do to get them out? 

Table of Contents

How Do You Get Chlorine Out of Your Hair?

Chlorine and other chemicals are in pools to protect you from harmful bacteria but don’t do your hair any favors.

1. Prevent

You know what they say about an ounce of prevention, and it’s true. A swim cap will protect your hair and also help you move faster.

If that’s not your style, you’ll want to soak your hair with clean water or leave-in conditioner before you get into the pool. This way, there’s less room inside the hair shaft to absorb the chlorine.

A good quality conditioner will form a healthy barrier that will protect your hair from chemical damage.

2.  Rinse Thoroughly

As soon as you get out of the pool, rinse your hair thoroughly. Rinsing will remove some of the chemicals, and then follow up with a chlorine-removal shampoo to continue the cleansing process.

3. Try Using a Chlorine Removal Spray

Chlorine sprays work by neutralizing the chlorine in your hair, preventing further irritation and damage. You can usually purchase these sprays at swim stores and some athletic stores. 

A chlorine removal spray can take the place of specialty shampoos for removing the chlorine. You can also use the spray in addition to shampooing. Either way, the application of a chlorine removal spray comes after rinsing and before shampooing your hair.

Bonus? Spray it on your skin to get rid of that lingering chlorine smell and chemical irritation. 

4. Shampoo your Hair with a Swim Shampoo

Again, time is of the essence. As soon as possible after your swim, wash your hair with a swim shampoo. Swim shampoos have been specially formulated to remove chlorine from your hair. Apply, work it into a lather, and let it sit for about a minute before rinsing it out.

Just be careful not to use swim shampoos too often. Because they are designed to remove chemicals, they must be strong to be effective. This means they will add to the dryness of your hair, so in between the days you wash with a swim shampoo, use a seriously moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.

If your hair is colored, choose a color-safe clarifying shampoo instead. Clarifying shampoos also do a heavy-duty job of cleaning your hair.

5. Try a Specialty Chlorine Treatment

If you expose your hair to chlorine regularly, you may want to try a special chlorine treatment. These treatments are often available from the same stores that carry swim shampoos. 

The treatments typically come in a packet with a powder-like substance that you massage into your hair and let sit for two to three minutes before washing it out. Chlorine treatments can be used in place of, or in addition to, other chlorine-removal products.

6. Shampoo With Natural Ingredients

If you like a more natural approach, you can create your own DIY chlorine remover using natural products. You can try apple cider vinegar, baking soda, or lemon juice, to name a few.

Either way, rinse and shampoo as soon as possible after your swim. 

How Do You Get Saltwater out of Your Hair?

While salt is a healing substance for cuts and other wounds on the body, over-exposure to salt is damaging to your skin and your hair. 

Salt pulls the water out of your hair, and since your hair’s water content is what makes it elastic, removing that moisture will leave your hair dry and brittle. As the sea has high salt content, it is osmotic, so it makes your hair porous, letting water out of your hair and seawater in. 

This osmotic effect does serious damage to your hair. Seawater swells the cuticle on the outside layer of your hair, leaving it damaged and prone to tangling and knotting up. The salty water can also irritate the scalp and fade hair color.  

1. Apply a Barrier

Here again, prevention is always the best place to begin. You can wear a bathing cap in the ocean, too.

Or you can soak your hair before going into the ocean, so there isn’t as much space in the hair shaft to allow the saltwater to soak in. Drench your hair with water or leave-in conditioner to form a protective barrier.

Use a wide-tooth comb to work the conditioner through your hair. If your hair is short, no need to do anything more. If you have long hair, slick it into a neat bun before taking a dip.  

2. Rinse

Rinse your hair with fresh, clean water as soon as possible when you’re done swimming. If you’re on the beach with no immediate access to clean water, use some bottled water. Immediately rinsing your hair off is essential for minimizing the damage. 

3. Add Lemon Juice

Try adding a spoonful of lemon juice to your hair to restore its natural pH balance after swimming. Fresh is always best, so just squeeze a fresh lemon and gently massage the juice through with your fingers all the way to the hair ends. 

4. Use an Intensive Moisturizer

Apply a good quality and intensive moisturizing conditioner, either spray or lotion, and comb it through your hair. Leave it in and let it begin the restructuring and restoring process. 

Care For Your Hair, Regardless of Condition

Both chlorine and saltwater remove precious moisture from your hair, leaving it dry, brittle, and damaged. It’s essential to start with protecting your hair before going into the pool or the ocean. Saturate your hair to form a protective barrier while it is exposed to harmful substances. 

After exposure, treat your locks to a deep moisturizing treatment to restore lost moisture and heal the damage.

Our ProDesign wholesale hair products will protect your hair before, during, and after exposure to the sun, salt water, chlorine, and other attacks on your hair. You can still have gorgeous, healthy hair as you enjoy the beautiful outdoors this summer.

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