"The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?"

- Psalms 27 : 1

Friday, December 30, 2011

Questions We Ask : What's The Deal With Chlorine...And Natural Hair?


Blessings and love beauties!!

I pray you are all having wonderful end of year celebrations and taking advantage of the joy, love and warmth being exchanged during this amazing period.

The other day, I had the privilege to go to a nearby spa with my sister and some friends. It was my first time going there and it was also my first time doing anything like swimming ever since I went natural so I was very excited. However, I was also quite worried about what would happen to my hair. We all know pool water contains a lot of chlorine, which is needed to keep the pool as clean and germ free as possible. I'd heard a few accounts on how to protect natural hair when swimming but never really read anything about the consequences of chlorine.

On the day we had set to go, I moisturized my hair with some water and leave - in conditioner then I put my hair in a high bun to protect my ends as much as possible. When we first got to the venue, which I have to say I was and still am very impressed about [a post might be coming soon God willing] we first of all decided to try the hammam and sauna before jumping in the pool or jacuzzi. 

To start with, the hammam just steamed up my hair. Then we got into the sauna. Things changed from here. While the sauna was making my body think I had a fever and was making me sweat bucket fulls, it was drying my hair out like it was nobody's business. By the time we stepped out, about fifteen minutes later, any form of water left in my hair had been dried up. I panicked a bit but decided to chill as we stepped into the pool. We spent a bit more than an hour in the pool + jacuzzi and by the time we were out, my hair was soaking wet with chlorine water. After we decided to call it a day, I realized my hair was not only moisture - less but was snapping and was causing mild breakage!! I literally freaked at this point. Immediately I got home, I started my wash routine and got some moisture into my strands.

At the end of it all, the chlorine water + my dry hair all led to temporary slight breakage. My hair was left lifeless and dull.

To counter this, I believe it is important to load the hair with moisture before jumping into the pool and protecting it so the chlorine water would not really penetrate the hair strands. 
Chlorine can really lead to major breakage because chlorine molecules bond to the hair strands taking the place of much needed moisture and oils.

Here are a few things to do before and after swimming to prevent chlorine hair damage :

● Wet your hair with non chlorine water
● Moisturize your hair with your favorite water - based moisturizer. A leave in conditioner could be the best thing to use

● Seal your hair with a sealant. Try using a butter or heavy oil

● Add some conditioner in your hair

● And before stepping into the pool, wet your hair with non chlorine water. By doing this, your hair won't easily soak up the chlorine water

● If possible, wear a cap but if you have trouble finding your size like I do or just can't keep them on then following the other steps should be enough.

After the pool...

● rinse your hair abundantly with non chlorine water

● wash with a cleansing shampoo or just normal shampoo depending on your regimen. You can also use a clay [I used bentonite clay] or powder to thoroughly cleanse your hair.

● Deep condition your hair or cowash depending on how much moisture your hair needs

● Detangle your hair. Chlorine water can cause tangled hair so be sure to detangle your hair with conditioner.

● An ACV rinse is always effective for thorough cleansing. Try one at the end of your wash.

I strongly advice you not to go swimming if you are already experiencing damage, no matter how small. If you notice your hair is not responding to your treatments after swimming, I advice you to seek professional help from a salon you trust.

Next time, I'll be sure to follow these steps and have some guiltless fun!

How do you handle chlorine?



  1. Using SwimSpray after swimming gets the chlorine out of your hair. You use it with your normal shower products because it has no odor of its own. It's just vitamin C. Www.SwimSpray.com

    You will immediately notice that your hair ant skin don't smell like chlorine.

  2. Great tips !! Thanks for sharing them.

  3. Love the post. I swim everyday in the summer or atleast 5 times a week. And I have been doing so since I was younger. I will be getting box braids next week and just wanted to know do i do those steps everytime i swim and is it different because I will have braids?

    1. Hey Anonymous! Thank you for passing by! I'm glad the post is of help to you. With box braids, your hair is still just as fragile only there is no manipulation that leads to breakage from weakened hair. I advice you to wet some your hair with non chlorine water, spray your braids (only where your hair is present) with a good oil (coconut oil is great because it's light and penetrating) and wet your hair with more chlorine water to saturate it. After coming out of the pool, rinse abundantly with non chorine water and proceed to shampooing/cleansing. When taking your braids out though, be very careful to not pull your hair too much or over manipulate it because it will have been weakened from the frequents pool visits. Cleanse, and do a moisturizing deep conditioning treatment as soon as you take the braids out. Hope that helps! Don't hesitate to ask any more questions you might have :)

  4. Thank you so much!! You are amazing. One more question . I saw where you said about stretching your hair for braids . My hair is a little past my eyebrows (I have been rocking a fade for about two years and it growing back)I have been reading that your hair has to be a certain lenght for it not damage your hair I want to make sure my hair starts off healthy before i get the braids my hair is very dry. So actually two question. 1. Will it damage my hair and what can I do before I get my braids next week so my hair starts off very healthy? 2. Are there and simple products or things i can make at home as something to keep my hair moisturized? I know i said alot. Thank you so much.

    1. Hey! Glad to be of help. Firstly, your hair does not have to be a certain length before you can braid it. If it is done properly, there should not be breakage, no matter how short your hair is. If your hair is very dry, it is right to get it as moisturized & healthy before the braids to avoid damage. Secondly, here are the answers to your question 1. If you do not get your hair as healthy as possible and deal with the dry hair, it could possibly lead to damage. To prepare your hair for the braids, check out this post. 2.Yes, you can make a daily spritz. Check out this post

  5. Last question. What did you mean when you said we need to stretch our hair before breads i mean i pick my hair out everyday is that stretching it out? Alright this is the last question. Thank you so much for this I dont understand hair at all so all this is new to me.

    1. Check out this post on stretching. Personally, picking out your hair only is not a really efficient way of stretching the hair but this depends on your hair regimen and hair texture. It's best to also try a more efficient form of stretching before braiding. I really hope that helps. Don't hesitate at all to ask anymore questions you may have.

  6. Can you give me some tips on box braids and swimming(ocean)? Washing after swims, protecting hair underneath, etc.

    1. Hi. Concerning swimming with box braids, I would advice washing with a clarifying (but moisturizing) shampoo immediately after swimming and moisturizing with a spray or water based leave in conditioner. Prior to swimming, saturate your hair with water so the water in the pool or ocean will not easily get in.
      Be sure to take down your box braids gently and shampoo as well as deep condition immediately.
      Hope that helps :)
      Don't hesitate at all to ask anymore questions you may have


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