Hair, hair, everywhere: Swimming Pools

Recently, I began an exercise regimen that includes swimming twice a week and I have been taking extreme measures to protect my hair. Many naturals avoid the swimming pool at all cost because of the potential damage chlorine  has on hair. Well, you may be asking, what exactly does chlorine do to hair, well

According to Chemical and physical behavior of human hair, someone named Allworden was the first to test the effects of chlorine on hair. He used wool fibers and exposed it to chlorine. The chlorine created bubbles and sacs across the surface of the epicutical, or the thin layer of material covering the hair of mammals  (that’s us ya’ll!! :) ).

These sacs form as a result of diffusion of chlorine water into cuticle cells and weaken the protein of the hair. The product of this reaction is unable to diffuse out, causing swelling which creates the sac. Adapted from:

To protect my hair, I have been putting my hair in protective styles, then wearing a head scarf, then a swim cap and so far no good, no incidents yet! You may find wetting hair before you enter the pool is helpful as saturated hair will not absorb anything, including chlorine. HTH



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