Summers are here in all their heated glory and you can’t wait to jump into the deliciously cold waters of your swimming pool. Understandably so. But swimming pools come with their own share of disadvantages. As anybody who loves a dip in the pool knows all too well, the chlorine in pool water can wreak havoc on your skin and hair. Other chemicals and salts in the water also play their part in ensuring that your dream of pretty summer pictures remains a distant one. So how do you prevent that from happening? Simply by following these pro tips!
1. Always wear a swimming cap
Now this may seem like a very basic rule, but a lot of people neglect to follow it. Wearing a swimming cap is important because it minimizes the contact between chlorine water and your hair, thereby minimizing the damage. We know it’s annoying to stuff your hair in one and you feel like your head resembles a colourful egg, but do it for the sake of your strands. A latex or silicone cap may feel uncomfortable in the beginning, but it is arguably the best way to protect your hair from chemical damage. It is, however, impossible to keep your hair completely dry in the pool, even with swimming caps, and this is where the following tips come in handy.
2. Shower before jumping in
Showering before your swim will not only help keep the pool germ-free, but also keep your skin and hair damage-free. A pre-swim rinse will hydrate your skin and keep it from drying out in the chlorinated water of the pool (dehydration makes your skin more susceptible to chemical damage). Wet hair also soaks up fewer chemicals than dry hair, so make sure you rinse your hair with soft water before taking the plunge. But ensure that you only rinse and do not shampoo, as shampooing can strip your hair of its natural oils.
3. Oil your hair
You might have turned up your nose at your grandmother’s tel champis as a kid, but oiling is a very important component of hair protection while swimming. A natural oil like coconut, olive or jojoba will form a barrier between the harsh chemicals of the swimming pool and your hair cuticles, so use a generous amount of oil before every swim to protect your hair. Coconut oil can also help prevent the unattractive greenish tinge that coloured hair acquires after coming in contact with chlorinated water.
4. Sunscreen is your friend
Invest in a good, waterproof sunscreen before you begin your summer swimming sessions. Apply it evenly to all exposed body parts, including the hard-to-reach ones! A sunscreen will keep your skin moisturized and prevent UV damage. It will also help keeping tanning at bay.
5. Post-swim shower
A thorough shower after every swimming session will ensure that no chlorine or chemicals remain bound to your skin. A good rinse will help remove salt, chemicals, grime and chlorine that tends to get deposited on your skin, so never, ever skip the post-swim shower.
After every swim, your skin needs to rehydrate. If you feel like it is especially dry, invest in a chlorine-neutralizing moisturizer to use after swimming. Since chlorine does not simply wash away like dirt, but often binds itself to your skin, a good chlorine-neutralizing moisturizer will help heal your skin. You can buy one here.