Chlorine damaged hair is a major issue even in the winter, but you can fix it.
If you’re wondering why you’re dealing with crunchy hair that’s a tangled, dry mess, the answer probably lies in what your summer was like, but also what your shower routine is like. Did you spend each and every day out by the pool, drenched in country club swimming water, sunscreen, and UV rays? If the answer is “yes” (and let’s be honest, it probably is), you likely have some degree of chlorine damaged hair.
“Hair that is fine, permed, relaxed or color-treated in any way is more porous and absorbs more,” explains Lisa Silliker, brand formulator for Pai-Shau. “All hair types are at risk.”
But it’s not just swimming in pools that leads to damaged tresses — because even your shower’s tap water is pouring chlorinated water onto your precious mane.
According to one report, “The EPA requires treated tap water to have a detectable level of chlorine to help prevent contamination. The allowable chlorine levels in drinking water (up to 4 parts per million) pose ‘no known or expected health risk.'” Health risks, no, but hair risks? Apparently plenty.
So how do you repair chlorine damaged hair?
The fact that just about everyone is left open to chlorine damaged hair is reason enough to invest in a good deep conditioner and perhaps a new showerhead. If you’re wondering why you might need a new shower head, it’s because the one you have now probably isn’t doing a single thing to protect your tresses, and if anything it’s actually helping distribute more chlorine on your hair with every wash.
Brands like T3 are recognizing that good hair needs good products, but starts with healthy water. The new T3 Source Showerhead helps filter out crunch-causing chlorine, iron oxide, dirt, hydrogen sulfide, and a host of other gross things lurking in your tap water. The investment is worth it, too, because if you factor in all the salon deep conditioning treatments you will probably no longer need from routinely chlorine-free showers, you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank with soft hair — even after you drop $150 for the showerhead (which by the way, is better for your skin, too).
“Chlorine is meant to kill Bacteria and nasty things. We’ve all seen a girl get out of the pool with a giant knot from swimming in a chlorinated pool with chlorine, and that’s not a good sign,” shares Liam Carey, celebrity hairstylist and owner of independent hair salon Broome and Beauty in New York. “Chlorine removes everything good from your hair.”
Change your products, too.
Essentially all the energy and love we pour into our hair with serums, oils, conditioners, leave-ins and all the rest could be reduced to a pile of nothing if we’re not eliminating chlorine from our hair’s special, and very important routine. Chlorine damaged hair is up there with processing, coloring, and hot tools when it comes to things that cause split ends the dreaded frizz look.
“Repairing damaged hair starts with a good moisturizing shampoo followed by a rich conditioner.”
The key, according to experts, is to look for a conditioner or conditioning mask that uses a blend of light, natural oils and protein-building amino acids.
That means steering clear of anything that says “clarifying” on the label, drying formulas, and anything packed with alcohol and sulfates.