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Can swimming pool water and showers bleach your hair color?

swimming pool bleach hair color

Did you know your hair color can be ruined by swimming or from your shower? That’s because chlorine is a bleaching agent. Hair color and chlorine don’t play well together, and here’s why.

Chlorine Bleaching Explained

Chemistry Explained does a great job of explaining the bleaching phenomenon.

Experiments running chlorine gas through a cylinder of tomato juice turns the mixture “almost completely white within five minutes”. When old newspaper clippings are exposed to bleach “the paper is dramatically whitened within twenty minutes”.

“This spectacular change is a result of the chemical action of chlorine, acting as an oxidizing bleaching agent on the pigments … “

They go on to explain that a bleaching agent “is a substance that can whiten or decolorize other substances”.

And Chemistry Explained lists a few uses for bleaching agents:

  • The bleaching of textiles and fabrics
  • The bleaching of wood pulp
  • The removal of stains
  • Commercial and household laundering and cleaning
  • As ingredients in scouring cleansers and dishwashing products
  • The bleaching of hair (emphasis added)
  • THE BLEACHING of HAIR??!! Yikes!!

Yes, chlorine is a bleaching agent and it will “destroy chromophores (thereby removing the color)”.

Have you ever noticed how your swimsuit gets lighter with use, or how if you aren’t careful with the laundry, so-called bleach spots will appear on your clothing? These are living examples of how bleach removes color.

This same chlorine bleaching action will remove the color from your hair.

Professional cut and color can cost $50.00-$150.00 every month. That’s an expense you don’t want ruined by a trip to the swimming pool, or by overly chlorinated showers.

Protect Your Hair from Chlorine

Take these steps to protect your hair before swimming.

The best way to keep the chlorine from bleaching your hair color is to remove chlorine from your hair immediately after swimming. This is easier said than done, however. While you were swimming, chlorine created a tight bond to your hair–so tight that normal soaps and shampoos are ineffective at removing it.

Have you ever smelled like chlorine after swimming and showering? This is the evidence that the chlorine has stuck around.

So how do you get the chlorine off after swimming?

The way to get chlorine off after swimming is to use professional products that are formulated to reduce chlorine. Reduction is a fancy word for breaking the tight bond chlorine has formed.

Some shampoos like clarifying shampoos attempt to strip all of the chlorine from your hair. This is a bad approach when cleaning hair after swimming and can compound the problems associated with “swimmer’s hair”.

Use Professional Anti-Chlorine Hair Products

Using products like Goodbye Chlorine’s Shower Gels, Shampoos, Conditioners and styling products are the way to go. All of these products will gently remove the chlorine after swimming. They reduce the chlorine and gently remove any residual chlorine rather than trying to strip it away.

Goodbye Chlorine Shampoo is shampoo gentle enough to use every day. It’s highly foaming, smells great and leaves your hair soft and manageable. Of course it reduces and removes the chlorine from your hair which will stop the chlorine from bleaching your hair.

Goodbye Chlorine Conditioner is a rich conditioner that adds moisture back into your hair. It has plenty of “slip” and will assist with combout for people who have difficult to manage hair. It will also reduce and remove chlorine that may have been left behind after shampooing.

Anti-Chlorine Shampoo for Swimmers.
Goodbye Chlorine Shampoo
Anti-Chlorine Conditioner for Swimmers.
Goodbye Chlorine Conditioner