Whether you’ve been swimming laps or just splashing around with the kids, it’s likely that you’ve interacted with chlorine this summer. It disinfects the water but can also damage your hair and skin, and it can degrade swimsuit fabric. Nobody wants green hair, but what can you do to prevent it?
Here are some tips for getting the chlorine off your body and out of your hair, swimsuit and towel.
Shower before you get into the pool, and get your hair thoroughly wet to prevent the chlorine from soaking into your strands. It won’t prevent your hair from absorbing chlorine entirely, but it will help.
If you’re swimming for fitness, invest in a swim cap to prevent the water from coming into contact with your hair.
There are special shampoos you can buy that are made specifically for swimmers, but you can also try mixing shampoo and conditioner together. Be sure to use them immediately after swimming for the best effect.
To slough off dead skin cells that are soaked with chlorine, exfoliate with loofa gloves or a mild pumice scrub after you swim. After your shower, dry off with a clean towel and apply a layer of lotion to your skin.
As with your hair, get your suit wet in the shower before you dive into the pool.
If you’re close to a shower when you leave the pool, leave your suit on when you step in. Immediately rinse the suit and then remove it.
After your suit is thoroughly rinsed, wash it in lingerie cleaner formulated for delicates.
Avoid the temptation to wring out your suit; doing so can damage the elastic and affect the fit (saggy suits are sad!). Instead, roll the suit in a towel to remove excess water and then lay it flat to air dry.
Wash your pool towels on the hottest water setting your machine offers. Add a cup of white vinegar and a cup of baking soda. Allow the towels to soak in this mix for an hour before running the machine.
Run the towels through a second time with your normal laundry detergent to remove any residual chlorine or pool grime.
Immediately put the towels in the dryer after the final wash cycle. Set the dryer to high heat and let them dry completely to prevent them from smelling like mildew.
With a few simple steps, you can enjoy all the benefits (and fun!) of swimming without the hassle of dry, brittle hair and a droopy swimsuit. Remember to rinse and wash as soon as possible after you leave the pool for the best results.