If you’re someone who frequently bleaches their hair, there’s a good chance that you’re no stranger to the damaging effects of chlorine. Chlorine is commonly found in swimming pools and even in your shower, and it can wreak havoc on your bleached hair. In this article, we’ll dive into what exactly chlorine does to bleached hair and the risks associated with it.
What is Chlorine?
Before we dive into how chlorine affects bleached hair, it’s important to understand what chlorine is. Chlorine is a chemical that is commonly used to disinfect water. It’s often found in swimming pools as well as tap water. Chlorine is added to water to kill harmful bacteria and viruses, making it safe for us to swim in and drink.
How Does Chlorine Affect Bleached Hair?
Bleached hair is already more susceptible to damage due to the harsh chemicals used to lighten it. When exposed to chlorine, bleached hair can become even more damaged. Chlorine can strip the hair of its natural oils, leaving it dry and brittle. It can also cause the hair cuticles to become rough and frayed, leading to split ends and breakage.
One of the most noticeable effects of chlorine on bleached hair is discoloration. Chlorine can cause blonde hair to turn green or a shade of teal. This is because chlorine can react with the copper and other minerals in the water to create a tint. The lighter your hair is, the more noticeable this tint will be.
As mentioned earlier, chlorine can strip the hair of its natural oils. This can leave the hair feeling dry and brittle. Dry hair is more prone to breakage and split ends, which can be especially damaging to bleached hair.
Chlorine can also cause the hair to lose its shine. This is because chlorine can build up on the hair, creating a dull and lackluster appearance. This can be especially noticeable on lighter hair colors such as blonde or platinum.
The Risks of Chlorine on Bleached Hair
Now that we know how chlorine affects bleached hair, let’s take a closer look at the risks associated with this damage.
As mentioned earlier, dry and brittle hair is more prone to breakage. This can be especially damaging to bleached hair, which is already fragile due to the lightening process. Chlorine can exacerbate this damage, leading to more breakage and split ends.
Bleached hair that has been damaged by chlorine can be more difficult to style. This is because the hair may be more prone to tangling and overall unruliness. Additionally, hair that has lost its shine due to chlorine buildup can be more difficult to manage and style.
Damaged Hair Cuticles
Chlorine can cause the hair cuticles to become rough and frayed. This can lead to the hair feeling rough to the touch and having an overall dull appearance. Additionally, damaged cuticles can lead to more breakage and split ends.
How Can You Protect Your Hair from Chlorine?
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your bleached hair from chlorine damage.
Wear a Swim Cap
One of the easiest ways to protect your hair from chlorine is to wear a swim cap. This will create a barrier between your hair and the water, preventing the chlorine from coming into contact with your hair.
Rinse Your Hair Before and After Swimming
Another way to protect your hair from chlorine is to rinse it before and after swimming. This will help to remove any chlorine residue that may be present on your hair.
Use a Leave-In Conditioner
Using a leave-in conditioner can help to protect your hair from chlorine. This is because the conditioner can create a barrier on the hair, preventing the chlorine from penetrating the hair shaft.
Avoid Overexposure to Chlorinated Water
Lastly, it’s important to avoid overexposure to chlorinated water. If possible, limit your time in the pool or try to find alternative swimming options that don’t involve chlorinated water.
The Bottom Line
Chlorine can be incredibly damaging to bleached hair. It can cause discoloration, dryness, and dullness. Additionally, exposure to chlorine can increase the risk of hair breakage and other damage. However, by taking steps to protect your hair from chlorine, you can minimize the risk of damage and keep your hair looking healthy and beautiful.
Q: How long does it take for chlorine to damage bleached hair?
A: Chlorine can begin to damage bleached hair after just a few swims. However, the severity of the damage will depend on a number of factors such as the length of time in the water and the overall health of the hair.
Q: Can chlorine damage naturally blonde hair?
A: Yes, chlorine can damage naturally blonde hair. However, the effects may be less noticeable than on bleached hair.
Q: Can a clarifying shampoo remove chlorine buildup from bleached hair?
A: Yes, a clarifying shampoo can help to remove chlorine buildup from bleached hair. However, it’s important not to overuse clarifying shampoo as it can be harsh on the hair.
Q: How can I repair my hair after chlorine damage?
A: To repair hair that has been damaged by chlorine, it’s important to use deep conditioning treatments and avoid over-styling. Additionally, trimming the ends of the hair can help to get rid of any split ends or other damage.
Q: Can I dye my hair after it has been damaged by chlorine?
A: It’s generally best to avoid dyeing hair immediately after it has been damaged by chlorine. This is because the hair may be too damaged to take color properly, leading to uneven results. It’s best to wait until the hair has fully recovered before dyeing it.