How to Remove Chlorine from Hair and Skin

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Before you look for after-swim solutions, one of the pre-stage things you can do to prevent your hair from absorbing as much chlorine while swimming is to wet it in the shower. Then use a swim cap to limit exposure while swimming. Ideally we’d all live in a world with natural pools that are filtered with plant-life like the ones made by the guys over at Biotop. Unfortunately, in a world of pee-filled public pools chlorinated to the brim, this is currently just a dream.

Even with the preventative measure of pre-soaking and wearing a swim cap, chlorine damage is almost inevitable if you spend enough time in chlorinated pools. Enter our 6 best options for taking care of chlorine after you’re out of the pool.

DIY Solutions

If you’re on a budget and don’t mind spending the extra time to use and prep DIY style solutions, there’s a few different things you can try.

Although we’ve tried all of the done for you solutions/products from the companies listed, we haven’t tried all of the DIY solutions, but tried to compile some of the most often cited suggestions. So your mileage may vary in effectiveness. As with any DIY health remedy, try it on a small area of hair or skin before applying all over to make sure it works well with you.

1. Apple Vinegar

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When you’re showering off after your swim, rinse apple vinegar through your hair. Then rinse  your hair thoroughly. That’s it. Let dry and continue on about your day. The apple vinegar is acting somewhat as a natural “clarifying agent.” Meaning it’s trying to get down and strip out all the junk from your hair.

2. Baking Soda

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To make a baking soda solution, take one tablespoon of baking soda and one cup of water. Apply throughout your hair evenly then rinse thoroughly. Depending on your hair you may end up spending a few minutes mixing the solution through to get all of the chlorine out, like Rin on her blog at MakeupDownUnder.

3. Vitamin C Crystals

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Also known as Vitamin C Powder (depending on the manufacturer). You can find these from various health and wellness specialty stores or online. Vitamin C crystals are a powdered form of ascorbic acid. It naturally neutralizes the chlorine in your hair and on your skin.

  • Mix a teaspoon of crystals with a pint of water.
  • It’s most easily applied through a spray bottle. Simply spray on your hair and on your skin.
  • If you still smell like chlorine anywhere, then rinse and repeat application of the vitamin C.

The biggest downside of Vitamin C crystals is that the solution you make will usually degrade in a couple days; turning brown and becoming useless for our purposes here. It is important to continue to mix a new solution after your current one has degraded.

Done For You Solutions

Although DIY solutions can be effective, they also often take extra prep time. Then you need to find other products to help finish the job of restoring moisture

1. Clarifying Shampoos

Example: Paul Mitchell Clarifying Shampoo

There’s no doubt about it that a clarifying shampoo like the one for swimmer’s from Paul Mitchell will definitely remove chlorine. However, the downside of a clarifying shampoo is that using it frequently will most likely dry out your hair further. So no more chlorine smell, but also still dry hair. If you swim once or twice a month during the summertime this may not be a bad option. Your local hair stylist will probably have the Paul Mitchel or something similar on hand to clarify your hair those couple of times to get chlorine out.

If you actually swim frequently or are at the pool all summer, it may not be the best solution for you.

2. Traditional Chemical Shampoos with Sodium Thiosulphate

Examples: Ultraswim, Triswim

Enter the staple products for the last 20+ years. Ultraswim has been around since the 1980’s with essentially the same formula. It’s active ingredient for removing chlorine is Sodium Thiosulphate. This chemical does bond to chlorine and help remove it from hair, but the problem is that it is a time delayed response. Meaning that you will need to let sit in your hair to be as effective as possible.

If you don’t like the smell of Ultraswim you can also check out products from SBR Sports Inc. that makes Triswim in shampoo and body wash. Both using sodium thiosulphate with different scents.

Both Ultraswim and Triswim are traditional shampoo and cleaning products. They use added dyes (triswim does, ultraswim doesn’t), added fragrances, sulfates (obviously) and parabens (ultraswim does, triswim doesn’t).

If your skin is already irritated from chlorine use, there’s a greater chance that these added chemicals are going to irritate your skin further.

3. Vitamin C Products & More Gentle Solutions

Example: Solpri

 

Remember how Vitamin C crystals have a problem degrading over a few days? Well, science comes to save the day with a more stable formulation of vitamin C, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate. In short, a salt form of Vitamin C that doesn’t degrade over time. Solpri uses this form of Vitamin C, in a sulfate free, paraben free, dye free, synthetic fragrance free formula to both be gentle on your skin and hair while neutralizing chlorine.

Then the swimmer’s conditioner does the hard work revitalizing your hair from the damage it has already from your swim sessions with silk amino acids.

In the age of internet hyperbole and big claims it’s easy to say “oh look at us we’re awesome.” But not many companies are willing to back that up. We are.

If you’re a frequent swimmer we want to make sure you’re taken care of.

You can try out Solpri for yourself and decide, Click here to check it out.

 

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