Swimming and Chlorine: How to protect your skin, hair, and health

Water is one of the most important things for our bodies. In it’s most natural and purest form that is. With that in mind, one could think that swimming — immersing oneself in a pool of water– is a healthy thing. The health benefits of swimming are wonderful. However, the very things put in water to protect us from infection are responsible for some adverse effects on our skin, hair and even teeth. The primary enemy? Chlorine, a gaseous greenish-yellow element used for its disinfecting power. There are ways to combat this, as explained below with the most simplest and healthiest alternative being able to eliminate chlorine almost completely.


One of the most common and obvious problems affect blondes. Blonde hair is known to turn green because of the exposure to chlorine. Skin problems can also occur in frequent swimmers. If you think about it, skin is the largest organ in the body. While technically water-proof, the skin can absorb contaminants from water. Although long term exposure to chlorine may cause cancer and other ailments, problems to skin and hair are usually not life-threatening. Irritation can occur on the skin and scalp, making for a dry, itchy body and head. Additionally, the Pacific Center for Health says that chlorine can also destroy much-needed proteins in our bodies. Depleted of protein, skin and hair can become very dry. Hair can become unmanageable and colour-treated hair can be ruined. Thankfully there are several ways to protect ourselves from chlorine.


For Hair


  1. Apply a thin layer of oil to your hair before swimming. You can pour olive oil, baby oil or coconut oil onto your hands and just rub it through your hair to protect it.
  2. Wet your hair with non-chlorinated water prior to swimming will lessen the amount of the element that can be absorbed.
  3. Re-wet your hair frequently to rinse of the chlorine and keep it saturated with clean non-chlorinated water.
  4. Use a bathing cap to keep water from contacting your hair.
  5. Add a post-swim routine of deep shampooing, not using the high setting on the blow dryer and using a wide-tooth comb instead of a brush.


For Skin


  1. Apply a waterproof sunscreen designed to protect against chlorine sensitivities.
  2. Shower frequently between swims to reduce the amount of overall chlorine your skin will absorb.
  3. Shower again when you are done swimming to remove all traces of chlorine. You can use soap this time.
  4. Apply after-swim lotions that are specifically designed to neutralize chlorine’s causticity.


A Healthier Choice


There are now alternatives on the market for domestic swimming pools that dramatically reduce the amount of chemicals (particularly chlorine) and provides an even better swimming experience by utilising natures minerals and oxygen to deliver a crystal clear swimming pool that is not only healthier for your body, it’s better for the environment too. One such product is the Naked Freshwater System available from Naked Pools. Customers using this product are raving about the health benefits of this solution, that the water has no odour, does not irritate the skin and many have chosen the product because they or their children suffer from Asthma related issues which the NKaked System eliminates.