Can Chlorine Cause Hair Loss? My Experience Swimming
Chlorine is used in pools around the world. It is a corrosive chemical that a lot of people say it's bad for our health, especially the eyes and skin. Chlorine can cause dryness and irritation of the eyes if you're exposed to it for prolonged periods.
Despite these adverse effects, chlorine is effective at keeping pools sanitary, even if used in low concentrations and those benefits outweigh the mild eye irritation.
Back last year when my hair started falling out I was also swimming a couple of times per month in my local chlorine treated pool. I was frantically trying to figure out what could be causing my hair loss and Chlorine was something I decided to research.
Does Chlorine Cause Hair Loss?
I am not going to beat around the bush and keep you reading until the end for an answer. The short answer is no. You might be thinking "But, Gabriela. How can you be so sure?"
In the year 2000 an interesting study by "Journal of Dermatology" compared 67 professional swimmers with 54 people who never swim. There was absolutely nothing to show that Chlorine caused hair loss. They did, however, notice that on average the swimmer's hair was discolored and slightly more coarse. That isn't anything a good shampoo can't fix though.
You should always wash your hair after a swimming session though too make sure you get rid of all of the chlorine. In my opinion, I have noticed my scalp feels a little bit drier after swimming.
Does Chlorine Change The Color Of Hair
The study by Journal of Dermatology did notice some change in color with the swimmers. Keep in mind though that these swimmers were professionals and probably swam every single day for hours. As well as chlorine in swimming pools there is also oxidized metals in the water, such as copper.
As I previously mentioned, one of the main side effects of prolonged exposure to chlorine is dryness and irritation. When chlorine is paired with dyes and hair treatments, then hair can become extremely brittle. When this happens, the hair can easily absorb chemicals and more copper, which can lead to discoloration.
Too put things simply, swimming every now and again isn't going to change your hair color. Don't worry.
Is There A Way To Reduce Chlorine Damage
You can reduce damage from swimming easily, most people will say to use a good Shampoo and Conditioner after your swim but another great tip to avoid even getting chlorine in your hair is too rinse your hair before you swim which can help prevent absorbing chlorine. If you've treated your hair with dye or anything like that, then use specialty shampoos formulated for treated hair.
You could always swim a breaststroke and keep your head above the water or wear a swimming cap if you are super duper paranoid.
So there we have it, I am 100% certain that swimming had no impact on my hair loss and I did eventually find the real cause soon after. I still swim now, and I find it great exercise. I would hate to give that up because I was scared of losing my hair.