Swimming is a great low-impact, total body workout that is a great way to stay in shape. However, spending too much time in the pool can have negative effects on your hair and skin. Caused by chlorine and other chemicals, your hair and skin can become dried, damaged, brittle, and in some cases, your hair can even be bleached green. Luckily, these adverse effects are easily avoidable by following these seven prevention steps.

Protect Your Hair and Skin

Coconut Oil

Applying coconut oil to your hair before swimming is a great way to protect it by adding a layer of defense. Creating this defense layer helps fight off chlorine and other chemicals commonly found in pools. As an added benefit, coconut oil is a great way to help nourish hair follicles too.

Pre and Post Swim Rinse

A pre-swim rinse will allow your hair and skin to become wet and absorb non-chlorine water. By doing this, it slows down the absorption process for both your hair and skin. This means that it won’t absorb chlorine water which will cause damage. To that same effect, rinsing your hair and body after swimming will get the chlorine off, meaning, it won’t set into your hair and skin.

Leave-In Conditioner

Another great tip for post-swim is applying a leave-in conditioner. After thoroughly washing your hair with shampoo, put in some leave-in conditioner. This will help protect your hair and promote healthy hair. As a tip, try finding conditioner that contains vitamin D. Vitamin D helps strengthens hair and hair follicles.

Moisturizing Lotion

Just as the leave-in conditioner will help heal and protect your hair, moisturizing lotions will help protect and heal your skin. Choose lotions that contain vitamin C and vitamin E if possible. These two antioxidants work to combat and neutralize the chlorine and other chemicals that got on your skin.

Avoid Hair Dryers

Although they help speed up the drying process, hair dryers are really bad for hair health. Consistently exposing hair to high heat, can cause extreme damage to your hair. Instead, use a wide-tooth comb and brush your hair and simply let it air dry. It may take longer, but in the long-run, it’s well worth it.

Rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

Rinsing hair with apple cider vinegar may seem odd, but the acidity that it contains balances your scalp and natural pH levels, but more importantly kills off any bacteia that may be in your hair. Once a week you should mix two tablespoons of ACV with one cup of water. After shampooing and rinsing your hair, pour the mixture over your entire scalp. Let the mixture run down the complete length of your hair. Next, massage the mixture into your hair, and finally, after massaging for two minutes, rinse the mixture out.

Wear a Swimming Cap

We saved the most obvious for last. The best and most effective way to protect your hair from chlorine water is to simply keep it from being exposed. Keeping your hair in a swim cap keeps it 99% protected. Make sure you still wet your hair before though, this will not only make chlorine water less absorbable to your hair but easier to put on.

Maintain Healthy Hair and Skin

Swimming is such a great way to help maintain physical health. Just keep in mind that chlorine and other pool chemicals can be bad for your hair and skin. Maintaining healthy hair and skin are just as important as your physical health. By following the tips from above you’ll not only have great looking hair and skin, but they’ll be healthy too.