July 2, 2014

The Terror of Chlorine on the Health Of Hair & My Tricky Solution for Prevention

We all want healthy shiny luxurious hair, but like losing weight, we don't want to do the work NEEDED to achieve it. For the summer we all want to be able to go swimming, in the pool ....in the ocean...without adding to the daily destruction of our hair. So a long time ago when I was a long distance swimmer, there was a trick I came up with and it truly works.

I think by now we all know that a single human hair is built of keratin, which is a protein, whose major components are amino acids. Hairs are covered with natural oil (sebum) that gives hairs their shine and flexibility. The color of hair depends on relative content of each of the two melanin variants.

Chlorine is added to water in swimming pools and spas in order to reduce the growth of microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses. The chlorine that is able to sanitize contaminants is called “free” chlorine. The level of “free” chlorine in swimming pool should be between 1 and 3 ppm (parts per million), and between 3 and 5 ppm for spas. 

The total amount of chlorine in water is the sum of “free” active chlorine and “combined” inactive chlorine, which has reacted with contaminants. Other chemical properties of water, which have to be controlled because of the effect they have on water and pool equipment, are: total hardness, total alkalinity and pH, which measures relative acidity/alkalinity of water.
Chlorine (hypochlorous acid) reacts quickly with organic and non-organic materials present in swimming pool water. Because of its chemical activity, chlorine also affects hair of swimmers.

How does Chlorine affect Hair?..........not well, I'm Afraid. . .
Chlorine affects hair by direct chemical reactions resulting in chemical changes to hair components, by changing physical properties of the hair, as well as by changing electrical charge of minerals bonded to hair and reacting with those minerals.

The direct chemical changes include reactions of chlorine with pigments giving hair their color, oils covering hair and proteins forming hair shafts. The reaction of melanin pigments with chlorine results in change of hair from natural colo'r (blond to black) to straw color of keratin.

Chlorine removes natural oils covering hair resulting in loss of hair shine and flexibility, as well as making it more susceptible to mechanical damage. Reaction of chlorine with keratin results in creation of water-soluble chemicals and weakens chemical bonds between fibers forming hair shafts. 

Also chlorine can get between the hair fibers. As the crystallization process develops inside the hair, the chlorine crystals can separate the hair fibres disrupting structural integrity of hair shaft, which weakens the strength of the overall hair as well.

 Once the bonds are broken, the hair becomes weak and ends of the hairs split.

Chlorine salt crystallization process may also affect the hair cuticle. The cuticle is an outer layer of very hard, dead cells over the hair surface. If the chlorine gets between the scales it could push up the scales; therefore, making it rough and prone to damage or breakage. These flaked cuticles reflect light poorly and so the hair fiber looks dull, dry and may feel rough when touched.  Chlorine can change electrical charge of minerals bonded to hair and oxidize them as well.

 Head to the local Drug Store with your list for 3 items:
  • Shampoo & Conditioner- if you have to get it at the Drug Store, the choices are all so bad anyway, it really doesn't matter which ones! They are all horrible! remember this is only if you did not "PLAN AHEAD".
  •  Swim Cap, they have them everywhere
  • Lastly.....6-Pack of CANNED SODA WATER.

Shampoo your hair rinse in water, apply conditioner..............a lot of it...... ! ! ! 

LEAVE THE CONDITIONER IN  !!!   Apply Swim Cap.. 

Now have the time of your life !
 Done swimming? Take 2-3 cans of SODA WATER, pour on hair to stop all action of chlorinated water from affecting the hair at all! 

If you do plan ahead please purchase:
 Malibu 2000 UN DOO GOO shampoo  or 
Malibu 2000 swimmers shampoo .....or
swimmers treatment pack 



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