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July 17, 2022 3 min read

Hey friends! It is summer and that means sunshine, great weather, and pools!! Unfortunately, while hanging in the pool all day is great for having a good time, it is not great for our hair. Hair that is exposed to the chemicals in pools or all that salt in the ocean can become dry, damaged, and even discoloured. This is known as Swimmer’s Hair.


How it works…

There are a number of chemicals found in pools that cause damage to hair including bromine, chlorine, salt, and copper. When our hair comes into contact with these chemicals they can break down the keratin protein bonds, resulting in visibly damaged hair. Additionally, swimming in the ocean exposes your hair to all that sea salt; salt strips hair of its oils, causing it to dry out and subsequently become damaged. Copper, surprisingly, is one of the most damaging water additives and it is often used to prevent algae and microorganisms from growing in pools!


Model wearing a swim turban to shield hair from chemicals such as chlorine and salt
Model puts hair into a messy bun
Model with wet hair shields her face from the sun

What you can do about it… 

Prevention is ideal. If you're swimming laps on the regular or are sure to get your locks wet, consider a swimming cap or turban (swimming turbans are the swimming caps' far more fashionable cousin). If you're hot tubbing or chilling in a pool, try a high ponytail or bun!

If you know you are going to be putting your hair in the water, dampening hair with water prior to entering a pool or ocean can help with reducing the absorption of salts and chemicals. 


There are also some pretty incredible products designed to protect and repair your locks!

Even better, you may already have the first in your shower: a great clarifying shampoo like Maxi Wash by Kevin Murphy. Maxi Wash removes the build-up of unwanted products and chemicals (including chlorine build-up) from the hair – this makes it an ultimate swimmer must-have.


Next up, is the Argile Équilibrante. This treatment is a detox clay that intensely, yet gently, cleanses and purifies the scalp. Containing Amino Acid and Kaolin Clay that helps to balance sebum on the scalp, remove pollution and impurities like a magnet, whilst making hair look volumized. Enriched with menthol, it leaves the scalp feeling invigorated and refreshed. 


Anddd the star of this show: the Kérastase Soleil line. The Soleil collection from Kérastase acts as a shield for hair, protecting against both sun and UV damage. Its range of four ultra-nourishing products help prevent dryness and fading from chlorine and salt water - so basically everything we need to protect from swimmer's hair! 


Kerastase Soleil Line of hair sun and swimming protection available at Salon Society
  1. BAIN APRÈS SOLEIL: An incredible after-sun shampoo specifically formulated to compensate for dryness caused by UV rays, salt water, and chlorinated water.

  2. CRÈME UV SUBLIME: Basically sunscreen for your hair - lightweight, leave-in cream that can be applied to wet or dry hair, providing UV protection, preventing dryness, and smoothing frizz for up to 24 hours! 

  3. HUILE SIRÈNE: Literally "Mermaid Oil" - if anyone would suffer from swimmer's hair, it's mermaids! A combination of coconut water and vitamin E in the formula maintains deep hydration and reduces breakage. Since it comes in mist form, it is super easy to spritz into wet or dry hair to enhance beach waves or texturize!

  4. MASQUE APRÈS SOLEIL: To give hair a little extra love, the after-sun hair mask gives a boost of strength to the hair fibres, plus deeeeeep hydration to combat any dryness from chlorine or salt water.

So that's some of our expert advice on how to prevent swimmer's hair and which high-quality products can help combat any damage, dryness, or discolouration that can happen to hair from frequent swimming in pools or oceans. If you're a regular swimmer, be sure to check out some of the products mentioned above.

And as always, we're here to answer any questions you might have about swimmer's hair, or just hair in general! Feel free to comment below or book a free hair consultation with one of our stylists.

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