Effects of chlorine on hair

Being in the midst of hot summer season, many of us are probably out swimming in the pool or in the ocean.  Unless you’re swimming in ozonated swimming pools, you are most likely exposing your hair and skin to chlorine.  Chlorine (ie. Hypochlorous Acid)  is used to kill harmful bacteria and is being used in larger quantities during summer months to counteract the rush.  The Chlorine that’s able to sanitize contaminants is called “free” chlorine.  In a swimming pool, the level of “free” chlorine should be between 1~3 ppm.  In a spa, it should be between 3~5 ppm.


Chlorine used in pools is bleach.  Not only does it affect the colour and texture of your hair, it weakens the follicle.  Upon direct contact with the hair, here is a list of things that happen:

  • CHANGE THE NATURAL COLOUR PIGMENT:  Whether your hair is naturally blond, red, dark brown or black, your natural hair colour will change to straw colour of keratin.
  • REMOVAL OF NATURAL OILS: The natural oils covering the hair are removed, therefore causing hair to lose shine and flexibility and greater susceptibility to mechanical damage (ie. hot tools and hair brushing using synthetic bristles)
  • WEAKENING OF CHEMICAL BONDS:  When chlorine and keratin react, water soluble chemicals are created and weakens chemical bonds between the hair fibres.  When chlorine gets in between the hair fibres crystallization takes place and these crystals begin to separate the fibres and disrupt the structural integrity of the hair.  Once the bonds are broken, the hair weakens and manifest as split ends, very dry, dull hair.
  • OXIDIZES MINERALS BONDED TO HAIR: Chlorine can oxidize the charge of minerals like copper, manganese and iron.  Just as time and elements can turn your copper pots and pans turquoise green from the minerals oxidizing, the same reaction takes place in your hair when swimming in chlorinated pools.  No wonder blondes and those with silver white hair begin turning slightly green.  It’s actually the oxidation of these metals, not the colour of chlorine, that’s green after all.


So what can you do to prevent your hair from the devastating effects of Chlorine?

  • HEAD SPA: First and foremost, “healthy hair grows from a healthy scalp just like growing vegetables in fertile soil”.  This is the basis to a healthy scalp and hair.  If the hair and scalp are already in a dry, unhealthy state to begin with, the less defence they have to the harmful effects of any metals.  The drier the hair is the more it’s going to absorb the metals.  Monitoring the state of the scalp and hair on a regular basis will make sure that you’re on track with whatever seasonal changes, life changes you’re going through and will offer you greater protection from the external elements.  It will also protect you from future hair loss or any kind of scalp issues.
  • RENE FURTERER SOLAIRE PROTECTIVE FLUID: Rene Furterer’s non-oil lotion consisting of exclusive KPF (Keratin Protection Factor) along with a nourishing blend of Castor and Sesame Oils will give all day protection to hair against the damaging effects of  Chlorine, sun and salt water.  Spray it onto dry or wet hair and you’re set!
  • RENE FURTERER SOLAIRE NOURISHING REPAIR SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER:  After exposure to chlorine, sun or salt water, it’s important that you cleanse the scalp and hair which specifically COUNTERACT those elements.  Both shampoo and conditioner contain Jojoba wax, Cimentrio complex and Phospholipids to hydrate, repair and fortify while leaving hair and scalp clean and refreshed.

Have an awesome rest of summer!! 🙂

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