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Swim Caps & Dry Hair

author image Kristeen Cherney
Kristeen Cherney began writing healthy lifestyle and education articles in 2008. Since then, her work has appeared in various online publications, including Healthline.com, Ideallhealth.com and FindCollegeInfo.com. Cherney holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Florida Gulf Coast University and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in English.
Swim Caps & Dry Hair
A young girl is wearing a red swim cap. Photo Credit Terry Vine/Patrick Lane/Blend Images/Getty Images

If you are a swimmer, a swim cap can be one of your hair’s best friends. These rubber caps protect hair from exposure to chlorine in the pool, a crucial benefit for people with dry hair. The protection isn’t as simple as putting the cap on and swimming as often as you please. Preparatory steps are involved, as are after-swim treatments that can prevent the condition of your dry hair from worsening.

How Chlorine Damages Hair

Chlorine stops bacteria and microorganisms from growing in pools, but it has a drying effect on hair. When your hair comes into contact with chlorine, the chemical pulls natural oils from it, making the cuticle vulnerable to drying out. When the cuticle splits, chlorine can then damage the inner cortex, which is responsible for keeping your strands intact.

Swim Cap Protection

Swim caps are must-haves for frequent swimmers. This beauty accessory is made to keep water out of your hair. When you are battling hair dryness, this added layer of protection is beneficial. Swim caps are available in several sizes. Pick a size that is snug so the water is less likely to leak through it while you swim. Avoid swim caps that are too tight; they can cause hair damage.

Preparation and Follow-up

Some water may still seep through the cap during swimming. Rinse your hair with water before and after every pool session. Regular water acts as a barrier between your hair and chlorinated water, reducing the drying effects on the cuticle. Before you swim, spray a leave-in conditioner on wet hair for extra protection. Shampoo your hair as soon as you can after swimming. Swimmers' shampoo and conditioner is especially helpful in neutralizing chlorine.

Dry Hair Tips

Dry hair isn’t only dry to the touch. You may also experience other telltale signs, such as split ends, frizz and dull color. While a swim cap can protect against future chlorine damage, it can’t reverse damage that’s already been done. Look for treatment measures to restore your hair, while considering a break from the swimming pool. Moisturizing shampoos and conditioners are necessary, and you can use a deep conditioner up to three times a week. A mask is most efficient at penetrating deep into dry strands. For the best results, leave the product on under a shower cap for one hour.

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