we are all generally aware of the strength and benefits of chlorine. When we use it to do laundry, we are careful to only include our white clothes – can’t risk having our favorite top turning into tie dye! And after taking a dip in the swimming pool, we make sure to always wash and rinse in the shower. But did you know that chlorine is used by over 98% of all utility providers in the US as a water disinfectant? It’s an important agent in providing germ and bacteria free water to each and every one of us. Unfortunately, because of its potency, chlorine can also cause various degrees of damage to your skin, hair, and health.
Ask Alice!, Columbia University’s open health care Q&A, provides insight into the effects chlorine has on hair. Chlorine is known to strip your hair of sebum, a naturally secreted lubricant that protects hair’s outer layer, the cuticle. This causes your hair to dry out to the core, changing its texture and durability and resulting in brittle and rough hair with split ends.
Chlorine damages your skin in just about the same way. Chlorine removes the protective oils from your skin, and can potentially worsen skin conditions like eczema. Keep in mind that because our bodies seek to fix imbalances, dried out skin actually promotes oil over-production and can cause or worsen acne.
Here are a few ways to protect your skin and hair from daily chlorine water encounters:
- Don’t blow dry your hair on high, use low or medium only.
- Don’t rub when drying your hair. Only pat or squeeze dry (this applies to your skin as well).
- Use a wide-tooth comb, not a brush, to detangle wet hair.
- Moisturize your skin, face and body.
- Install a Raindrops Shower Filter in your home and immediately feel the difference!
Upcoming: Part 2: Iron and Copper