As a kid I swam every day in the summer, the slowest Mini-Mite on my sports club team, and observed my hair go from soft and silky to dry and crunch. My more tow-headed teammates had it even worse. Their locks turned from blonde to green from all the chlorine. As kids, of course, hair health didn't really matter to us. But I've recently taken up swimming again (it's too damned hot to jog!), and so I asked my hair dresser to give me a few tips:
1. Chlorine is a drying agent, so apply a leave-in conditioner before you get in the pool, like Kiehl's panthnon and coconut oil-based product ($17), which moisturizes and protects your locks from nefarious chemicals.
2. Wash your hair thoroughly after every dip, using an anti-chlorine shampoo and nourishing conditioner like TriSwim. The vitamin-rich shampoo ($10.99) removes copper residue that causes the dreaded green tint, and the conditioner ($13.95) deeply hydrates without leaving a buildup.
3. Don't forget your body! Chlorine doesn't just dry out hair–it can do a number on your skin, too. After you wash thoroughly (and don't forget to pay attention to the parts that–ahem–might collect chlorine and keep it tucked away) using your regular soap or shower gel, use Barracuda's Aquia Body Lotion ($9.95) which is designed by swimmers for swimmers to counteract the effects of repeated exposure to hard water, chlorine, and other chemicals.