As temperatures rise, so does time spent in the pool, which will lead to swimmers hair, especially amongst the younger set. Older people and professional swimmers will use bathing caps that help prevent this summertime nuisance, but generally children will not. Spending all day in the chlorinated waters of home pools, public pools, camps or beach clubs is commonplace with the youth of Long Island. Droves of children enter the salons towards the end of August for their back to school haircuts and swimmers hair will be the norm for the majority of them.
Lisa, hairstylist from Merrick with over 20 years experience has seen this affliction all too often. “Parents believe a good haircut will relieve swimmers hair, but that is not the case. The hair feels like butter with severe swimmers hair and is often difficult to comb through and style because the hair bends when the scissor cuts it making a precise haircut harder to achieve even with the sharpest of shears.”
Swimmers hair can be characterized as dry and brittle with a glossy, almost plastic appearance. It is unmanageable with matted tangles and difficult to comb or brush. Blondes will have a greenish tint, natural colors will have an unnatural lightening and tinted hair will fade much faster than usual. Girls tend to suffer with swimmers hair more than boys as they tend to have shorter hair, but the longer quaffed boys will have it worse as they are less likely than girls to maintain their manes. Although this problem is unattractive and annoying, particularly for the mom trying to manage her child’s hair it is preventable as well as treatable. The following recommendations however are not for color treated hair or chemically relaxed hair such as Brazilian Blowouts or Keratin treatments as it is not advisable to swim in chlorinated water and different products will benefit these salon services.
Prior to spending a day in the pool, generously apply a conditioner to the hair, comb through and leave it in while in the sun and swimming. Not only will the conditioner coat the hair and protect it from the chlorine bonding to it, but the hair will get an all day conditioning treatment. Immediately upon finishing swimming for the day, profusely rinse the hair to wipe away any lingering chlorine whether or not conditioner was used beforehand. Use daily maintenance shampoos and conditioners such as UltraSwim’s Chlorine Removal Shampoo and Ultra Repair Conditioner available for purchase at CVS, Walgreens, or Ulta Stores across Long Island or online at Amazon.com or Drugstore.com and Fairy Tale’s Lifeguard Removal Kit containing a Clarifying Shampoo and Lemon-Aid Conditioner available online or in salons throughout Long Island.
For severe swimmers hair, a weekly treatment of chlorine removal may be performed at local Long Island Salons who use Malibu C Swimmers Weekly Solution. One or more applications may be needed to completely remove the chlorine and green from the hair. The product is safe for children, inexpensive and shouldn’t take more than twenty minutes in the salon.
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