Best way to beat the heat in summer is jumping into a swimming pool, isn’t it? This is true till you go unprotected in the pool and come back and check yourself in the mirror. You can save yourself from this if you go completely pool ready especially in terms of protecting yourself from the harsh chlorine swimming pool water!
Here we have some interesting facts about swimming pool water!
1. What are the factors affecting water?
Chlorine is the chemical used to eliminate bacteria from the pools and mind you it does its job really well. However, it is a given that Chlorine is a harsh chemical bleach which can totally bring the wrath of a bad discolouration and roughness on your skin and hair. Also, before using it in pools, it is mixed with other chemicals in order to make it safe.
Chlorine level from 1.0 to 3.0 parts per million (ppm) is considered to be a good pH value according to standards in the swimming pool water.
2. Effects on the human body of swimming pool water
Chlorine is an “oxidizing” agent and can oxidize various substances leading to the formation of free radicals which is the deal breaker that can damage cells, proteins, lipids as well as the DNA. Excess of oxidation could further cause inflammation, disease and ageing as well. Apart from being a sterilizer that kills harmful microorganisms, it is a disinfectant that can cause adverse effects on our bodies.
This all happens when the pH level of chlorine is more than 3.0 parts per million (ppm) in the swimming pool water.
Chlorine dries out skin that leaves it scratchy or irritated and can also dry out your hair causing split ends. Chlorine has the ability to strip away sebum which is a natural moisturizer. It could also cause irritation to the eyes.
3. How to reduce these effects?
Fret not, there’s good news too! You don’t actually have to skip swimming to protect yourself. Let’s understand this further and explore the various possibilities you have. There are various precautions you can take to curb the effect of chlorine on your body.
a. What to do before entering the pool?
● Shower prior to the swim:
Soaking yourself right before you go makes the skin and hair less likely to absorb the swimming pool water once they’re already wet.
Apply conditioner or hair oil:
It is recommended by hair experts that you must apply a deep conditioner or natural oil like coconut oil to your hair prior to jumping into the swimming pool water. It tends to make a layer in between your hair and the chlorine element in the pool.
This, in turn, nourishes your hair follicles. In case you use oil, be sure you wear a cap or it is an indoor swimming pool which is not exposed to the sun. In open swimming pools exposed to the sun, the hair oil can lead to sun damage to your hair.
● Wear a swim cap:
Wearing a swim cap is an ideal way to protect your hair from damage. This is an extra layer of physical protection for your hair. Post showering and applying a conditioner or hair oil, you can put on a swimming cap.
The optimum way is to wash and condition your hair first and then wear the swim cap. This enables maximum chlorine resistance. This should be followed by pinning your hair back. However, if you feel you have a quality swim cap that can avoid all exposure you can wear it without washing your hair.
In case you don’t wish to wear a cap (which is not advised) or don’t have one at the very least pin your hair back to limit the exposure and damage.
● Moisturize all the way:
Just as the conditioner is needed on your hair, a moisturizing lotion is also needed on your skin to give it that extra layer of coverage and protection. Remember to also apply a sun protection if you are planning for an outdoor swim.
b. What to do after getting out of the pool?
● Wash post swim:
After the swim, it is time to get rid of the chemicals clinging to your body and hair. It is best to use a sulfate-free shampoo and body wash to wash your hair and skin after your swim.
Give your hair a good soak in the water and also let the freshwater flow through it for at least five minutes. Remember that a quick wash could leave some chlorine elements in the follicles which could cause slow hair damage.
Rinse with apple cider vinegar:
Yes, you can also use apple cider vinegar for a clarifying rinse of those harmful chemical molecules out of your hair strands.
This natural substance works wonders not just to get rid of chlorine, but also other damaging chemical or organic elements in pools which could include copper, salt, bacteria and other impurities and contaminants.
● Apply conditioner and moisturizer:
● Avoid dryers:
It is best to use a wide-toothed comb in order to remove tangles post washing followed by pat drying. Also, avoid using blow dryers if possible to limit the damage to your hair.
These protective measures will equip you with all you need to enjoy a happy and damage free swim. Follow these and leave no room for any adversity to your hair or skin owing to swimming pool water.
This information is more than enough to make you aware of the swimming pool water and its side effects other than fun & enjoyment.
So choose your swimming pools wisely.