Chlorine is used to kill germs that can breed in swimming pool water and cause illnesses. Meanwhile, pool chlorine can be very hazardous for the hair, especially for African Americans. Regular chlorine exposure and even regular shampooing will make the hair dry and brittle. For this reason, African Americans must take special care in protecting the hair from swimming pool chlorine.

Rinse your hair in tap water before and after getting in the swimming pool. Hair that is already wet cannot absorb the chemical laden water so this will lessen the effect of the chlorine on your hair. Rinse your hair again immediately after getting out of the pool to remove any chemicals that may be in your hair.

Braid and pull back your hair before getting in the pool. This allow less of your hair to be exposed to the water.

Consider wearing a swimming cap in the pool. Many people think they are unattractive, but being unattractive for just a little while is worth the trade-off of protecting your hair. Even after taking these previous steps, if you swim on a daily basis, your hair will need even more protection. A swimming cap may be uncomfortable and may not keep your hair completely dry and chlorine free, but it will present a reliable barrier most of the time.

Put conditioner in your hair before putting on your swimming cap. This will create an extra protective barrier from any chlorine water that may get under your swimming cap.

Use a specialty product made for swimmers hair. TRI-SWIM is known to remove the green tint that swimmers can get in their hair and eliminates the chlorine smell as well. It also moisturizes and softens the hair. You can purchase TRI-SWIM online (see Resources below).


  • These rules apply whether your hair is natural or chemically processed.