Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Chlorine and the CG Method: How to Safeguard Your Curls

Posted by Jen Moore at 4:21 PM
One of the frustrations I hear from Curly Girls everywhere is now tricky swimming is when dealing with curls. We spend time moisturizing, deep conditioning, and avoiding excessive heat styling only to have our hard work ruined by a trip to the pool. Even several DAYS after exposure to chlorine hair can feel dry, sticky, damaged and full of frizz.



Question: WHY is Chlorine such a problem for our curls?

Answer: Chlorine's entire job is to kill things. It's a disinfectant that is absolutely necessary in this day and age, but it is very drying, both on skin and hair. Also, it does not easily wash out, even with harsh sulfates. You really need a specific product made to remove chlorine in order to rid yourself of it completely.


Swimming used to just be a summer thing for most of us, but with indoor waterparks opening up all over the country, many families find themselves swimming year-round. This does NOT need to be a Curly Girl Nightmare, and spending time having fun at the pool is a lot of fun, so here are some tips to keep your curls healthy in the process:


1) RINSE HAIR THOROUGHLY WITH REGULAR TAP WATER.

BEFORE going to the pool, get in a shower or put your head in a sink and thoroughly saturate your hair with tap water. Why? Because your hair is like a sponge. When it is dry, it is particularly vulnerable. By soaking your hair with tap water you are allowing the "good" water to be absorbed first, allowing less of the bad chlorinated water to penetrate the hair shaft.


2) SEAL THE HAIR SHAFT.

Coconut oil and Olive oil are great for this. I prefer coconut oil because I think putting olive oil in my hair is weird, but thousands of people do it all the time, so it can be done. Make SURE you are putting pure oils in your hair. Look at the ingredients. Many so-called oils are really "serums" and loaded with silicones like Dimethicone. You're better using plain old olive oil out of your kitchen than ANY of those. Coat hair with a generous amount of oil, then put hair in a tight bun or braid.

Hollywood Beauty Coconut Oil 





3) GO SWIMMING!

If you have a swim cap, it really is best to swim with the cap on. I do not, but its definitely the best way to go. As long as your hair has been rinsed and sealed, you should be fine to jump right in the water and have fun at the pool!


4) SHAMPOO HAIR WITH A CHELATING SHAMPOO IMMEDIATELY

As soon as you can possibly wash your hair after the pool, do it. Even when taking protective measures, the less time chlorine is exposed to hair, the better. Curly Girls will want to go a step further and use a sulfate-free swimmer's shampoo like the one below:


ION Swimmer's Shampoo 



5) DEEP CONDITION

If you don't have a particular deep conditioner you like, you can just use your rinse-out, but let it sit as long as you can while you shower. Adding moisture back after chlorine exposure is imperative. 



These steps will help keep your curls healthy while still having fun with friends and family. What's your pool day regimen?


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