Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Chlorinated Water & Haircolor

Q: I am Asian and I used to have jet black hair. After taking up swimming as my main hobby, my hair started to turn very brown. How should I fix this and prevent this? Should I use swimmer's shampoo?
A: Using a swimmer's shampoo is an excellent start. However, you may also want to invest in and wear a swimming cap and tuck all your hair up under the cap to keep the exposure to the chlorinated water to a minimum. The chlorine in the pool water can swell the hair shaft and have a bleaching effect on the hair. Prolonged exposure can damage the hair and cause a lightening of the natural hair color. (The effects are often more pronounced on people who have artificially colored or lightened hair.)
You may also want to apply a good conditioner or spray on hair oil to the hair before you put on your cap to help seal the hair against the water. A small amount of petroleum jelly smeared around the rim of the cap will also help seal out water.
As for correcting the already lightened hair, you can either allow the lighter shade to grow out and be cut off when possible, or you can use a deposit only hair color and restore your hair's original jet black color. If you do opt for coloring the hair, be sure to protect it from future exposure to the pool water.
Related posts:
Hair coloring
The effect of chlorine on hair
Will swimming affect my dyed hair?
Is there any way I can protect my hair from chlorine when swimming?