Straightended Hair & Chlorinated Swimming Pools

Woman in a pool
Q: I have wavy/sort of frizzy hair! I would like to get it permanently straightened (or what ever you call it) but I go swimming a lot in the summer. Would it fry my hair with all the chemicals that would be in the pool and in my hair?
A: The potential interaction between a straightening process and chlorinated pool water depends largely on the type of straightening that is done.
Hydroxide relaxers and thio-straighteners both leave the hair more porous than it was before and therefore absorb more moisture. When exposed to chlorinated water from swimming pools, etc. the hair will soak up the chlorinated water which can further dry out the hair.
Thermal restructuring contracts the cuticle layer of the hair as a part of the process of straightening. This makes the hair resistant to water, and less apt to soak up chlorination.
Just remember to talk to the professional about your specific habits before you have such an expensive process done, in case the particular brand of straightening chemicals used by your chosen salon has additional interaction warnings with such chemicals as chlorine from pools.
If you do opt for a straightening service, you should know that the best course of action is to rinse your hair with clean water after exiting the pool and use a conditioner to soothe and protect the hair after each time you go swimming.
Photo: Samo Trebizan/Shutterstock
See also:
Permanent hair straightening
The effect of chlorine on your hair
How to protect your hair from chlorine when swimming
Hair made straight with thermal reconditioning and the effect of pools and ocean water