/  Hair Care   /  Salt Water Pool Hair Damage: How to Protect Your Locks
Woman Swimming in Salt Water Pool

The water in most backyard pools is kept clean by the use of chlorine tablets, but the introduction of saltwater pools has offered a new, less harsh way to keep your pool water healthy and clear. Saltwater pools contain significantly less chlorine on average than traditional swimming pools, so you’d expect that they are much better for your hair. However, saltwater pools can still cause some problems of their own, and it seems like there isn’t that much information available on the topic. So, we took a deep dive into the subject to offer help with salt water pool hair damage.

Is a Salt Water Pool Good for Your Hair?

Contrary to what you might expect, saltwater pools still contain chlorine. The difference is that saltwater pools feature a unique system that generates the chlorine directly within the pool, using a process called electrolysis. When compared to pools cleaned with tablets and other harsh additives, saltwater pools are gentler on the skin because they feature lower levels of chlorine and typically require fewer chemicals to maintain. All in all, saltwater pools can be considered the more gentle pool option when it comes to your hair, but swimming or lounging in one can still leave your locks dry and brittle if you aren’t careful. 

Ways to Protect and Revive Damaged Hair Post-Swim

Over time, the chlorine used in both saltwater pools and traditional pools can strip away natural oils from your hair and scalp, leading to damage and moisture loss. Here are a few ways to help prevent this damage and revive your hair after a swim in a saltwater pool:

Protect with a Swimming Cap

One of the easiest ways to prevent saltwater pool damage is to wear a swimming cap. Although they may not be the most fashionable option when it comes to swimming attire, a trusted swimming cap can keep your hair dry and protected from the harsh effects of chlorine while you swim your laps or bask under the sun. 

Prevent Damage by Washing Your Hair After Swimming

The longer chlorinated water remains on hair, the more severe its damaging effects can be. And you might not realize it, but even after your hair has dried, these chemicals will remain on it if left unwashed, so they can continue to have a negative effect even after you’re out of the pool. That’s why we recommend washing your hair with shampoo and conditioner shortly after a swim in a saltwater pool, traditional pool, or the ocean. 

Revive with a Moisturizing Product

Using a moisturizing product after you get out of the pool can be a great way to help your hair bounce back. Some options we recommend include The Innate Life’s Rose Hair Elixir and Not Your Mother’s All Eyes On Me 10-in-1 Hair Perfector. If you’re looking for an organic-friendly and highly affordable option, we recommend trying argan or coconut oil.

How to Protect Color-Treated Hair While Swimming

For those prone to brittle or dry hair, it can be extremely helpful to give your locks some added protection before hopping into a saltwater pool. This is especially important for those with color-treated hair. We recommend Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Protective Hair Balm as a way to help shield your do from the effects of chlorine and the sun. And even if you don’t plan on getting in the water, you can still look the part with a product like Bumble and Bumble’s Surf Spray.

A careful curator, you can find Tiffany studying the ingredients in sections labeled organic, eco-friendly, clean, and vegan. She believes that — much like you are what you eat — you are what you put on your skin, since your body absorbs these ingredients as well. As an animal lover, gardener, and nature enthusiast, Tiffany tries to find beauty and inspiration in her everyday surroundings, from a stunning butterfly floating from flower to flower, to a red cardinal perched in a snow-capped pine. Although eco-beauty is her passion, you might catch her playing with her looks from time to time and exploring new trending products and hairstyles. In 2020, Tiffany joined forces with Serena to co-found KeyGlam with the hope of sharing natural beauty tips and insights for every body.