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Does the chlorine from a swimming pool lead to hair loss

Posted by Alice Thick Hair on

January - a month of New Years resolutions, avoiding alcohol, eating healthy, and joining the gym, what a great way to start 2017. Well safe to say that as of 23rd January, only one of my goals is still intact. 

Just before Christmas, we joined a local gym, and have subject to work commitments been able to attend on a daily basis, sometimes up to 2-3 times a day. I've tried some of the classes and particularly enjoyed Yoga and Pilates. I walked out of Zumba because I realised quite quickly that I have no coordination and couldn't keep up.

There is tennis on a Sunday night where we pretend that we are on court number one at Wimbledon, and of course the gym, with some equipment having personalised TVs channels. One of us watches Match of the Day, and the other logs into Google Earth and follows a trek through the Grand Canyon - it's really breathtaking and a great distraction, while racking up the Kms on the cross trainer.

However the best reason to visit is to use the indoor and outdoor swimming pools and adults only spa. The spa has been fantastic during the cold winter months, and the steam room worked wonders when I fell ill with a winter flu virus.

My swimming has greatly improved, and I very much look forward to using the outdoor pool, the 6 o'clock dawn swimmers are a committed lot, and I look forward to joining them again, when the cold icy weather disappears. In the meantime I am happy to swim in the indoor pool, which is much warmer and smaller in size, so  I can rack up more lengths.

it's a new pool, and unlike other pools that I have visited, it doesn't reek of chlorine. I will always shower before swimming, taking care to wash the hair fibres out, and will shower again after my swim, and shampoo and condition to wash away any chlorine residue.

I was interested to read an article in The Daily Mail recently with Olympic swimmer David Wilkie, who was apparently allergic to chlorine, and is now completely bald. He swam competitively for a number of years and attributed chlorine to his hair loss.

While it is interesting to note that chlorinated water can affect the hair shafts by drying them out and making them more brittle, it does not cause hair to thin or fall out. Chlorine is used in pools as a corrosive agent, it eats away at germs in pools, and also at the living tissue in hair follicles; leaving hair weaker and easier to break. Chlorine can cause dryness, redness, and irritation something Wilkie reports as a problem with his eyes.

Research shows, that by taking preventative methods like wearing a swimming cap, and conditioning hair immediately after swimming, you can avoid potential hair loss. It may be wise to limit the time that you spend in the swimming pool and finally switch to a more genteel pace, breast stroke for example can be done at a leisurely pace where your head can remain above water. 

Finally enjoy using the facilities in the leisure centre, and treat yourself to the occasional coffee and cake. It's great to keep fit but important that you refuel after exercise. Stay focused, those New Years resolutions that you made seem like a very, very long time ago.

  • Hair loss
  • chlorine
  • hair fibres
  • David Wilkie
  • swimming pool
  • hair
  • Hair follicles
  • gym
  • new years resolutions
  • Swimming
  • keep fit