Swimming pools often appear to present a better option in terms of health and hygiene when compared to the sea, especially when you see the amount of rubbish that gets washed up on the beach! However, the chemicals that are used to treat the water and keep it germ-free can have a less than desirable effect on the hair.
In a study published in the Journal of Dermatology, 67 professional swimmers and 54 non-swimmers were examined, and it was discovered that 61% of the swimmers showed signs of hair discolouration, compared with none of the non-swimmers. It was also found that the swimmers’ hair appeared coarse and damaged compared to the non-swimmers.
What About Hair Loss?
However, the good news is that the swimmers didn’t seem to be experiencing more hair loss than their non-swimming counterparts. That said, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence on the web of people who have been exposed to too much chlorine in water (for instance when chlorine pumps have malfunctioned) experiencing thinning hair and hair loss.
Should your hair’s condition noticeably deteriorate after using the pool (people have reported a ‘frazzled’ appearance where hair becomes colourless, thin and easy to break) it could be that you’ve been exposed to a higher concentration of chlorine than you should have been. In general, hair colour will reverse with time as new hair grows, and the condition should improve, as chlorine will not damage hair that has yet to be grown.
For those worried about the consequences to their hair of swimming in pools often, ensuring that you rinse your hair well after swimming and also wash it regularly with shampoo and conditioner can help to minimise the impact of chlorine. This should also help to prevent chlorine giving you an itchy scalp; with the increased amount of sweat and oil that occur there thanks to the warm weather, it’s likely that you’r v e already finding you need to wash your hair more regularly.
So, how does chlorine effect hair exactly? It changes the physical properties of the hair and also changes the electrical charge of minerals bonded to the hair via chemical reactions. These reactions occur with the hair’s pigment, oils that cover the hair and the proteins that form the hair shaft. Chlorine can also get between the hair fibres, and chlorine crystals can separate the hair fibres disrupting the structure of the hair shaft. Once the bonds are broken, the hair becomes weak and the ends of the hairs split.
Are You Sure It’s Chlorine?
If your hair is thinning on the top of the scalp, it may be that you’re experiencing genetic hair loss. It’s often the case that thinning hair becomes more noticeable in the summer months, on account of damp hair clumping together and making the scalp more visible. This sort of hair loss requires treatment to halt the rate of thinning and regrow hair.
A hair loss treatment plan should contain at least one of the hair loss medications licensed by the MHRA and approved by the FDA to treat hair loss. The first of these, Propecia, blocks DHT, the androgen that causes genetic baldness in those with a predisposition to DHT sensitivity. The second, minoxidil stimulates new hair growth, and is produced in strength by Belgravia up to a high strength minoxidil cream for stubborn thinning. Combined with a number of treatment boosters to optimise results, the medications have formed the basis for many thousands of successful treatment plans at the clinic.
The Belgravia Centre—————————————————————————————————–
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. We offer clinically proven treatments for hair loss, as part of comprehensive treatment programmes offered by our hair loss specialists. Our in-house pharmacies produce high-strength medications for hair loss that contain medically proven ingredients and are available at no other clinic worldwide. Treatment programmes are available by visiting the centres or for home-use, anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our hair loss success stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of hair regrowth that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 0800 077 6666 for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.