The Chlorine Blues (Or Greens…)
This has been a busy summer for me and my family, from camp to mission trip to lake to ocean to pools… and even though we have more products at our disposal than most families, AND we “know” how to use them, my kids are still kids and we often end up with chlorine build-up and greenish hair by the end of the summer. It is the conundrum of the shoemaker’s children, only with hair!
Going Green is Good – Except in Hair!
I am all about being as green as possible. In my family, we use natural products, we conserve water and energy, we re-use and recycle and really try to limit our environmental footprint. However, I draw the line at green hair!
In addition to providing the hair products in our household, I am also chief hair-trimmer for my children. Here’s a sample of when I know it’s time to reach for the super detox shampoo… AND the shears.
This is my youngest daughter’s hair, the result of hair that has marinated in chlorine for a good chunk of the summer. It is tacky with build-up when dry, slimy-feeling when wet, it does not detangle well, her naturally curly ends are both straightening and splitting, AND it has a green hue. We need to trim back to the healthy hair shaft, but a haircut only solves part of the problem. FIRST and foremost, we need to address the residue on her hair from chlorine.
You might be thinking to yourself, “Hey, I thought you had a great Super Detox Shampoo (a.k.a. Clarifying Rescue Treatment) in your house and office!
Indeed, I do and we do – and, again, I refer you to the tale of the shoemaker’s children…
The dialog at home goes something like this:
ME: Why is your hair green? Haven’t you been conditioning before swimming? When is the last time you clarified?
ME: Seriously. Your. Hair. Is. Green. It’s not like you don’t have access to quality, clean products!
ME: REALLY, everyone is looking at your hair and saying, “Eewww green!” Can you just put some leave-in or regular conditioner in BEFORE you get in the pool?
THEM: MOM!! OK, help me fix it!!
Clarify, Re-Set, Renew, Repeat!
When you know better, you do better, so taking preventative measures is the recommended course of action. Quite simply, clarify hair of build-up once every 4-6 weeks to restore it to its most natural state, in essence “re-setting” the hair. Additionally, throughout the summer (or all year long if you’re swimmer), apply leave-in conditioner or a daily-use conditioner to hair before going into the pool. This will help reduce the extent of damage that can be caused by chlorine by coating the hair strands protectively, in the same way we use sunblock to protect our skin.
Here Are 5 Easy Steps to Re-Set Your Hair
Step 1: Wet hair with warm water. Massage scalp before adding a product, feel how “slimy” the hair strands are so you’ll be able to compare to the feel of your hair after clarifying.
Step 2: Use a dime- to quarter-size portion of Clarifying Rescue Treatment (our super detox shampoo), depending on amount and texture of your hair . Massage and leave on hair for a couple of minutes, then rinse.
Step 3: Feel how clean the hair is – the strands should no longer feel “slimy”.
Step 4: Condition, condition, condition, then detangle. Let conditioner set a couple of minutes on hair, then rinse with cool water.
Step 5: Style as usual.
Another benefit you will find by doing this “Reset” with your hair is your hair will perform better without the build-up and you will use less product. And, finally, hair coated with chlorine will dull the shears of your favorite stylist, so by clarifying on a regular basis, you’re not only being kind to your hair, but also kind to your stylist!
OK, so we have some work to do with this hair – first to clarify, then to trim. I’ll post the AFTER picture next week!