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How Do I Protect My Blonde Hair From Chlorine And Salt Water?

Last updated Sep 27, 2023

Summer is around the corner, are you already prepared to soak up the sun at the beach and hang out poolside with your friends? Unfortunately, like the damaging UV rays of the sun, chlorine and saltwater tend to strip the hair of its moisture, leaving it feeling dry, brittle, and frizzy, especially for blonde hair. Can't decide between your love for frequent dips and your affinity for being blonde? Below, we’ve put together a guide on how to properly protect your blonde hair from salt water and chlorine.

1. Don’t Forget To Presoak


Dry hair is like a sponge, but when hair is wet, further absorption of chlorine or saltwater is interrupted. Before jumping into the pool, please wet your hair with fresh, clean water, which makes it less likely that your hair will absorb any of the water and help prevent dryness and damage from occurring.

2. Add Oil To Blonde Hair

One of the biggest cons of chlorine and saltwater lies within its ability to strip moisture from your hair and cause things like split ends and damage. Besides, chlorine and saltwater also work to strip away shine and vibrancy from the hair, causing it to appear dull and lackluster.


Therefore, we suggest you lather your hair in a rich oil in advance, like argan or coconut oil, etc. These natural oils will help create a slippery barrier between your strands and the harmful water, while also providing an extra layer of moisture and nourishment.

3. Apply A Leave-in Product

As the above mention, the salt and chemicals found in saltwater and chlorine can be harsh on hair and strip it of its natural oils. Except for natural oil, you can apply a strong leave-in moisturizer to act as a barrier between your hair and the water and help prolong the life of your color.


Doing this also will use the power of the sun to help the mask’s moisturizing and nourishing ingredients penetrate into your strands. To apply oil, conditioner, or mask, divide your hair into sections and work the formula into each section thoroughly with your fingers. Then comb through with a wide-tooth comb to ensure even distribution.

4. Apply SPF To Your Hair

Just as your skin needs protection from the sun, so too does your hair. Remember to choose some hair-specific sunscreens. Unlike your regular SPF which is likely too heavy and greasy for your strands, these lightweight products are not only safe and easy to use on your hair, but also effective when it comes to blocking out the damaging effects of both the sun and chemically-treated water.


The key is to look for hair-specific sunscreens products that contain both UVA and UVB filters. When added to your customizable shampoo, conditioner, or leave-in treatment formula, they can help fend off harsh rays and chemical damage, all while helping to extend the life of your color.

5. Put Your Hair Up

Before you hit the diving board, nothing is better than putting on a swimming cap, which will minimize contact with the pool water.


While a swim cap is perhaps the best way to protect your hair from saltwater and chlorine, it’s not necessarily the most popular hair look.

If you don’t like to wear a swim cap, it is best for you to try to keep your head and hair out of the water as much as possible. For instance, you can try to tie a ponytail, braid, or topknot can not only help prevent your strands from soaking in all of that damaging water but can also help to keep your hair looking fresh and cute.

6. Shampoo Right Away After Swimming


Although you may be hot or tired after swimming or playing on the beach, be sure to rinse your hair out completely with clean water. It may sound redundant, but it’s important to take the time to wash your hair immediately to avoid letting the chlorine or salt sit in your hair. After all, the longer they stick around, the more moisture they zap up.

7. Use Proper Shampoo And Condition

Different color hair requires specific shampoos and conditions to maintain your vibrant color and give your hair plenty of moisture. Here, we always recommend using shampoo and conditioner that is 100% sulfate-free (an ingredient that is known to strip your hair of its moisture and color) and contains moisturizing ingredients, such as oils and vitamin E.


For blondes specifically (or even those with gray, bleached, or highlighted hair), we also recommend reaching for purple toning shampoo that can help rid your hair of any brassy tones and extend the life of color. It means you will take less time at the salon and more time to keep your color looking bright and vibrant all year round.

8. Remember To Take A Deep Conditioner

After a shower, please use a good-quality conditioner to help bring blonde hair back to life. It can provide your hair with a hefty dose of long-lasting moisture and nourishment, it also forms a protective barrier around your strands to help block out those things that cause them to become dull, dry, and lackluster. Plus, if you really don't have time, it is a good option for you to hydrate your blonde hair with a mask after toweling off.


Of course, it would be better to add a couple of drops of Shu Uemura Essence Absolue on dry ends to protect from the sun and extra damage.

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