Although we’d love to spend the remainder of this article talking about the various styles of swimming and different ways to combat global warming, this isn’t Sports Illustrated or National Geo. So instead, we are going to enlighten you on the proper “après swim” grooming routine – Swim ‘n’ Groom = SWOOM.
For starters, most if swimming pools contain Chlorine (Cl). This chemical element (atomic number 17), works as the counteragent in controlling algae and bacteria. As with all things in life, too much of it is never a good thing. Long term exposure to chlorine is harmful to one’s body and hair – a common complaint for regular swimmers is dryness of the hair and skin. Our scalp naturally produces oil to protect the hair from drying up and suffering damage. Ever wonder why some girls wash their hair three times a week or even less (which is actually kinda gross if you ask me, by the way). A disinfectant such as chlorine will break down your natural coating of protective oil, leaving your hair dry. A dry scalp can lead to dandruff – very anti-sexy.
Similar reactions can occur to the skin, causing dryness there too. Our skin is naturally coated in layers of cells; chlorine (a form of bleach) washes away these protective layers, which can cause skin to look white and flaky. Bottom line: improper hair and skin care after swimming will result in 1) dry and unresponsive hair, 2) rough and flaky skin, 3) a chemical aroma that will make even your mom not want to hug you.
Fear not brave ManPossible men! Where there’s a will, there’s definitely a way! For starters, right after you step out of the pool, hit the shower and rinse off as much chlorine as possible. A quick rinse can help remove chlorine sitting on your top skin’s top layer. Your usual soap, body wash, shampoo and conditioner can work as solutions in removing chlorine residue from the skin and hair too.
Now, if you are a hardcore groomer and/or an active swimmer, then it would be wise to invest in specific chlorine-removing products. Aside from havingcleaning and refreshing fragrances, these products focus on removing chlorine remnants while rejuvenating the skin and hair with vitamins and nutrients. Some popular brands include Touch Out Sports, UltraSwim, Swim Spray, ION, and Malibu C. Depending on your need and preference, we suggest you do some further research and try some of these recommended products. For all you MacGyver’s out there (and don’t be a MacGruber!), consider the common household solution of baking soda. The concept with baking soda is the same as with commercial products. After rinsing your hair, apply a healthy amount of baking soda to it and let it sit for 5 minutes to allow the chemicals to work at the molecular level to break down the chlorine buildup. Then proceed to wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner as you would normally do. Congratulations – you have just performed your first post-swim grooming rejuvenation!
A clean, healthy, active lifestyle goes hand in hand with proper grooming. The summer is coming, so get out of your mother’s basement and go play in the sun. To all the water babies out there, we encourage you to keep on swimming. And stay groomed!