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Thread: Stiff hair after swimming

  1. #1
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    Stiff hair after swimming

    Not sure the best place for this question, but what causes stiff hair after swimming?

    I have tried to narrow it down to what causes it, but I have been unsuccessful. My girls hair is always stiff after swimming - when they don't immediately wash their hair. This occurs in our home pool, and in indoor & outdoor pools (my girls swim competitively so they spend a lot of time in pools). Obviously, the pools are not maintained exactly the same. Everyone tends to blame hair issues on chlorine, but I am not sure it is the culprit in this.
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    Senior Member NikiBelle's Avatar
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    Re: Stiff hair after swimming

    I can't tell you the why...but i have a solution...

    I have shoulder length hair and it is very fine, but thick. This has always happened to me as well. I carry a spray on conditioner (my choice is Pantene) with me whenever i swim and when i get out, i just spray a little in, brush it and ta-da, i then have soft hair and it's not stiff at all.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Stiff hair after swimming

    I knows that ocean water especially seems to cause this so I would guess salt (probably calcuim) has something to do with it.

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    Re: Stiff hair after swimming

    Step one is to wet their hair with tap water about 15 minutes before entering the pool. It will help prevent the hair from absorbing pool water
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    Re: Stiff hair after swimming

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Step one is to wet their hair with tap water about 15 minutes before entering the pool. It will help prevent the hair from absorbing pool water
    If that works that would likely rule out chlorine as the culprit because standard tap water has about 4 ppm chlorin; at least free chlorine.

  6. #6
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    Re: Stiff hair after swimming

    Quote Originally Posted by jmborchers
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Step one is to wet their hair with tap water about 15 minutes before entering the pool. It will help prevent the hair from absorbing pool water
    If that works that would likely rule out chlorine as the culprit because standard tap water has about 4 ppm chlorin; at least free chlorine.
    A lot of utilities use chloramines rather than chlorine for sanitizing the water, which wouldn't register as free chlorine.
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    Re: Stiff hair after swimming

    Hum, interesting. Maybe that's one of the culprits. I was looking it up and found they were claiming anything from chlorine to metals to salts. So there's no real data test. The Mythbusters should get to work on some pool myths!

  8. #8
    Senior Member nutjob's Avatar
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    Re: Stiff hair after swimming

    JohnT nailed it: take a shower and soak your hair before you take a dip.

    (I used to do that, but now I prefer the spray-in conditioner.)
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    Re: Stiff hair after swimming

    At the one pool, swimmers are required to take showers before swimming. They get their showers before stretching so it is 10-20 minutes between shower and swim - they still end up with stiff hair. One daughter always takes a shower and washes/conditions her hair before leaving the locker room. The other one rarely does. Overall there really is no difference in the "health" of their hair.
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  10. #10
    Member toadlife's Avatar
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    Re: Stiff hair after swimming

    My pool has a somewhat high Calcium Hardness level (390) and my hair gets "stiff" when swimming too. I'm thinking it's the Calcium.
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