My daughters don't want to use our pool-Tangles!


Jun 15, 2010
Hello everyone,
My daughters are ending up with terribly tangled hair after using our pool. The day after is terrible, when my wife de-tangles their hair. They don't seem to suffer from this when using our friends' or the school's pool. It is to the point where they don't want to use our pool.

FAC 10ppm
TAC 10ppm
CH 220ppm
CYA 50ppm
TAlk 120ppm
pH 7.0

Thanks for your time and input!


TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
Exeter, PA
could the high FC be damaging the hair leaving it with that dry damaged feeling making it hard for the hair slide on itself?

just a guess, try using conditioner before going into the pool?


Jun 15, 2010
We've used multiple conditioners after 'googling' the problem. It doesn't seem to happen in other pools...


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Feb 23, 2008
Denton, TX
AFTER and bath or a shower which is always in order after swimming, try a detangler spray. Johnson and Johnson makes one that works really well for our overly crabby and cranky 4 year-old daughter's hair. She's gotten to the point now where she gets conditioner after shampooing too. Lots-o-hair!!


Well-known member
Oct 31, 2009
Denham Springs, Louisiana
I always use conditioner after I shampoo my hair. Like the daughters, I often have trouble with tangles after swimming. Sometimes you just want to chill with a bottle of POP and friends and not have to go in and wash/condition hair. Would adding salts to the water help?


You people with hair are breaking my heart with this story :hammer:

Richard, I think it's time you and I go get a beer and let these people deal with their "problems"........ :lol:


Jun 15, 2010
We've tried the Johnson & Johnson detangler and multiple conditioners. My daughters do have especially thick hair but the tangling is especially bad in our pool. I think I will test my friend's pool water(hardly any tangling) side by side with my pool water and see if there is any big difference in water chemistry.

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
San Rafael, CA USA
Unless you are using your own good test kit, the Free Chlorine (FC) level might even be higher than 10 ppm. Between that and the low pH, which could also be inaccurate, that might have the hair frizz more -- I'm not sure why it would tangle, per se, but perhaps frizzier hair tangles more easily.

I would get yourself your own good test kit such as the Taylor K-2006 or the TF-100 and adjust your pH higher and let your FC level drop some. Read the Pool School for more info on how to maintain your pool.


Jun 15, 2010
I've been thinking about why hair might tangle. Chlorine basically oxidizes and it must oxidize the natural oils in our hair. The higher the FC levels, the more hair oils that are removed. No oils in your hair equates to "dry" hair that is more likely to tangle. Have you ever used bar soap when you've run out of shampoo? Your hair is dry and more difficult to comb from the harshness and lack of "conditioners" that are present in shampoos(even those not marked "with conditioner").

So as X-PertPool and chem geek have stated(Thanks guys!), the elevated chlorine(esp. FC) in my water is the likely culprit. My pool chemistry results are from a pool store and I'm wondering if their upper limit value of TC and FC is 10 even if significantly above 10. I am ordering the TF-100 kit and hopefully this will help solve my problem.

I hope I'm on the right track...


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
Your FC test appears to be one of the ones that reports levels higher than 10 as if they were 10. Most likely, your FC level is way higher than 10 and, if so, your PH is probably too low, though it is impossible to be sure without a FAS-DPD chlorine test.

Very high FC levels and low PH can both damage hair, which causes it to become rough and tangle more easily.

With CYA at 50, your FC level should be between 4 and 8 and your PH should be between 7.2 and 7.8 (when FC is below 10). You should balance out your levels correctly and then see how their hair behaves.


Active member
Apr 26, 2010
Plano, TX
I'm not sure about the pool chemistry affecting hair but I have long thick hair and I leave a spray bottle and brush in my patio. I fill bottle with water and some conditioner, shake it up and spray on my hair when I get out and it brushes through easily. But I do not that if they wear goggles that can tangle hair very easily too.


LifeTime Supporter
Apr 2, 2008
Acton Maine
2 suggestions. 1) even if you don't have a swg you can add salt to your pool it softens the water and helps hair alot. 2) get the girls some cool looking swim caps, braid their hair and put it up in a bun before placing the cap on.


Well-known member
Oct 8, 2009
My daughter has long hair and my rule is that if you go in the pool your hair must be up in a pony tail and in a bun. It does really keep the hair tangles under control and hair out of the pool skimmer baskets. This is my rule for any girls who want to swim with hair long enough to keep in a pony! I also use a product called "Moroccan oil" to rub in her hair, wet or dry. It really seals the hair and makes it shiny and soft. It's found at my local salon. A bit pricey but I use it as really works! I used to use those detangler sprays and discovered they really don't work well and also break the hair because of all the pulling.

I also added salt to my pool and have noticed an improvement in the way my skin feels.

Hopefully this helps....good luck!


Jun 15, 2010
I appreciate all the input.

Our pool water is topped off with a water softener so I am sure my pool has some salt. The use of pony tail/bun and swim caps make a lot of sense since you are decreasing the exposure of hair to pool water. The poolside conditioner and hair oil are also things I will consider.

If my chlorine levels are high, do I wait for them to drop or do I consider using a "Chlorine Neutralizer"?

Thanks again.


Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 10, 2009
If your daughters completely wet their hair before going in the pool, the hair shaft won't absorb nearly as much chlorine (or so my hairdresser told me).
I use a conditioner that is great for removing tangles. It's made by a company called Aubrey and it is their "swimmer's" formula. It is a bit more expensive but I think it's worth it. You can find it at stores like Whole Foods, or online. I have very thick hair and swim daily and this has been the only thing that gets the tangles out: