HomeSwimmingHow To Protect Dyed Hair From Chlorine

How To Protect Dyed Hair From Chlorine

how to protect colored hair from chlorine

If you have dyed your beautiful hair but are afraid of swimming in the pool because of chlorine, that can cause damage to your hair color.

Don’t worry because today, I will guide you step-by-step on how to protect dyed hair from chlorine.

It’s essential but relatively easy to protect against chlorine. I will list some of the steps you can take to get an idea of what we are going to do next.

After coloring, avoid the pool for at least 24 hours, use a shampoo specifically created to wash away chlorine or dye damaged strands beforehand, or wet down your hair before swimming so that when you get out, it will be dry again.

However, swimming within 15 minutes of dying your hair damages the cuticle and allows the chlorine to penetrate the cortex, where it can begin to destroy or alter the dye. 

So, The longer you wait, the less chance for damage.

However, that does not help; you can’t protect your hair color from chlorine unless you take precautions.

So to protect your color-treated hair from chlorine, you have to take some extra steps, which I will discuss in detail. 

Hair dyes are often made with chemicals that don’t mix well with pool water or the extreme pH of pool water.

When you combine these factors with exposure to chlorine and sunlight, it’s no wonder that most people lose their hair color after a few weeks of swimming.

But there are some things you can do to keep your dye looking fresh for longer.

Let’s find out the precautions you can take to protect colored hair from chlorine.

How To Protect Colored Hair From Chlorine

Here are the different ways you can use to protect your color-treated hair from chlorine

1. Use Pre-Swim Hair Defense Conditioner

Pre-Swim Hair Defense is a unique, concentrated cream that protects hair from chlorine and sun damage. 

They are specially formulated with the highest quality ingredients to help reduce dryness brittleness and prevent color loss caused by swimming pools’ chemicals such as chlorine.

Apply the pre-swim anti-chlorine conditioner on your color-treated hair for at least 15 minutes before you swim. 

It will be helpful for the hair to absorb the cream better and provide more robust protection against chlorine.

You can also use olive oil and coconut oil to protect your dyed hair from the contact of chlorine.

I recommend the Pre-Swim hair defense conditioner, but the oil is another essential tool to keep your hair secure from chlorine effects. However, don’t try both at the same time.

Always apply the oil mixture to damp hair for 15 minutes before you swim, and even use the oil after a swim so your hair will remain soft to the touch.

2. Rinse Hair Before Going Into The Pool

The first step to protecting your dyed hair is to rinse it thoroughly from clean water before entering the pool.

Also, try not to swim for more than 15 minutes if you can resist. 

Because chlorine can strip natural oils from your scalp that protects against dryness and helps keep your color fresh longer. It can also fade the pigment from your hair dye.

3. Use a Product With UV Protection And Heat Protection Before You Dye Your Hair

UV and heat exposure can cause damage to your dyed hair, but some products can help protect against it.

You can choose a shampoo or conditioner that is designed for swimmers.  

It will have things like sunscreen and other UV additives to protect your hair color and keep it looking fresh for longer. 

If you’re not a fan of shampoos and conditioners designed specifically for swimmers, choose a product with an SPF rating and see if that helps protect your hair from damage.

4. Don’t Swim For More Than One Hour At a Time

Swimming for more than an hour at a time may seem like it’s no big deal, but extended exposure to chlorine and sun can cause your dyed hair to fade dramatically. 

For best practice, you can set a timer to take out from the pool after every hour for at least five minutes. 

In this way, you will give yourself enough time to towel off before going back in to swim or do water aerobic exercises.

5. Wear a Swim Cap

Girl In the Pool Wearing Swim Cap For Chlorine Protection

You might think that not using a swim cap is the better option, but it’s actually pretty important.

However, if your goal is to 100% protect your dyed hair from chlorine, then a swim cap with conditioner cream is a better option.

A swim cap not only protects your hair from chlorine but also from other harmful chemicals in the pool.

Since hair color treatments are usually done with emollient conditioners – they help the color glide onto your hair and apply evenly.

However, these emollients can also cause a build-up on pool water that is difficult to remove from hair.

A swim cap provides a better way to safeguard your dyed hair from contaminants like chlorine and other pool chemicals by creating a barrier between the pool water and your hair. As a result, the water will not get in contact with your hair.

Using a swim cap will protect 

However, you should not expose any hair when wearing a swim cap; try to cover all the hair inside the swim cap so the swim cap will seal your head better.

For better protection, I recommend first applying the hair defense conditioner on your hair and waiting for at least 15 minutes for the cream to absorb into the hair. Then wear a swim cap, and you will be safe from chlorine.

6. Take Breaks From The Pool, Get Out Of The Water And Let Your Hair Air-Dry Before Going Back In Again If Possible

If you can resist swimming for more than an hour at a time, then try setting a timer to take regular breaks. 

I recommend getting out of the chlorine and sun every so often and letting your dyed hair air dry because the conditioner you have applied will fade, so better not to swim for longer. 

If you don’t have time for regular breaks, blow-drying your hair thoroughly will go a long way to protect it from damage.

7. If all else fails, use dry shampoo or clarifying shampoo before swimming to help protect your hair color

If you can’t limit the amount of time you spend in the pool, don’t worry – you can still protect your dyed hair from damage.

A simple way to protect your dyed hair from chlorine is to use a clarifying shampoo or dry shampoo before swimming to remove any excess oil and product build-up in your scalp and hair. 

It will keep your dye from being stripped away by chlorine, which will prolong the life of your hair color.

8. Wash your Hair with Clarifying Shampoo – After Swimming [Warning]

Washing Dyed Hair To Remove Chlorine

After swimming or showering in chlorine water, you should wash your hair thoroughly. 

And Use a clarifying shampoo that cleans all the oil and product build-ups on your scalp and hair, which can cause damage to color-treated hair.


Please don’t wash your dyed hair with regular shampoo because they contain strong detergents that will fade away from your hair color. 

So be careful when washing your hair with shampoo, and before you do, you must research your product to find out if it will cause any damage to your hair not.

9. Hair Dryer and Apply Conditioner After Swimming

If you plan to swim for at least an hour, it’s a good idea to let your hair air dry before you get in the pool.

If time is of the essence, use a hairdryer with a relaxed setting or just keep it on low. 

You may also avoid exposing your hair color to high temperatures. At the same time, it’s wet because that can cause damage and fade your color. 

Once your hair is dry, apply a conditioner to keep your hair moist, soft, and firm.

Does Chlorine Strip Hair Dye?

Yes, chlorine can strip hair dye. It is important to note that hair dye is a temporary solution and eventually wears off. Therefore, it is essential to avoid contact with chlorine when dyeing your hair. Chlorine can cause your hair to fade and become brittle.

Additionally, it can damage the hair shaft and cause hair loss. Always use caution when using hair dye and keep in mind the warning labels that come with the product.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) About Protecting Dyed Hair From Chlorine

Why shouldn’t you swim in a chlorinated pool after dying your hair?

Chlorine can cause adverse reactions to hair dye chemicals that ruin your hair color. That’s why you shouldn’t swim in a chlorinated pool after dying your hair.

If you swim in a pool after dying your hair, chlorine (which is not compatible with some elements of hair color) may damage your color, turning it brassy, green, or brownish-looking.

Can You Swim Immediately After Dying hair?

When you swim in a chlorinated pool immediately after dying your hair, chlorine can change your color pigments.

Swimming immediately after coloring your hair can also affect the curl pattern if it’s not well-defined already.

Regardless of what type of dye you used (henna, synthetic, semi-permanent, demi-permanent). The goal is to avoid chlorine (or whatever other chemicals are in the pool) as much as possible.

The time immediately after dying hair is also when it’s most vulnerable, so it’s best not to risk ruining your dye job.

Can you swim with dyed hair?

Yes, but you need to take special precautions, such as avoiding the pool for at least 24 hours after dying your hair.

On the other hand, you should always use an anti-chlorine conditioner on your hair before you swim and a swim cap to keep your hair dry and protected from chlorine.

What are the best products for protecting dyed hair from chlorine?

There are many products such as dry shampoo, conditioner, or leave-in spray containing UV protection and safe to use on colored hair.

Before swimming, you can also use some dry and clarifying shampoos to protect your color from the chlorine found in most pools.

However, it is best to avoid any shampoo that fades color from your hair. You should avoid using shampoo often after coloring your hair. 

Can you shampoo your hair after swimming in a pool for a long time?

Yes, but do not use regular shampoo when you dye your hair because it will fade the color. 

Also, check the ingredients list and prescription details of the shampoo bottle to ensure no effect is listed for color-treated hair.

How often can you swim with colored hair?

Because of the chlorine in pools, it’s best to wait at least 24 hours after dyeing your hair before swimming, or otherwise, you will be exposing your dyed hair to moisture.

However, if you use UV and heat protection products, you can swim every day without having problems.

How often should you wash your hair after swimming in a pool?

It’s best to shampoo and condition your hair with a product made for dyed hair because it will help protect the color.

However, you should avoid chlorine-wash products and instead use a color-safe or color-depositing shampoo and conditioner.

Before swimming, you can also use a dry conditioner or a clarifying shampoo to protect your hair color from chlorine.

How long should you hold the conditioner after using it?

After using the conditioner, massage it into your scalp and rinse well. Rinse out the conditioner just before swimming, as leaving it on can cause problems with chlorine.

How can you protect your dyed hair from chlorine after it’s been colored?

There are three ways to protect your dyed hair from chlorine:

(1) Use an anti-chlorine conditioner on it before swimming.
(2) Wear a swim cap if you go swimming.
(3) Avoid products that contain chlorine, such as shampoo and conditioners.

The bottom line

We hope the tips above will be helpful to protect your hair color and keep it looking fabulous. 

Always be wise with your products to avoid any problem with your color-treated hair, and stick to the tips I shared to prevent the upcoming difficulties.

However, you can go beyond the tips and try different ways to protect your color-treated hair.

I meant to use the conditioner and swim caps together to add extra protection to your defense against chlorine.

I have recently shared a list of the 10 best swim caps for dyed hair; make sure to check them out.

Have other tips that have worked for you? Please share them with us in the comments below.

Jabran Ali
Jabran Ali
Jabran Ali is a swimming enthusiast, instructor, and testing swimming gears from the past 6 years. In these few years, he has got an extreme level of knowledge and achieved great goals. Now he knows the perfect swimming techniques and sharing his swimming life experience with Sportlia readers.


    • Hello Braylynn,

      Thank you for engaging with our article! It’s not uncommon to encounter the challenges of chlorine exposure, especially when it comes to maintaining dyed hair’s brilliance. Your question is spot-on, and I’m glad you reached out.

      Managing hair that’s been stripped of dye due to chlorine exposure requires a delicate balance of restoration and protection. Firstly, a rinse with fresh water post-swim is crucial to mitigate chlorine’s harsh effects. Then, indulge your hair with a luxurious deep conditioning treatment to replenish lost moisture and essential nutrients.

      To tackle the lingering effects of chlorine, I recommend investing in a high-quality clarifying shampoo. These shampoos are tailored to gently cleanse away chlorine residues, revitalizing your hair without compromising its integrity.

      For added defense against future chlorine encounters, consider incorporating a leave-in conditioner or protective spray into your routine. These products create a barrier, shielding your precious locks from chlorine’s harmful effects while you enjoy your swim.

      Remember, consistency is key when it comes to repairing and protecting your dyed hair from chlorine damage. With patience and the right care regimen, you’ll be well on your way to restoring your hair’s natural beauty. If you have any further questions or need additional advice, feel free to ask! We’re here to help. 😊

      Warmest regards,


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.