Monday, 13 January 2014

Mombasa Diaries: Day 10: 4 Simple Ways to Remove Chlorine From Your Hair

It is notoriously difficult to remove chlorine from your hair!

This is because chlorine is an oxidant which chemically reacts with your hair, making it  difficult to remove with ordinary shampoo, let alone conditioner. It is therefore recommended that you shampoo your hair with a clarifying shampoo after prolonged exposure to chlorine. Swimmers' shampoos are specifically made for this but are very drying and quite frankly, I'm not sure you can buy them here anyway. A chelating shampoo such as Kinky Curly Come Clean would work and is locally available via Aunaturelle but, while researching my salt water post, I came across several interesting and slightly amusing tips on how to cheaply and effectively remove chlorine from your hair using ordinary household ingredients. 

I have already done a post on how to protect your hair while swimming so this is additional information useful particularly for those who swim regularly.

1. Vitamin C 
This is supposedly the most effective way of neutralising chlorine in your hair. Start off by rinsing your hair with plain water then add 1 teaspoon if vitamin c powder (or crushed vitamin c tablets) to 500ml of water and pour over. Make sure your hair is well coated then rinse. This can be followed by a regular shampoo and condition. One writer mentions that doing this, however, gives you a very acidic solution, more so than lemon juice, which can be very drying. However as this writer is a manufacturer of a vitamin c spray (is there anything that hasn't yet been invented?) I am taking this with a tiny pinch of sea salt. 

2.  Soda Water 

Yup. Ordinary soda water. Who knew. Apparently the sodium in the water acts as a clarifier and helps not only remove choline but also minimise frizz. It can therefore also be used after a regular shampoo and before your leave-in.

3. Baking Soda
Because baking soda consists in part of sodium bicarbonate, the same principle as above porbably applies. Rinse hair with water, dissolve 1 tablespoon of baking soda in 1 cup of water and use as a rinse.  Lots of naturals use baking soda to wash their hair but I have to admit I never have.  Early on in my natural hair journey, I watched Kimmaytube's Youtube series on ph and baking soda was one of the products reviewed. I will do a post one of these days on Acids and Alkalis and how they affect hair but basically, after watching the full series, I made the decision not to try it out. And I have never felt the need or desire to until possibly now.  

4. Tomato Paste
After rinsing your hair, generously apply tomato paste straight from the can or satchet, leave for 30 minutes and rinse. Now I've heard of blonds using ketchup on their hair if it goes green after swimming so I'm assuming the theory is the same but for the life I me I can not find any explanation why or how it works. 

So there you have it. Some of it sounds like pure quackery but coming from someone who just had butter in her hair the other day, I'm not one to point fingers. I will definitely be trying out at least one of these remedies (probably baking soda) and will write and let you know how my hair feels after. 

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