5 Ways To Stop Chlorine Destroying Your Hard-Earned Holiday Hair And Tan

When you've finally got your beachy waves on point, keep them that way with our top tips for defeating the dreaded chlorine hair and skin destruction. Yes it is that dramatic.

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We'll admit it - when we go on holiday we get the chlorine fear. Yes, it's a thing.

After spending arguably way too much of our monthly income on achieving the perfect sun-kissed balayage and sunbathing-ready base tan, the thought of plunging into a swimming pool full of chlorine sounds more like a nightmare than the holiday dream.

Why? Because although chlorine is great for blitzing bacteria and making that public swimming pool a little less gruesome to swim in, it's also crazy harsh on your hair and skin.

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'[Chlorine] strips our skin and hair of their natural oils, and leaves us looking dry and lacklustre,' dermatologist Shereene Idriss, MD, of Union Square Laser Dermatology told Refinery29.

Between battling complexion-destroying air pollution and the ultimate dehydrator - office air con, we just can't be adding another Summer hair and skin enemy to our list.

But fear not, there is a way to avoid chlorine transforming your Mica Arganaraz-worthy curls into something more reminiscent of an onion ring, and that Giselle-esque tan into skin so dry you need to bathe in moisturiser, not a swimming pool.

Just follow our oh-so-easy tips - no swimming cap required.

1. Soak your hair in fresh water before you get in the pool

Sounds weird when your hair is going to get wet anyway but stay with us. Your hair can only absorb so much water so if you soak it in fresh water before you dive in, it'll absorb that, rather than the chlorinated pool water, meaning way less chlorine damage. Huzzah!

2. Apply loads of leave-in conditioner

Yes, way. Speaking to Refinery29, Dr Idriss revealed that you can even coat your hair with leave-in conditioner before you go swimming to create a physical barrier between your hair and the damaging chemicals in the water. Genius.

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ELLE Recommends: Philip Kingsley Swim Cap, £15

3. Load on the water-resistant SPF

Slathering on plenty of water-resistant SPF will protect your skin not only from the sun but also lock in moisture.

4. Shower, shower, and shower again

The best way to stop the damaging effects of chlorine is to rinse it off ASAP. Heed Dr Idriss' warning to 'avoid harsh soaps and shower gels, as they'll only add insult to injury'.

5. More is more when it comes to moisturiser

We know it sounds obvious to say moisturising is key, but sometimes the last thing you want to do after a swim is spend hours applying body lotion (more likely we're aiming for the nearest G&T). Still, if you want that tan to last long enough to get back to the office to show it off, then repeat after us, 'More moisturiser is more'.

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