Pinkxxcutie ponders…Okay so the pool just opened up and its getting really hot outside, meaning another season of dry, frizzy, dehydrated hair! Ive been looking online for some solutions to help keep your hair hydrated while, and after swimming. Are there any good products or remedies to help keep your hair in mint condition all summer? I also discovered a line called Ellin Lavar Textures. Apparently their products include sunscreens and oils, is this legit or just another marketing scam?
The Left Brain replies:
Frolicking at the pool certainly can cause problems for your hair. From a technical perspective here are two types of products that may help.
Prevent chlorine from reaching your hair
The main problem with pool water is that it contains chlorine which can not damage your hair’s precious protein but it can also affect the color of the hair. Of course you can always keep out chlorine by wearing a bathing cap but if you’d prefer not to, you could use a good conditioner that contains dimethicone. I have seen data (unpublished, unfortunately) which shows that dimethicone containing conditioners like Pantene and Tresemme do a good job of blocking chlorine from reaching the hair. Also, although I’ve never tested it, I think it’s safe to assume that heavier oil based products like hairdressings would have the same, if not better better, effect. Such products will be difficult to wash out, however.
Neutralize chlorine after it penetrates your hair
Certain products have the ability to neutralize chlorine even after it has entered your hair. Look for hot oil products that contain an ingredient called polyethylene ime, or PEI for short. PEI can complex with chlorine and remove substantial amounts from hair. You might also try shampoos, like UltraSwim, which contain thiosulfite. Thiosulfite is a reducing agent that reacts with the chlorine to render it harmless. While I’ve never personally tested these products there’s enough technical rationale behind them to make them worth a try.
Ellin Lavar Textures
Now, in regards to the product you asked about, we looked at the Ellin Lavar Shine collation and found that it supposedly contains a variety of natural oils such as Brazil nut and Capuacu seed butter. Of course the website only tells you about these natural oils But if you look at the full ingredient list for the Treatment product you’ll see that the first three ingredients are Parafinum Liquidum (aka mineral oil), Isohexadecane, and Cyclomethicone. If left in hair these should do a very nice job of keeping out chlorine. However, there are many other products which are much cheaper which will do the same thing (like baby oil, for example.)
Finally, you asked if sunscreens for hair are a marketing scam. Sunscreens do very little for hair, especially from a rinse off shampoo or conditioner. That’s because the surface area of the hair is so high it’s difficult to cover it with a thick enough film to actually absorb a significant amount of UV radiation. Don’t waste your money on expensive hair care products just because they have sunscreen.
The Beauty Brains bottom line
With a little forethought you can protect your hair from swimming pool water. But if you do engage in unprotected swimming, you still a chance to get rid of the damaging chlorine if you chose the right products.
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