“Safe” Swimming Products You Shouldn’t Trust

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Chlorine is bad for bacteria and your hair

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Chlorine is a common additive to keep nasty pathogens and bacteria from ruining everyone’s favorite summer activity, swimming. What you might not expect is how chlorine can trigger chemical reactions with other common elements and compounds. “If the water has copper in it, as well water often does, the copper can become oxidized by chlorine,” shares Doris Day, MD, clinical associate professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Health. “In turn, it can bind to the hair shaft and turns blonde hair green.” Dr. Day recommends wetting hair with tap water before swimming so strands can’t absorb as much chlorinated water to begin with, then using a vinegar rinse after swimming to keep hair free of green hues.

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