You’re either swimming in the lake or you’re considering it.
Or maybe you want to bathe in a lake.
But you’re wondering if lake water is bad for your hair.
In this blog post, I’ll quickly talk about if lake water is okay for your hair or if it will leave your hair dry, brittle, and dull.
Let’s dive in!
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Is lake water bad for hair?
Nothing compares to clean water. Both ocean water and lake water is going to have some effect on your hair.
But I cannot make a blanket statement that lake water is universally bad for hair either because it depends on several factors:
- Chemical composition: Some lakes may contain higher levels of minerals such as calcium and magnesium, which can contribute to hair dryness and tangling. However, if the lake has a balanced mineral content, then there won’t be such a negative impact on hair.
- Chlorine levels: Now, unlike swimming pools, lakes do not contain chlorine (which strips the hair of natural oils and causes damage – I explain how to protect hair when swimming in pools here) so this means people who are sensitive to chlorine or have chemically treated hair will fair pretty well in lake water.
- Sun exposure: Spending time in the sun swimming in the lake can lead to hair damage due to prolonged exposure to UV rays – this won’t have anything to do with the water. The sun’s rays can weaken the hair’s protein structure, resulting in frizz, dryness, and color fading.
- Individual hair type: Now, everyone’s hair texture and type are different. So even your thickness and porosity will come into play here. This means that some people may find that their hair becomes dry and brittle while swimming in the lake while others might not see that much difference and their hair might even get more smooth or shiny.
So, it’s difficult to say how your hair will react specifically to the lake water because there are so many factors at play.
Now, there are ways to protect your hair from lake water – I’ll quickly go over some methods.
How do I protect my hair from lake water?
1. Rinse your hair before and after swimming in the lake
If it’s possible try rinsing your hair with clean water before and after swimming – this will minimize the amount of minerals your hair absorbs.
Because your hair is already wet, your hair won
And use a clarifying shampoo once a week to remove excess buildup so that your hair’s natural oils will be restored.
You have no idea what chemicals are in the lake water – so whether your hair feels fine or it’s sticky and waxy, wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo once a week and this will remove all the product buildup and minerals.
I’ve written a detailed post on how to use a clarifying shampoo here.
Both of these shampoos are bloody brilliant and do a very good job of cleaning the hair without drying it too much.
2. Rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar
Many people use apple cider vinegar after your regular shampoo – I didn’t know this till I tried it and realized how good it is.
It’s natural, so you don’t need to worry about chemicals.
Here’s how you use apple cider vinegar as a hair rinse.
- Dilute the Apple Cider Vinegar: Mix approximately 1 to 2 tablespoons of ACV with 1 cup of water. The exact ratio may vary depending on your hair type and personal preference. If you have sensitive or dry hair, you may want to use more water and less apple cider vinegar.
- Shampoo Your Hair: Start by shampooing your hair with your regular shampoo to remove any dirt, oil, or product buildup. Rinse thoroughly.
- Apply the ACV Solution: Pour the diluted ACV solution over your hair, focusing on the roots and working your way to the ends. Gently massage your scalp for a few minutes to ensure the ACV is distributed evenly.
- Let It Sit: Allow the ACV solution to sit on your hair for a couple of minutes. This gives the ACV time to help balance the pH of your scalp and hair, remove residue, and add shine. I usually wash the rest of my body while I’m waiting for it to do its thing, so I can make those minutes pass quite quickly!
- Rinse Well: Rinse your hair thoroughly with lukewarm water until the vinegar scent dissipates. It’s important to rinse your hair well to ensure there is no lingering vinegar smell.
- Condition (optional): If you like, you can follow up with a conditioner to add moisture back into your hair, focusing on the lengths and ends. Rinse out the conditioner as usual. I prefer using a leave-in conditioner because I have very curly hair, and it helps me retain more moisture.
So, this product was made specifically for people who swim a lot.
You basically dampen your hair and use this leave-in, it ensures that your hair doesn’t absorb any of the harmful chemicals and minerals from the water you’re swimming in.
I honestly hadn’t even heard of this product till I was doing research for my partner because he swims every single day and his hair was suffering from chlorine damage.
And yes, this product is color-safe and even softens your hair, plus it has a nice smell.
4. Tie your hair and put it in a large swim cap
That’s basically the gist.
Tie your hair up and put it in a large swim cap.
By doing this, you’re making sure that very little of your hair actually comes into contact with the lake water.
This will ensure that your hair is well-protected and is not suffering from too much exposure to the minerals and chemicals in the water.
- 5 Reasons why your hair is sticky after swimming + how to protect it
- How to Protect Your Hair from Chlorine Without a Swim Cap
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