Swimming pools nationwide are required to have chlorine levels that are no less than 1.0 ppm (parts per million) in order to control potentially harmful bacteria levels in the water. But water treatment facilities are also adding at least that amount of chlorine, often more, to your household water, especially this time of year for the same reasons. You already know what high amounts chlorine from pool water can do to your hair, scalp and skin. Now you understand why you experience the most damage to those areas during the summer months when you are not only exposed to chlorine on a regular basis in your shower, but also in the pool. Following is a ranking of the cities with the highest levels of chlorine present in the shower water based on Water Quality Reports from the respective cities measuring chlorine levels.

Read More: Curly Beginner’s Guide: Swimming With Curly Hair

U.S. Cities with Highest Levels of Chlorine in Shower Water

  1. Houston, Texas
  2. Dallas, Texas
  3. Nashville, Tennessee
  4. Denver, Colorado
  5. San Diego, California
  6. Austin City, Texas
  7. El Paso, Texas
  8. Washington, DC

Read More: Top 10 Chlorine-Fighting Conditioners

U.S. Cities with Highest Levels of Chlorine in Shower Water

  1. Indianapolis, Indiana
  2. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  3. Columbus, Ohio
  4. Jacksonville, Florida
  5. Baltimore, Maryland
  6. Boston, Massachusetts
  7. Memphis, Tennessee
  8. San Antonio, Texas

Read More: Curly Hair Care for Swimming & Summer Humidity

Problem Caused by Chlorinated Shower Water

  1. Strength of the Hair: The cuticle of naturally curly hair is more open (as compared to straight hair where the cuticle lays down tight) which allows oxidizers such as chlorine to penetrate deeper and violate the integrity of the hair, thus causing more damage. Think of chlorine as a termite “eating away” at the strength of your hair. This is why your hair becomes weaker and more fragile over time, making it difficult to manage and maintain. In addition, it is important to note that damaged hair is more frizzy. Therefore, the healthier your hair, the less frizz you’ll experience.
  2. Minerals on the Hair: The majority of the population in North America is shampooing in water that contains minerals, which stick to the hair like magnets. Chlorine oxidizes the minerals and literally binds the minerals onto the hair, thus compounding the problem and causing a wall to form that blocks chemical services, such as color, straighteners and relaxers, from processing successfully. While it is a popular misconception that chlorine turns your hair green, it does however contribute to discoloration. Copper is the mineral that binds to the hair and creates a green tint to your tresses. Chlorine can speed up the oxidation of copper, creating a darker green tint that is bound tighter to the hair.

Read More: Dealing with Damage Done to Your Hair by…Water?

  1. Attack on Proteins: Remember that hair needs water to retain its elasticity and the better the elasticity, the stronger the hair. Chlorine is a severe chemical aggressor that depletes the natural moisture in hair, resulting in strands that feel dried-out, often crunchy and straw-like in appearance. Hair is approximately 70 percent keratin protein and naturally contains moisture. Protein gives hair strength and structure and chlorine depletes protein. There are various protein-based hair care product that boast the ability to reinforce the hair shaft and help it remain strong enough to fight breakage. Some of the most popular salon services coupled with cuts and blowdrys are deep conditioning treatments, which infuse moisture and protein.
  2. Dry Scalp: The nature of chlorine lends itself to abnormal exfoliation of the scalp, which results in flaking, itching and irritation and also creates an increasingly dry scalp. Calcium is a mineral that is highly present in the water in salons and showers and while it is good for your bones, it’s bad for your scalp. Calcium deposits from the water latch onto your scalp, clogging your roots. Chlorine can alter the electrical charge of calcium and cause it to bond stronger to the hair, which can act as a trigger for contact dermatitis and is also known for exacerbating common conditions including dandruff and eczema.

Read More: Shower Water Filters Offer Benefits to Hair and Skin

The Natural Wellness Solution

In the past, salons used clarifiers to rid the hair of chlorine and minerals. In reality, the unusually high pH levels found in these products is only good for removing hairspray buildup. Recent studies have shown that in order to remove chlorine and mineral build up simultaneously, formulas must have a low pH and be guaranteed active. Therefore, salons are finding that the use of treatments comprised of dry vitamins and other food grade ingredients is the best approach.

Chlorine can also deplete the oils in the hair and scalp, causing dryness in those areas. Once you have naturally removed mineral and chlorine buildup and know how to keep it out, it is important to use reconstructors and other protein minerals to restore the integrity of your hair and “patch up” the holes created by the mineral deposits that were eating away at your hair. You’ll notice a difference with regular use of a wellness conditioning treatment. You can find out more about the Malibu C Natural Wellness Solution in this video.

Look for future articles about how factors such as pH and humidity, among others, affect how your hair looks, feels and responds to chemical services. In addition, look forward to more city rankings to help you stay in the know about the area in which you live.

Click here to receive a free test strip to test your water so that you can learn more about your water and your hair. We look forward to empowering you, as together we explore customized conditions and wellness solutions in upcoming monthly articles.

Read More: Post-Summer Hair Repair


About Tom Porter

Since 1985 Tom Porter is the founder and president of Malibu Wellness, Inc. As a researcher, formulator and educator, Porter began exploring the use of the ascorbic acid form of vitamin C in personal care products in 1981 and is the pioneer of the fresh-dried form of vitamin C that is found in the nationally recognized Malibu MakeOver. He uses more than twenty years of research and development in the training of tens of thousands of cosmetologists, estheticians and medical professionals world-wide to encourage a wellness lifestyle. To learn more about Natural Wellness Solutions for your hair, visit www.MalibuC.com.