Does Pool Chlorine Cause Hair Loss?

When there’s just one month left until summer, it means the season of swimming and splashing is near. But the idea of thwarting your laser therapy hair restoration efforts by submerging in chlorinated water is somewhat alarming. After all, you haven’t come all this way just to lose more hair once summer arrives.

Fortunately, swimming is one activity that hair loss sufferers can fully partake in – with a little precaution, of course. First, understand that any pool chemicals or ocean salt poses a threat to your hair health, whether or not you suffer from a hair loss condition. These agents tend to make hair feel dry and brittle, which is easily remedied by reducing your swim sessions and practicing routine deep conditioning hair masks.

Most people who suffer from hair loss have their genetics, not summer aquatics, to blame. Androgenic alopecia is called male pattern baldness in men and female pattern hair loss (FPHL) in women. Swimming will not make your pattern baldness any worse, but it could detract from the health of your remaining hair. This creates a more dull and lifeless appearance. When you suffer from a thinning or shedding scalp, prioritizing hair shine and volume is the key to retaining your presence and self-confidence.

If you don’t suffer from pattern baldness, but you notice abnormal hair shedding following a dip in the pool, there could be other factors at play. In 2013, a Berkeley high school¹ shut down its pool because students from the water polo team were experiencing hair bleaching, hair loss, excessive coughing, and eye irritation. After testing was done, the school district found the pH level was ten times more alkaline than the legal limit at 8.4. Healthy chlorinated pools hold a pH level between 7.2 and 7.8. The cause for the pH imbalance was later determined to be related to a defective CO2 tank which was supposed to prevent bacterial growth.

Public or private pools should test their pH levels regularly, and the affected pool in Berkeley has since been re-examined and approved for use. And, the hair loss caused by the pH problem was temporary. Even so, long-term exposure could have more serious health consequences. Never continue to swim in a pool if you notice an increase in hair loss after swimming.

For more information on hair loss causes and treatment with low-level laser therapy, contact Capillus at 844-280-4680.

Back to blog