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Swimmers’ Hair and Skin Challenges

How water affects your skin and hair and what you can do about it

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Every time you swim, you’re diving into a pool of minerals and chemicals that affect your hair and skin. In addition, a majority of the population in the U.S. is showering in hard water, and most public water sources contain as much, if not more, chlorine as is legally required for swimming pools. These swimmers are exposed to a double dose of minerals and chemicals and the result is “swimmers’ hair.”

The Role that Minerals Play

The most common minerals found in pools include calcium, magnesium, copper, and more recently, salts. These minerals are positively charged, while your hair is negatively charged. These microscopic rocks attach onto the hair shaft like a magnet. These minerals build up day after day, causing the hair to become heavy, rough, gummy, tangled, and move in clumpy sections.

The Role that Oxidizers Play

Common oxidizing chemicals used to kill bacteria in water include chlorine and bromine. Sunlight and oxygen are also natural oxidizers. Oxidized minerals are to blame for the quintessential swimmers’ hair issues, such as a muddy or green tint, fiberglass texture, breakage, and that metallic smell. To compound the problem, oxidation strengthens the minerals’ bonds. Unfortunately, even the water you shower in contains both minerals and oxidizers, so even diligent cleansing of the hair after exposure to pool water will not resolve the problem.

Swimmers don’t have dirty hair, so shampoo is only one step toward a life free of swimmers’ hair.

Associated Hair Challenges

Muddy blondes are the result of the minerals that cause a translucent film on the hair, refracting light just like the build-up on your shower door or coffee pot and glasses.

Green/discolored hair is not the result of chlorine. It’s a result of copper sulfate used in the water to control algae.

Breakage is a result of severe oxidation most often compounded by minerals bonded onto the hair.

Hair loss is a result of the oxidation of DHT (dihydrotestosterone). Minerals from the pool can bond onto weak hair at the mouth of the follicle that can break the hair and ultimately block new growth.

Fiberglass hair is severely oxidized hair loaded with minerals. It can be restored and be the most beautiful hair in the crowd. Don’t cut it off!

Color and bleach is now possible for swimmers’ hair. Cover the gray and lift your natural pigment for incredible hair. You just have to remove the minerals before the color or bleach so that your colorist is actually coloring your hair, instead of a rock wall of mineral build-up.

Dandruff in swimmers is usually not the disease, dandruff; instead, it’s usually flakes of dried skin that result from oxidized minerals being layered onto the scalp. Swimmers often think they have dandruff, as the symptoms they have often mimic those of dandruff, thus they seek out harsh shampoos and medications they don't really need. The wrong shampoo with irritating fragrance can exacerbate the issue.

Eczema and dry, itchy skin can be irritated by chlorine and hard-water minerals found in pools. Removal of these elements can help provide relief to those who suffer from these conditions.

Tattoos and permanent makeup fade just as hair color does, that doesn’t have to be an issue for swimmers who follow each swim with activated remedies that neutralize the chlorine and gently, yet effectively, remove the minerals allowing color to be vibrant for decades to come. Swimmers can even resurrect old tattoos and revive faded body art.

Deep cleansing shampoos, alkaline shampoos (required in shampoos that use sodium thiosulfate) and harsh clarifiers dry the hair with little or no effect on minerals. You can remove the minerals with freshly activated treatments, gentle shampoo and conditioners and immediate, dramatic results.

How Malibu C Works

Malibu C Swimmers Wellness Treatment uses a patented antioxidant vitamin complex and fresh activation technology guaranteeing optimum potency, and it works by weakening the magnetic bond attaching the minerals to your hair while neutralizing chlorine on contact. Immediate transformation occurs in hair salons worldwide when they use the famous Malibu MakeOver®, recommended at least once a year for all swimmers and more often for severe build-up. The at-home or at-pool hair Mini-Malibu MakeOver treatments are customized for swimmers with colored hair, blonde swimmers, swimmers with scalp issues, and swimmers whose homes use well water. Malibu C Wellness Systems can resolve swimmers’ hair issues. Using the gentle Malibu C Swimmers’ Wellness Shampoo and Conditioner will help maintain the incredible results. All Malibu C products are 100% Vegan and free of sulfate surfactants, parabens, and gluten. Unlike many swimmers’ products on the market, we have never used sodium thiosulfate and never will.

Malibu C products can be purchased in qualified swim shops, salons, and online at malibuc.com.

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