Article image

by The Professionals at Malibu C

August 1, 2016

Why your hair gets gross in the summer

Swimmers’ hair and skin inevitably develop issues in the summer time because of an increased exposure to oxidizers. Because your hair typically gets more sun exposure in the summer, that helps oxidize any residues and deposits on the hair. These oxidized minerals are to blame for the quintessential swimmers’ hair, which can include a muddy or green tint, fiberglass texture, breakage, and a metallic smell.

The most common minerals found in pools include calcium, magnesium, copper, and more recently, salts. These minerals are positively charged, and your hair is negatively charged. That means these minerals adhere to the hair shaft like a magnet. Day after day, these minerals build up, causing your hair to become heavy, rough, gummy, tangled, and clumpy. Chlorine and bromine, added to pools to kill bacteria, also cause oxidation, which is further highlighted by natural oxidizers, sunlight and oxygen. It all adds up to a recipe for hair damage for swimmers.

But the problem doesn’t stop at the pool’s edge—the water you shower in also contains both minerals and oxidizers, so diligent cleansing of the hair after exposure to pool water won’t resolve the problem. (Dirty hair isn’t the issue here—shampoo can only do so much to help alleviate swimmers’ hair). The 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 than is legally required for swimming pools. These swimmers are exposed to a double dose of minerals and chemicals and the result is “swimmers’ hair.”

Common Hair Challenges

We swimmers have a lot of potential issues to contend with when it comes to our hair.

  • Muddy blondes results from minerals that cause a translucent film on the hair, refracting light—this is the same thing that happens to your shower door or coffee pot and glasses.
  • Green/discolored hair isn’t caused by chlorine—copper sulfate used in the water to control algae is the culprit.
  • Breakage results from severe oxidation. As more minerals bond onto your hair, each strand gets heavy and can break under the strain.
  • Hair loss results from the oxidation of DHT (dihydrotestosterone). Minerals from the pool can bond onto weak hair at the mouth of the follicle, breaking the hair and ultimately blocking 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!
  • Dandruff in swimmers is always the actual medical condition that comes to mind and results in dry, flaky skin. Instead, oxidized minerals deposit on the scalp and can serve as a “trigger” for common and sever scalp challenges. Additionally, certain shampoos formulated with harsh ingredients and irritating fragrance can also exacerbate the issue.
  • Color treatments are affected by excess buildup, but now it’s possible to cover the gray and lift natural pigment, once the minerals are removed before the color or bleach so that your colorist is actually coloring your hair, instead of a rock wall of mineral build-up.
  • 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.

What’s more, deep cleansing shampoos, alkaline shampoos, and harsh clarifiers dry the hair with little or no effect in removing mineral build-up. But there is hope for swimmers’ hair.

The Malibu C® Difference

Swimmers Wellness Remedy by Malibu C® uses a patented antioxidant vitamin complex and fresh activation technology guaranteeing optimum potency. 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 Mini-Malibu MakeOver treatments are customized for swimmers with colored hair, swimmers with blonde hair, swimmers with scalp issues, and swimmers whose home plumbing systems use well water. Malibu C Wellness Systems can resolve swimmers’ hair issues. Using the gentle Swimmers’ Wellness Shampoo and Conditioner by Malibu C® will help maintain incredible results.

The entire Wellness Beauty Collection by Malibu C is 100% Vegan, Cruelty-Free, Made in the USA and Formulated Without: Gluten, Parabens and Sulfates. Look for these Wellness Solutions from Malibu C® at qualified Swim Shops, Salons/Spas Worldwide and online at


  • Products and Reviews


  • Advertorial
  • Malibu C