3 Harmful Ways Chlorine Affects Your Hair, Skin & Nails

by | Updated: July 2nd, 2019 | Read time: 3 minutes

For many, showering is a time of rest, relaxation and cleansing. But there’s an unfortunate downside to enjoying that tub time for too long.

The average American shower uses 17.2 gallons (65.1 liters) and lasts for 8.2 minutes at an average flow rate of 2.1 gallons per minute. That’s a lot of water contact!

Woman Washing Hair Using Chlorine-Reducing Water Filter to Protect Hair & Skin | Vitacost.com/Blog

Shower water can hold chlorine particles as well as other contaminants from your municipality’s water treatment processes. Plus, warm water can attach to airborne particles in your bathroom from contaminants all over the house.

Those airborne water vapor particles can be inhaled as well as absorbed through the skin while showering. Inhalation is an important exposure route for volatile water contaminants present in water. Chlorine is one of the most common disinfecting additives used by municipalities. As of 1995, 65 percent of municipalities in the U.S. used chlorine to disinfect water.

Chlorine exposure has long been known to cause health issues and negative side effects. Municipalities add chlorine to the water supply to kill germs and disinfect the water, this same chlorine clings to water molecules and can be inhaled, absorbed through the skin and hair when showering.

Counteract the harmful effects of chlorine with products designed to remove or neutralize the chlorine in the water you are bathing in. The effects of chlorine exposure have long been documented but simple steps can be taken to prevent further damage from chlorine exposure.

Chlorine has become a common household cleaner and disinfectant as well so you can be showering in chlorine, washing your clothes in chlorine (possibly adding additional chlorine in the form of bleach or a different laundry cleaner) and then ingesting chlorine through use of your municipally supplied water while in your home.

Taking steps to prevent chlorine exposure can be easy and unobtrusive when incorporating devices into your home and daily routine that filter out chlorine.

Here are three reasons to start using a chlorine-reducing shower filter system as soon as possible:

1. Chlorine strips the body of necessary oils and affects the skin’s pH

Is chlorine bad for your skin? Chlorine dries out skin and strips it of essential oils that protect it. This causes skin irritation and wrinkles and counteracts the use of beauty treatments and serums. Chlorine can also cause irritation to people that are affected by conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

2. Chlorine strips natural oils from your hair

Is chlorine bad for your hair? Stripping your hair of its natural oils reduces moisture, which causes breakage, dandruff and discoloration. The effects of shampoo, conditioner, hair treatments or hair color are greatly affected by chlorine. Chlorine can also affect the scalp and cause irritation or flair ups of any skin conditions you may have on your head.

3. Chlorine affects your eyes, nose, throat and lungs

Exposure to chlorine can irritate eyes, nose, throat and lungs when breathing in water vapor while showering. This irritation can cause issues with people with respiratory conditions such as asthma.

Chlorine can also dry the skin inside your nose causing irritation, cracking or breathing issues in addition to itchy, watery eyes and redness.

Shower filter systems and other filtration appliances can help remove or neutralize the chlorine present in your water. This ultimately allows your body to retain its natural oils and maintain a healthy pH without chlorine stripping the body of these key factors to skin and hair health.