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The chemicals used to maintain water in a swimming pool are notoriously hard on hair, especially hair that’s already been chemically lightened. Marie-Michèle Deschesnes, professional development manager at L’Oréal Professionnel, explains that it’s not just pool water but all water that can have an impact on hair. “Water opens the hair’s cuticle, making colour fade faster,” she says, adding that this happens in the shower and lakes as well.

She recommends wearing hair in a braid while swimming to help prevent it from tangling or avoiding getting it wet at all if possible. Rinse your hair after a swim, as you would a swimsuit, and be careful when detangling wet hair as it’s more fragile. Finally, she points to L’Oréal Professional’s new Metal Detox collection, which was designed to cleanse hair from metals. “It’s good to use something that will detoxify your hair from the pool chemicals.”

My recommendation: Last summer, I took up lunchtime swims at a neighbour’s pool, a wonderful way to break up the day. My advice for my fellow bottle blondes is to put your hair up in a bun and slap on a hat to protect your in your ‘do.

L’Oréal Professionnel Metal Detox Shampoo, $28 at select salons (

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