Chlorine Makes An Early Entrance
Chlorine is back.
It just took one day of temperatures over 85 for it to tangle its chemical fingers back into my life. It does this every warm spring, try to slip in before summer, before I have my game plan in place.
When I was a kid we were friends, chlorine and I. We hung out all Summer, and slowly chlorine destroyed the elastic of my swimsuit and ate through my towel. It was worth it. I was young, elastic was over-rated , and thin, holey towels were the official flag of a successful Summer.
Now it’s different. And it’s not about the towels or the elastic. It’s not about the concern about what chlorine is doing to our skin since its job is kill more things in the water than I want to think about.
It’s about the hair.
I always counted myself lucky to have dark hair that was safe from the green tinge you foisted upon my fair-headed friends. I had no idea a worse danger lurked.
Keep in mind I spent many a night during my pregnancy wishing that our second little bundle of joy would be born with her dad’s curls and not my straight hair. Sure enough, sense of humor soundly intact, the good Lord gifted Mireya with a riot of curls. Curls so springy they attract attention anywhere she goes.
It took just a few years for me to realize that this was how I was going to be taught the value of patience. Still it seemed worth it – until the first chlorine attack.
Add a little chlorine and terrible, terrible things happen to Mireya’s hair. Curly hair, which is already an adventure around here, turns vicious when joined with chlorine. It mats up instantaneously, becoming utterly un-comb-able. No amount of conditioner can slick it into submission once chlorine has its death grip on each of the 5 million twisting hair shafts. In no time Mireya looks like she should be singing lead in a Reggae band, dread locks scattered all over her head. Let me tell you, “dread” is the right word.
This time we’ve got our game plan. It involves everything from buying a swim cap to slicking her down with half a bottle of conditioner before she’s allowed to get within five feet of chlorine. Still I know that when suddenly someone just jumps in the pool and we’ll be back to the tub, spending our evening coming out mats that inspire thoughts of buzz hair cuts.
Still, at least we’re prepared. I bought a case of conditioner and, as a back up, I’m teaching Mireya all the words to Bob Marley’s “Stir It Up.”
Just in case.