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aquageek
July 17th, 2002, 09:11 AM
Since I have a self-imposed ban on returning to the ESPY discussion and going insane battling Ion Beza, I have a new post. Warning - this post is odd but I have been contemplating asking the panel of experts for a few months now.

Here's my problem (one among many), I'm losing my body hair. Does anyone else have this problem who swims a lot? I'm not a nutty swimmer, probably swimming around 7-8 hours per week. mostly indoors. But, I'm telling you, I am disturbed by what has happened to me. My wife is disturbed by the neighborhood women asking her if her husband shaves his legs and dyes his hair (neither of which I do).

I really didn't notice anything until I went to a party with some co-workers and was wearing shorts. The remarks have been unlimited since then. Most commonly I am now referred to as Mr. Bigglesworth, that hairless cat from the Austin Powers movie.

In all seriousness, is this a common problem? Any tips on what I can do to reverse this or mitigate it?

Fisch
July 17th, 2002, 12:05 PM
I have the same problem, except it seems to be limited
to the top of my head.

MetroSwim
July 17th, 2002, 12:21 PM
Sounds like the Chlorine is taking it's toll. Do you use one of the anti-chlorine shampoos? it might help.

Philip Arcuni
July 17th, 2002, 01:26 PM
Your pool is too alkaline. Perhaps you can get some help from the pool manager, but don't count on it. He/she will probably say it tests fine.

A bathing cap will do wonders to keep the hair on your head looking fresh and lustrous - until it starts falling out like mine and Fisch's. Does your skin itch? a moisturizing cream will help.

Windrath
July 17th, 2002, 11:37 PM
Dear Aquageek -

Phil hit the nail on the head. The alkalinity in your pool is too high. I swim at a YMCA and a couple of times each year the alkalinity climbs too high and I loss all the hair on my arms, legs, chest, and other areas (i.e. pubic hair). All gone.

You can generally tell if the alkalinity is too high because your mouth will feel very chalky after you have been in the water for awhile.

Look on the bright side - sure beats shaving nicks and cuts. :)

Paul Windrath

emmett
July 18th, 2002, 07:42 AM
I think Phil was referring to the pH being too alkaline (high) rather than alkalinity. If your pool is chlorinated with liquid chlorine (which raises pH) then the management needs to add muriatic acid (which lowers pH). A high pH will cause the hair loss and cottonmouth/chaulky teeth.

Alkalinity, on the other hand, is a measure of the resistance to pH change and is controlled by adding a different chemical, sodium bicarb, once the pH is balanced to a proper level. Sodium bicard has a negligible effect on current pH.

Mag
July 18th, 2002, 06:25 PM
I seem to have lots less hair on my arms and legs in the past, oh, four or five years. Plus the hair on my head doesn't seem to grow as fast as it used to. Maybe it's age, but the more I learn about pool chemicals...I believe it's the akalinity. I'm an asst aquatic director at a Y where we have two pools to maintain. It is SO HARD to keep chemicals balanced. They are always changing; you have to stay on top of them, all the time.

Regardless of what anyone says, TELL your pool manager. They should do something about it. We listen to our patrons and keep close watch on the chemical levels.

john4
December 7th, 2006, 11:33 AM
This is helpful. I just returned to swimming at a neighborhood pool and I'm amazed that I've lost much of my body hair in two weeks. Plus my suits are wearing out almost as fast.

Unfortunately the city laid off the lady who previously ran the pool perfectly. Now we have a moron kid taking her place.

SwimStud
December 7th, 2006, 11:42 AM
Where is this pool I could do with some bodily hair loss...nuisance it is.

dorianblade
December 7th, 2006, 06:44 PM
Where is this pool I could do with some bodily hair loss...nuisance it is.

Go to a YMCA club it was.

The Fortress
December 7th, 2006, 07:19 PM
[quote=aquageek;2651But, I'm telling you, I am disturbed by what has happened to me. My wife is disturbed by the neighborhood women asking her if her husband shaves his legs and dyes his hair (neither of which I do).[/quote]

I know a lot of triathletes and cyclists who intentionally shave their legs. They run around with shorts at all our summer league swim meets and I don't think anyone is too disturbed. But they are pretty buff. Hope you've got that alkalinity problem fixed.

chaos
December 7th, 2006, 10:07 PM
not an issue for those of us with italian ancestry.

lapswimmr
December 7th, 2006, 11:27 PM
Hmm. loosing head hair from chlorine I have heard of . Body hair..no. Aging maybe, Do you shower before swimming. It hydrates the skin as well as the hair and does make chlorine harder to get into the skin or hair . It is winter and dryer skin from lots of swimming may do it too..7 hours week in the pool is not that much for us swimmers here but tell the truth its alot for most people. Try a moisterizer cream after your shower and if it continues and bugs you ask your Dr. if it is a symptom..yes I do know of a medical condition that can cause loss of body hair.. Cirrhosis of the liver.. it can be caused by hepititis B/C as well as booze. Dont let me scare you though I think thats not the reason because by the time that body hair loss / muscle loss occurs you would have other symptoms. Probably a combo of lots of swimming/dry skin/aging.

knelson
December 8th, 2006, 12:45 AM
OK, geek, is this just a ploy to get us to think the famous photo of the "fat guy in a Speedo" is definitely not you? :)

Caped Crusader
December 8th, 2006, 12:52 AM
OK, geek, is this just a ploy to get us to think the famous photo of the "fat guy in a Speedo" is definitely not you? :)

That's what I think, KNelson. I think Geek should just admit that he's shaving down like those other triathlete teammates he admires.

dorianblade
December 8th, 2006, 01:06 PM
I too have noticed my body hair has been thinning and turning somewhat blond. i kinda like it.

poolraat
December 8th, 2006, 01:11 PM
I to have noticed my body hair has been thinning and turning somewhat blond. i kinda like it.

Wait until summer. If you swim outdoors you will be accused of having your hair done with blond highlights.

Muppet
January 29th, 2007, 02:25 PM
I'm pulling a Fortress here by bringing out an older thread... but...

It has been brought to my attention that a certain "patch" of hair may be growing rather rapidly as a result of swimming.... anyone else having random unexplained body hair growth? I already went through puberty (but wouldn't mind a little growth spurt in my mid 20s)!!
:banana:

SwimStud
January 29th, 2007, 02:36 PM
I'm pulling a Fortress here by bringing out an older thread... but...

It has been brought to my attention that a certain "patch" of hair may be growing rather rapidly as a result of swimming.... anyone else having random unexplained body hair growth? I already went through puberty (but wouldn't mind a little growth spurt in my mid 20s)!!
:banana:


What about the drag though?

newmastersswimmer
January 29th, 2007, 03:17 PM
Geek.....Have you tried taking a bath in rogaine yet?

Newmastersswimmer

craiglll@yahoo.com
January 29th, 2007, 04:55 PM
not an issue for those of us with italian ancestry.


Nor French Shepardic, Irish, or Scandinavian. My big problem is that hair is appearing in places I don't want it or it is getting very long and very gray. Of all the men in both my mother's and fahter's families, I for some reason was granted some body hair (I am thankful not as much as my grandfather). All the brothers and cousins have gone bald but me. None, though, have gray body hair. I don't know which I woudl perfer though.

SwimStud
January 29th, 2007, 04:58 PM
Nor French Shepardic, Irish, or Scandinavian. My big problem is that hair is appearing in places I don't want it or it is getting very long and very gray. Of all the men in both my mother's and fahter's families, I for some reason was granted some body hair (I am thankful not as much as my grandfather). All the brothers and cousins have gone bald but me. None, though, have gray body hair. I don't know which I woudl perfer though.

I shaved for a meet this weekend. Well I clippered..I didn't go to blades...my wife is creeped out by it.
She says I remind her of "Buffalo Bill" from "The Silence of the Lambs."
...maybe I'll wake her up tonight and do the Buffalo Bill "Dance!"

That'll freak her good!

swimbear
November 9th, 2008, 07:56 PM
I have recently started swimming seriously the past year in a half, and I cannot say how much I love it!! I never was a great swimmer, now i wish I started earlier it is the best sport. Having loss about 35 lbs is great but I too have noticed my loss of body hear on my arms, legs and chest. I took notice it as i had a few ingrown hairs on my arms but then I realized that my arms were less hairy.

jim thornton
November 10th, 2008, 03:23 PM
I was reading away on this thread and saw Phil Arcuni, a very avid poster from yesteryear, and was overjoyed to think he was back. Then I realized this is an old thread from the golden age of Phil Arcuni and Ion Beza, and waves of misty-eye-inducing nostalgia washed over me, head to toe.

When I awoke from my dazed reverie, I found that my body hair was....

essentially unchanged.

However, I would like to contribute one quasi-scientificcy factoid to the developing conversation. I am a MZ twin, i.e., monozyotic, i.e., identical. John, my brother, used to swim in college but now jogs as his main exercise. I have spent a good deal of my adult life soaking in a chlorinated bullion like the rest of the posters here.

It could be completely coincidence, it could be epi-genetic changes whereby our identical DNA has been differentially turned off and on through our separate journeys through life's travails, but I am MUCH LESS HAIRIER than my twin brother. Seeing as I am fairly close to one of those Mexican hair-covered circus performing genetic anomaly family members, my brother is TRULY Sasquatchean in this regard.

I can only hope that whatever compound(s) it is that depilates our bodies does not necessarily trim other dangling, waving, and/or freak-flaggishly- flying aspects of us swimmers.

tjrpatt
November 10th, 2008, 03:58 PM
If only I could lose the hair on my fingers, back, and chest with all the swimming that I do. If I want that hair off, I need a razor.

Guvnah
November 11th, 2008, 10:42 AM
Relax about the hair loss.

This ain't the 70s any more. That disco chest patch is so yesteryear.

Now the look is the fresh-waxed. And we are getting it without all the pain.

dkstover
September 12th, 2009, 09:37 PM
i was just doing a search on losing body hair and came upon your post. I too have been swimming about an hour at a time almost daily and have lost a lot of body hair, even my eyebrows are mostly gone. As well as my brown hair is turning blond in spots. I swim in a condo pool, and have noticed my throat and nose burning in addition to the loss of body hair. I plan to share the info about the chemical balance with the condo management.

Chicken of the Sea
September 13th, 2009, 09:43 PM
I did a lot of long pool swims in the last 6 months and my head hair got really dry and noticeably thinner :(

nhc
September 14th, 2009, 12:39 AM
Is this hair loss an irreversible event? Will you get the hair back if you changed to a less-chlorinated pool?

Ricki
September 14th, 2009, 02:10 AM
not an issue for those of us with italian ancestry.


Too true. :D

__steve__
September 14th, 2009, 09:42 AM
I haven't noticed any change in hair quantity or behavior in the past 15 months of daily pool swimming I've been engaged in.

But one thing very bizarre I did notice was hair growing on the palms of my hands. Could this be related to chlorine somehow?

Ripple
September 14th, 2009, 11:13 AM
...But one thing very bizarre I did notice was hair growing on the palms of my hands. Could this be related to chlorine somehow?
All the time, or just during a full moon? :D

Syd
September 14th, 2009, 12:13 PM
But one thing very bizarre I did notice was hair growing on the palms of my hands. Could this be related to chlorine somehow?

Don't bate the master.

mattson
September 14th, 2009, 12:40 PM
Great googly moogly... this thread started seven years ago!

swimmj
September 14th, 2009, 07:00 PM
Since I have a self-imposed ban on returning to the ESPY discussion and going insane battling Ion Beza, I have a new post. Warning - this post is odd but I have been contemplating asking the panel of experts for a few months now.

Here's my problem (one among many), I'm losing my body hair. Does anyone else have this problem who swims a lot? I'm not a nutty swimmer, probably swimming around 7-8 hours per week. mostly indoors. But, I'm telling you, I am disturbed by what has happened to me. My wife is disturbed by the neighborhood women asking her if her husband shaves his legs and dyes his hair (neither of which I do).

I really didn't notice anything until I went to a party with some co-workers and was wearing shorts. The remarks have been unlimited since then. Most commonly I am now referred to as Mr. Bigglesworth, that hairless cat from the Austin Powers movie.

In all seriousness, is this a common problem? Any tips on what I can do to reverse this or mitigate it?

Some people are far more sensitive to the PH level and body hair loss is a common issue. I, sadly, don't seem to have this sensitivity and have to restrain myself from snarling at male teammates who complain. I would love to give my razor a break....

dkstover
September 15th, 2009, 11:56 AM
Great googly moogly... this thread started seven years ago!
yeah maybe so but it is new problem for me

Faded_Memories
October 10th, 2009, 08:18 PM
ALL my hair is turning blond or white.

With the weight I've lost it sure makes for a 'new look'. Not too bad overall.

I have some annoying tangles in my hair after a swim, but my biggest issue is that often my back and/or shoulders itch like crazy for a while. Sometimes coming and going later that night.

Gyaaahhhhhh

-eric

BR KnuckleDragger
October 12th, 2009, 01:40 PM
Every year around this time our masters team switches to our local High School pool (Mission Viejo) and every year by Thanksgiving I have lost most of the hair on my body.

The pool tastes like a dirty Martini...

I think it is the badge of the Master's swimmer...

Georgio
December 26th, 2009, 03:54 PM
In a 4 month period, most body hair turned blonde and fell out, then grew back black like at puberty, and is turning blonde and falling out again! They could use me to test the pool chemistry!
:bighug:

debaru
December 26th, 2009, 07:04 PM
I never had this problem in the 70's in high school. I was in the pool 5 days a week for at least an hour a day, and never noticed any issues with hair loss.

Now, fast-forward 35+ years later. I have been swimming at least 3 days a week for the past two months, and lo and behold -- I have definitely noticed a loss of hair on my face, legs, and arms (including underarms). Not that I am complaining, mind you. Being a mature woman, I'm glad to have some help with that excess facial hair. :D

I always shower before getting into the pool. The hair on my head seems just fine, I have all of my eyebrows and eyelashes, and the hairs "down under" are all accounted for. :blush:

I'm guessing that today's chemicals have changed somewhat since my younger days, which may explain the hair loss in my case.

debaru
December 26th, 2009, 07:12 PM
ALL my hair is turning blond or white.

With the weight I've lost it sure makes for a 'new look'. Not too bad overall.

I have some annoying tangles in my hair after a swim, but my biggest issue is that often my back and/or shoulders itch like crazy for a while. Sometimes coming and going later that night.

Gyaaahhhhhh

-eric

Eric, I also had major problems with itching (i.e., pool rash) after returning to swimming after a long absence. I got some great advice on remedies when I searched the forum.

I have found two products that really help. The first is Dermaswim Pro (http://www.dermaswimpro.com/) pre-swimming lotion. You apply it before you swim and it blocks the chorline. It really does work. The other is Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion. I use it every day and my skin looks nicer than it has in years. Most importantly, no more itching!!

Of the two, I actually prefer the Aveeno. You can buy it just about anywhere (i.e., Target, Walgreens, WalMart) and it's less expensive than the Dermaswim. However, if I was planning on being in the pool for more than a couple of hours, I would definitely use the Dermaswim. It's very similar to Aveeno, but it is very long-lasting.

spell_me
December 27th, 2009, 11:58 AM
Debbie, at my pool you have to shower just before getting in the pool. Would the Dermaswim go on before the pre-swim shower or after?

Georgio
December 27th, 2009, 01:22 PM
According to the Dermaswim website instructions, you can either shower off before swimming without soap and it won't come off, or you can shower with soap, dry off and then apply. This looks like an interesting product and I may give a try also. They claim you won't smell of chlorine after swimming.

:afraid:

debaru
December 27th, 2009, 05:32 PM
Debbie, at my pool you have to shower just before getting in the pool. Would the Dermaswim go on before the pre-swim shower or after?

Dermaswim is very potent and I would suggest you try putting it on before showering/swimming. The funniest warning on the bottle is to "not carry children" after applying, as it is very slippery. BTW - They are not kidding! :D The directions also state that you don't need to wash with soap and water after swimming, just a simple rinse will do.

jim thornton
December 27th, 2009, 06:21 PM
Dermaswim is very potent. The funniest warning on the bottle is to "not carry children" after applying, as it is very slippery. BTW - They are not kidding! :D .

Very amusing!

BTW, I have heard that if you take a shower before you swim, the tap water supposedly infiltrates your hair and pores and makes the swimming pool water less likely to hurt you with its chlorine.

But that implies that the pool water has a lot more chlorine in it than the shower water, which I am not sure is true.

It also implies that once water has infiltrated hair and/or pores, it cannot be dislodged by other water, which I am also not sure is true.

Finally, I have never completely understood how immersion in water can dry you out.

Post-finally, I wonder if Dermaswim's slipperiness might make it a good substitute for speed suits once the ban goes into effect? Have you noticed, Debbie, that swimming is any easier when Dermaswim has been applied?

Lump
December 27th, 2009, 10:04 PM
Since starting back swimming 16 months ago I can definitely tell that I have less body hair....mostly on the arms and legs. No worries for me as I don't really care for being hairy anyway.

As far as body care products I've been having success with "Tri-Swim", both the body wash and lotion. Both smell great and seem to help with that post swim itchiness. Not sure what retailers carry it, but I'm getting through my mother at Kastaway Swimwear.

debaru
December 28th, 2009, 12:42 AM
Very amusing!

Post-finally, I wonder if Dermaswim's slipperiness might make it a good substitute for speed suits once the ban goes into effect? Have you noticed, Debbie, that swimming is any easier when Dermaswim has been applied?

Good question! I've not tried using it right before I swim. I usually arrive at the gym 10 minutes before my early morning Masters sessions and putting it on would make me late, so I put it on before going to bed the night before. I would venture to guess that putting it on right before swimming may help to create a waterproof barrier of sorts, which might help with moving through the water in a more fluid fashion. I'll have to give it a try.

spell_me
December 29th, 2009, 02:10 PM
What's the deal with post-swim itchies, anyhow? Are they an aging thing? Or is there something different about the pool chemicals used these days? All I know is that when I was a youngsta, I spent hours in pools--in the winter time, double workouts workouts, and in summer, after a long practice in the morning, we'd go swimming at least half the day and/or night, plus there were meets--and I had hair like Malibu Barbie, but I never had those itchies, and I don't remember anyone else having them, either.

jim thornton
December 30th, 2009, 12:06 AM
What's the deal with post-swim itchies, anyhow? Are they an aging thing? Or is there something different about the pool chemicals used these days? All I know is that when I was a youngsta, I spent hours in pools--in the winter time, double workouts workouts, and in summer, after a long practice in the morning, we'd go swimming at least half the day and/or night, plus there were meets--and I had hair like Malibu Barbie, but I never had those itchies, and I don't remember anyone else having them, either.


A lot of it has to do with the dryness of the air. The worst skin itching I ever got post swimming practice was in MN in the winters. The colder the air temp, the less humidity it can hold. And when it does not climb above 0 degrees F for the high for a week or two straight each winter, the air is close to completely wrung out of all moisture.

The only thing that would help even a little was to slather on emollients in the shower but before I was dried off. The lotion would then trap some of the moisture in. Otherwise, my skin was so dry I could feel it tear apart in the night.

I note spell-me that you live in Arizona. Is this where you grew up as a kid? If so, the only explanation I can see is that your skin is not making as many of its natural oils now as it did then. Or maybe it was more humid in your childhood for whatever reason.

spell_me
December 30th, 2009, 01:52 PM
That must be it, Jim. I live in AZ, where all year 'round the air is always so dry that suits and towels only need to hang up for an hour or two and *zing* they're dry. I grew up in IL, in suburban Chicago--lots more water in the air there, except in winter of course. As a grownup, I don't have any trouble with dry skin, but surely my body is not producing as much oil as it did 25 years ago. So living in the desert + having a little less natural protection must be tipping the balance for me. I also wonder if I'm developing some sort of chlorine intolerance. Why not? As I get older, my body is less tolerant of cigarette smoke, chocolate, spicy foods, cheap shoes, and whiny children, so why not a harsh chemical like chlorine? Anyways, I've been using the exact same strategy as you did, and it helps a lot though doesn't solve the problem completely, I still get this sporadic burning itchy feeling that subsides after a couple of minutes as long as I bite a pencil and Don't Scratch. But if I skip the shower routine it's awful; I'm miserable all night. I'm going to try that slippery stuff, the Dermaswim.

I've been to MN in winter. That's c-c-c-COLD. I bet it took less than a minute for your hair to freeze if you went outside after practice without a hat on.