St. Bernard stylist: clients hate high chlorine

CHALMETTE, La. (AP) — A St. Bernard Parish hair stylist says she’s getting lots of complaints about the chlorine added to the parish water to kill deadly amoebas found in the system.

Clients say the chemical dries their hair and skin, and makes hair dye fade faster, Krystal Seruntine, a stylist at Pure Envy Salon, told WDSU-TV (http://bit.ly/1cpZ7oS).

“I just have a lot more people calling and telling me that their color isn’t staying as long or asking, ‘What can I do? My hair is really dry,’” she said, adding that a colleague who does facials is getting much more business than usual.

The rare brain-eating amoeba called Naegleria fowleri was found in treated water in both St. Bernard and DeSoto parishes water after the death of a child who apparently was infected during a visit to St. Bernard parish. In 2011, there were deaths from the amoeba in both of those parishes.

So chlorine levels in those two were boosted to 1 milligram per liter, and statewide to half that level.

“We get some complaints about the amount of chlorine, the taste, the smell. We explain to them it’s a necessity, and we’re under an administrative order” from the state Department of Health and Hospitals, Parish President Dave Peralta said.

Once water throughout the system has been at that level for 60 days, it will be reduced to half a milliliter per liter, under a new state guideline to keep the pipes amoeba-free.

The emergency rule requiring higher disinfectant levels and to increase the number of sampling sites followed discovery of the amoeba in treated water in both St. Bernard and DeSoto parishes.

Peralta encouraged residents to let the water run for 10 to 15 minutes before drinking or bathing to help clear out chlorine.

Seruntine recommended that her clients use more conditioning or oil treatments to help with the dryness and wash their hair less often to keep their color longer.

“It’s not fair to our clients that they’re paying all this money for professional stuff, and the water is causing it to fade out before it’s supposed to,” she said.

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Information from: WDSU-TV, http://www.wdsu.com

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