Is that your hair turned green after swimming? If so, you’re not alone. Anyone with light hair knows how hard it can be to keep hair from turning green after a day in the pool.
Fortunately, green hair after swimming is an easy problem to fix. Below, we’ll explain why it happens and then give you five easy ways to fix hair that turned green after swimming.
Why Hair Turns Green After Swimming
Most of us blame chlorine for the bright green color in our hair after a swim, but the truth is chlorine’s only a secondary player. The real culprit behind the green color is heavy metals- mainly copper.
You can find copper in many water sources, including the water in most swimming pools, whether chlorinated or saltwater-based.
Salt and chlorine both oxidize copper, revealing their green hues. If you don’t believe us, try putting a penny in a bowl of chlorine bleach or saltwater overnight and see what happens. Spoiler alert, the penny will be bright green by morning!
The same thing happens to hair in pool water where chlorine or salt and copper are mixing. If you have blonde hair, the green can look incredibly vivid. However, even brunettes can end up with a green tinge after a day in the pool.
How to Get Green Out of Hair After Swimming
Luckily, the green tint is far from permanent. Using one of the solutions below, you can fix it fast. Better yet, follow our tips at the end and learn different ways to fix hair that turned green after swimming.
#1. Tomato Juice
You can use tomato juice or ketchup to strip the green from your hair. The acidity of the tomatoes helps strip away the green, while the red color neutralizes any remaining off-tones.
It’s best to use this technique in the shower, as tomato products can get messy! Coat your hair in the juice or ketchup and leave it for about 15 minutes, massaging your hair the entire time. Then, rinse it out and check the results. Your hair should be back to its standard color.
#2. Baking Soda
A simple baking soda paste may work to remove any hint of green. Simply mix a ¼-½ cup of baking soda with enough water to form a thick paste. Rub it through your hair from root to tip, leave it for a few minutes, then rinse it out.
Baking soda is good for removing mild green tones, but if your hair has a lot of green in it, you may need to repeat the process several times. Luckily, baking soda is inexpensive and less messy than tomato products!
Aspirin contains salicylic acid, which can counteract and neutralize the chlorine-copper reaction. To use it, pop 6-8 tablets in a bowl of warm water and let them dissolve. Then pour the solution onto your hair and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
Rinse the solution out, then shampoo and condition your hair. With any luck, your locks will be back to their green-free selves again.
#4. Lemon Juice
Highly acidic lemon juice can quickly lighten green tones, and it’s easy to use. Just squeeze a few lemons into a bowl and saturate your hair with the liquid. Then, let the lemon juice sit in your hair for about twenty minutes.
#5. Coca Cola
Do you know how a can of coke can remove rust? Well, it can also effectively remove copper deposits from hair. The carbonation and citric acid in every can of coke work together to push the copper out and remove any green hues.
It might be a sticky process, but washing your hair with coke will work. Just be sure to follow up with a thorough scrub to get the stickiness out.
Preventing Green Hair When Swimming
Getting rid of green tones in hair isn’t all that hard, but it’s still better to avoid it in the first place. You don’t have to avoid swimming pools or wear a swim cap to keep your hair from turning green, though. There are a few more accessible forms of prevention you can try instead.
Apply a Deep Conditioner
Applying a deep leave-in conditioner before you get in the pool makes your hair harder to penetrate. Deep conditioners coat every strand of hair, creating a layer of protection. That means it may keep your hair from turning green.
Start With Wet Hair and Apple Cider Vinegar
If you want to ensure your hair doesn’t turn green, try adding apple cider vinegar to your pre-pool day routine. Rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar before you get in the pool and leave your hair wet.
The vinegar will stop the copper from penetrating your hair, keeping it green-free even after a day of swimming.
Rinse Your Hair Right Away
The longer copper deposits sit in your hair, the greener it will turn. So, if possible, rinse your hair right away post-swim. The rinse will remove most of the copper deposits and prevent your hair from turning green.
Fix Your Pool’s Chemical Balance
Sometimes your hair turns green after swimming at a hotel or public pool, in which case there’s nothing you can do about the chemicals in the water. However, if your pool is causing green hair for you and others, you may be able to fix it.
Your pool may have excess salt or chlorine in it, and a professional pool servicer can help you balance it out. There are also metal removers available which will keep copper, iron, and manganese out of your pool water altogether. With no copper in the water, hair can’t turn green!
If your hair turns green after swimming, there are several things you can do. Easy fixes using everyday household products like baking soda and lemon juice are readily available.
Ideally, you’ll prevent the problem from happening at all. With the proper precautions and perhaps some new pool equipment, you can ensure your hair never turns green again. After all, no amount of swimming is worth the bright green tinge!
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