How to Prevent & Fix Green Hair

by Tommy Sroski

You might have noticed blonde hair tends to turn green after being in the pool. This is because pool water has copper, which is the reason for your new hair color. According to Washington State’s Department of Health, copper appears in water as it passes through plumbing materials.

A copper-based pool algaecide can also be the reason behind it.

So, how can we enjoy the pool without having to worry about our hair? Below are just some tips and tricks.

Causes of Green Hair

How to get rid of Green Hair

Green hair might seem like a hilarious curse in a cartoon, but it can unfortunately become a reality for some people. There are two primary contributors to this potentially embarrassing issue: chlorine and other unexpected factors. Let’s delve in deeper to understand these culprits.

Chlorine and its Effects on Hair Color

Swimmers, take note! The biggest culprit behind green hair is the chlorine found in swimming pools. If you’re a regular swimmer, you might have noticed your hair taking on a green-ish tint. So, why does this happen?

Chlorine is a disinfectant used to kill harmful bacteria in the water. However, it doesn’t show the same kindness to your hair. The typical light hues of blond hair can turn into an unwanted shade of green due to the heavy metals in chlorine binding with the protein in the hair shaft. Copper, found in most water sources, reacts with chlorine and oxidizes, causing the green tint.

Although it’s more noticeable in blondes, people with darker hair aren’t immune. Over time, the chlorine can strip away the natural, dark pigment of hair, revealing a greenish layer underneath.

Other Factors Contributing to Green Hair

While chlorine is usually the main offender behind green hair, there are other factors that could contribute to this unusual change.

  1. Hard Water: Hard water, rich in minerals, is known for being harsh on your hair. Similar to chlorine, these minerals, particularly copper, can build up in your hair over time and lead to a greenish tint.
  2. Certain Hair Products: Some hair products contain harmful chemicals that can cause hair discoloration when combined with other factors like sun exposure. Always choose products that are gentle on your hair and free from harmful chemicals.
  3. Coloring Mistakes: In some cases, hair dyeing gone wrong could leave your hair green. When certain colors fade out, they can reveal a green base, especially if you’ve tried to dye your hair blond from a darker color.

The good news is that green hair is preventable and treatable. Keep in mind the potential risks before jumping into a chlorinated pool or showering in hard water, and always use hair products wisely.

Prevention of Green Hair

How to prevent & Fix Green Hair 2023

It is rightly said, ‘Prevention is better than cure’. The same applies when dealing with the issue of green hair. Here are the essential measures you can take to keep your locks from taking an unwanted green hue.

Tips on Protecting Hair Before Swimming

Whether it’s summer splashing or regular laps, if you’re planning to swim in a chlorinated pool, take the following precautions to guard your hair from turning green:

  1. Wet Your Hair Beforehand: Saturate your hair with fresh water before entering the pool. When your hair is already wet, it’s less likely to absorb large amounts of chlorinated water.
  2. Use a Swim Cap: Though not the most fashion-forward accessory, a swim cap can really keep your hair under wrap, providing a significant layer of protection against chlorine.
  3. Apply a Leave-in Conditioner or Oil: Cease extra absorption of chlorine by applying some leave-in conditioner or coconut oil to your hair prior to swimming. The product creates a barrier, protecting your hair from chlorine and other damaging chemicals.
  4. Rinse Immediately After Swimming: Don’t let the pool water sit in your hair, rinse it out as soon as possible. This helps remove a good amount of chlorine that could have been absorbed by your hair during swimming.
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The Importance of Proper Hair Care Routine

Maintaining a consistent hair care routine plays a significant role in not only preventing green hair, but also ensuring the overall health of your locks.

  1. Regular Hair Washing: Make sure to wash your hair regularly, but not too often, to avoid chemical build-up from hair products and environmental factors. Look for shampoos specially formulated to remove chlorine or heavy metals.
  2. Use a Hair Mask or Deep Conditioner: Replenish the moisture in your hair once a week with a deep conditioner or hair mask. It will help to restore and preserve its natural balance and health.
  3. Limit Heat Styling: Too much heat can make your hair more porous, and in turn, more likely to absorb chlorine. Try to air-dry your hair as much as you can and minimize the use of heat styling tools.
  4. Final Cold Rinse: After shampooing and conditioning, give your hair a final rinse with cool water. This helps to close the hair cuticles, protecting against damage and maintaining the natural shine of your hair.

Remember, your hair is a reflection of your overall well-being. Treat it with the same care you’d treat your skin, and you’ll be rewarded hitherto.

How to Fix Green Hair

How to Prevent Green Hair 2023

BEFORE GOING IN the water, make sure you have done the following:

  1. Detangle hair.

Detangling hair before going in the pool helps prevent tangling after. Doing this can also prevent the formation of knots and tangles, which is always a hassle. By detangling our hair before going in the pool, we are preventing overall hair breakage.

  1. Apply oil/leave in conditioner to hair.

Applying any hair oil to your hair will make your hair waterproof. The oil acts as a protective barrier against the chlorinated water, therefore preventing blondes from having green streaks. Some hair oils that are easily available are Coconut Oil and Olive Oil.

Coconut oil is highly recommended as studies have shown that it helps strengthen hair by increasing flexibility and reducing the breakage of hair strands. Celebrity stylist and salon owner Scott Fontana recommends olive oil topped with a swimmer’s cap. Oil will not rinse out when you go into the pool.

However, you would also need to protect your oiled hair from the heat of the sun. Not wearing a swim cap after applying hair oil can do more harm than good. Your hair will be cooked under the sun’s rays.

If you think a swim cap will ruin your OOTD, you can opt to apply leave-in conditioner instead. The conditioner will keep your hair moist and protect it from the damage from the pool. This also makes our hair waterproof as the leave-in conditioner neutralizes the negative electrical charge of our hair while also making it slippery. The leave-in conditioner also minimizes frizz and breakage.

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  1. Wear a protective hairstyle.

Another alternative to a swim cap is a protective hairstyle. Protective hairstyles like a three-strand braid put into a top bun can easily help decrease the chances of green hair. Wearing these hairstyles cannot guarantee the protection a swim cap may have because you have to avoid bedewing the hair.

  1. Wet hair with non-chlorinated water.

Our hair is basically a sponge. By wetting the hair before going into the pool, we are allowing our hair to absorb as much fresh water from the shower, leaving no space for pool water to get in it.

Wet hair with all these protection ensures the most defense against overall hair damage. Showers near pools are readily available for this purpose, make sure to make the most out of it.

WHILE IN THE WATER, avoid submerging hair if possible. The greatest protection from green hair and hair damage from the pool is by keeping hair away from it. All those preventative measures will slowly decrease its effectiveness if we submerge our hair in the water.

AFTER GOING IN, wash your hair, as soon as you can, especially if your hair has been under the water without any protection. By simply washing your hair from in between pool dips can help prevent green hair and hair damage. Washing the hair helps remove the chemical build-up in our hair. Don’t let pool hair (hair from pool without any rinse) sit while you air dry yourself.

IF YOU ARE DONE for the day, shower as quickly as possible. Rinse out your hair and wash as normal. Washing it immediately helps clear up the build-up of all the chemicals from the pool. Make sure to shampoo your hair when you wash it. Using a shampoo can help get rid of the chemical build-up as well. Deep conditioning your hair after a whole day at the beach or at the pool can help fight dryness from all the chemicals while adding moisture and nourishing your hair. Lastly, comb your hair. Just like the pre-swim hair routine, combing the hair after it dries helps loosen tension and hair breakage.

ALREADY HAVE GREEN HAIR? Here’s a few indisputable fixes:

  • Lemon.

Prepare:

Lemon juice

Timer

Bowl

Process:

  1. Rinse hair and remove excess water.
  2. Put the necessary amount of lemon juice in a bowl.
  3. Soak hair damaged in the bowl for 5 minutes.
  4. Rinse and repeat steps 2-3 if necessary.
  5. Wash and condition as normal.

How does it work?

Saturating your hair with lemon juice before washing and conditioning as normal will help remove the green tint from your hair.

  • Tomatoes.

Prepare:

Ketchup or any tomato paste

Timer

Bowl

Hair Dye Comb or Gloves

Process:

  1. Rinse hair and remove excess water.
  2. Put the necessary amount of ketchup or tomato paste in the bowl for easy access.
  3. Apply ketchup or tomato paste to hair that is discolored or turned green.
  4. Leave for 10 minutes. Don’t forget to check its progress as it goes.
  5. Rinse and repeat steps 3-4 if necessary.
  6. Wash and condition as normal.

How does it work?

The red color in the tomatoes neutralizes the green in your hair as green and red are on the opposite sides of the color wheel. The paste acts as a toner in that sense. The acid present in the vinegar in the tomato paste also removes copper oxides from hair.

  • Clarifying Shampoo, if all else fails. This type of shampoo gets rid of excess build-up in our hair and are not designed for daily use. Again, only use clarifying shampoos if all else fails.
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How to Maintain Healthy Hair

Keeping your hair healthy is not just about avoiding green hair; a proper hair care regimen will ensure that your locks remain in good condition and look their best. Here are some regular hair care habits and professional treatments to follow for shining, strong, and beautiful hair.

Regular Hair Care Habits to Follow

  1. Use the Right Products: Select shampoos, conditioners, and styling products that work well with your hair type. Consulting with a hair care specialist or researching to find the best-suited products for your hair is essential.
  2. Avoid Tight Hairstyles: Wearing your hair in tight styles or using tight hair accessories can cause breakage and weaken your hair. Make a conscious effort to minimize tension on your hair strands by opting for looser hairstyles.
  3. Be Gentle While Brushing: Rough handling while detangling your hair can cause damage. Use a wide-tooth comb to detangle gently, especially when your hair is wet and more fragile.
  4. Trim Regularly: Get your hair trimmed every six to eight weeks to keep it in tip-top shape, remove split ends, and encourage growth.
  5. Maintain a Balanced Diet: Healthy hair depends on a balanced diet, rich in vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, and biotin. Make sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and proteins to provide your hair with essential nutrients.

Professional Treatments for Preserving Hair Health

  1. In-salon Deep Conditioning Treatments: For extra hydration and protection, consider investing in professional deep conditioning treatments. These in-salon treatments can revitalize your hair, giving it an added layer of nourishment.
  2. Hair Gloss or Glaze Treatment: This non-permanent treatment adds shine, seals hair cuticles, and helps keep your color vibrant. It’s perfect for maintaining hair health and color intensity between dye jobs.
  3. Keratin Treatments: If you have frizzy or unmanageable hair, a professional keratin treatment can help restore the protein in your hair, reducing frizz and making your hair smooth and shiny.
  4. Scalp Treatments: A clean and healthy scalp contributes to better hair growth and health. Get regular scalp treatments and massages at your salon to maintain excellent scalp health and promote hair growth.

Investing time and effort into maintaining your hair’s health is crucial for preserving its luster and color. Follow these hair care habits and consider professional treatments to keep your stunning locks in their best condition.

Conclusion

Coping with green hair can certainly be an unpleasant surprise. But as we’ve learned, necessary precautions like pre-swim protections, using the right hair products, and following a consistent hair care routine can prevent your hair from turning green. If you’ve already crossed over into ‘green territory’ – don’t fret! Various home remedies and store-bought products can help rectify the situation.

Moreover, maintaining hair that’s strong, shiny, and healthy is about more than just avoiding green hair. Make a regular habit of proper hair care and consider opting for professional treatments to keep your hair in its best shape. After all, your hair is your crowning glory, and taking care of it is not just about looks, but overall well-being. So with these tips in hand, go forth and embrace the joy of healthy, gorgeous hair!

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