Help! My blonde hair turned green in the pool!

If you plan to spend some time in the pool this summer, you might want to keep these hair care tips in mind to avoid having your blonde hair turn green.

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Why does the chlorine in pool water turn blonde hair green?

Actually any hair color can take on a greenish color with prolonged exposure to pool water. It’s just much easier to spot on light colored hair. Not only can hair look a little green, hair that’s been steeping in pool water can also feel very slippery when wet. Almost slimy.

Generally speaking, pool water is treated with chlorine to eliminate bacteria and remove algae. Chlorine doesn’t directly discolor the hair. In fact, it isn’t even green; but, somehow chlorine gets full credit for turning blonde hair a murky green after a few dips in the pool.

Here’s the science behind why blonde hair turns green in the pool:

Chlorine is only indirectly to blame. Chlorine will damage the hair’s cuticle, the hair’s protective outer layer, allowing trace amounts of copper, iron and other metals to soak in and collect in the hair shaft. The copper will then oxidize, a process much like rusting. Think of an old copper penny or the Statue of Liberty. That’s how your hair turns green.

How to prevent hair turning green?

There are a few simple steps you can take to avoid having your blonde hair turn green in the pool this summer.  Before swimming, wet your hair with bottle water or tap water. You can even comb some conditioner through dampened hair to protect it. With the hair already wet, less pool water will be able to penetrate it.  Be sure to shampoo your hair with a clarifying shampoo as soon as you get out of the pool to remove any residue.

How to remove the green color from blonde hair?

If the discoloration isn’t too bad, you might have luck with a few home remedies. You can try a clarifying or swimmer’s shampoo, allowing it to sit on the hair for a few minutes before rinsing. You can find a variety of other remedies online like a vinegar and baking soda rinse or a tomato juice rinse.  Some people have had success using crushed aspirin to make a mixture to put on the hair.  However, if your blonde hair is stubborn and won’t let go of the green color, contact your hair salon and ask about a professional chelating treatment.

At Gore Salon in Columbia SC, we can remove green from blonde hair with a Redken Pre-Art professional chelating treatment.

Pre-Art is an intense clarifying treatment performed in the salon to effectively remove copper and iron minerals from the hair.  No more green, slimy hair. Prices began at $25.