Have you ever taken a swim only to later notice that your hair has a green tinge? This is a common issue among those with light hair, blonde or gray, that swim in any body of water, but most frequently noticed in salt and freshwater pools. The key to addressing this issue is proper chemical treatment of the pool and a few preventative steps taken by the swimmer to prevent their hair from turning green. Has your hair already turned green? There are some things that you can do to restore your hair to its normal color, and many of these solutions are items found in your own kitchen cupboard or pantry. For pool treatment and cleaning services, call the professionals at Pool Troopers, serving customers that live either Florida, Texas, or Arizona.
How to get green out of blonde hair after the pool? Here is what you need to know:
The root cause of why blonde and other light-colored hair turns green after swimming in a pool is copper. This metal is found in the water of most pools, whether fresh or saltwater varieties. Since chlorine is commonly found in all swimming pools, it serves to oxidize the copper, and other hard water metals, which then saturates hair, turning it a green color. So, basically, the green color is the presence of metals in your hair; to restore your hair color, you must remove these metals.
Know that copper and other metals like manganese and iron are in municipal water systems, and the tap or well water that people widely drink. Hair is porous so it is particularly vulnerable to the effects of these hard metals; think of hair as a ‘catchall’ for whatever happens to be in the water that you saturate it with. The reason that it turns green is that this is the resulting patina of the oxidation process, just like an old copper penny that has been subjected to the elements.
Another explanation for your hair turning green when you use the pool is algae; or rather, it is caused by algaecide, another common element found in many pools. Copper is often in these commercial algaecide products that homeowners buy to treat their pool with and prevent the green growth of algae in and around their pools. If you are vigilant about keeping the pool filtered, cleaned, and treated, you may not need to use an algaecide product to eliminate this residue from the pool. However, if you do use these treatments, there is a higher chance that your hair will turn green from the copper comprising many of these additives.
The first thing to do is to test the pool water. Use testing strips or the services of a pool professional to determine if there is copper in your pool’s water. Sometimes, you can take a sample of your pool water to your pool servicing company and have them test and address the situation for you. Also, keep chemicals and minerals out of the water as much as you can by using a hose filter when you initially fill or when you add water to your pool. This helps to keep these minerals, including copper, out in the first place.
Hair and Highlights
While all hair is at risk of turning green, blonde hair is more vulnerable simply due to the light hue and obvious effects of discoloration. All hair is prone to oxidation and green tinge; if you have darker hair with highlights, you may notice discoloring primarily on your lighter strands. Whether your hair is blonde, brown, black, red, or gray, use the same precautions and measures to prevent your hair from turning green during and after a swim.
Take the bull by the horns and use a leave-in conditioner after swimming or between time spent in the pool. Make sure to wash your hair well first to remove any residue from the water and look for nourishing hair products that contain beneficial ingredients like Argan oil, which can help protect hair from the rigors of chlorine and the rays of the sun.
The best protection for preventing discoloration is to block access to your porous hair, such as by wearing a swim cap. Swim caps are simple to don and cheap to buy; they are perhaps the most effective way at avoiding the fallout and repercussions of swimming in water with minerals and additives. Plus, wearing a cap prevents the common drying out impact of chlorine on hair. If you swim frequently, a cap makes good sense is available at discount, drug, and retail venues in most regions.
Tips and Tactics
Make an effort to find alternative ways to prevent discoloration when swimming; many of these solutions involve simple items found in your own kitchen.
Some tips and tactics include these suggestions:
- Try treating your hair with ordinary Baking Soda, which costs pennies per application. Make a paste from a cup of baking soda and warm water, massage it into the areas of your hair that have been discolored. Pay special attention to the areas that are the most- green; rinse it well and go ahead and shampoo/condition as normal.
- Use and leave deep conditioner on your hair for a minimum of 15-minutes, at least once weekly. Use cold water to rinse away after the time is up. Not sure what to use for a conditioner? Try regular coconut oil, also very inexpensive and likely something in your kitchen already. Rinse well after treating.
- Try using tomato ketchup to get rid of the green tinge; that’s right: ketchup! This practice is based on color theory and how red and green are opposite shades on the universal color wheel. Massage the ketchup into your affected hair and then wrap your head in aluminum wrap or tinfoil for 30 minutes; rinse, wash, and condition as you normally would. The red ketchup can reverse and alter the greenish color of hair in most cases.
- Try saturating your hair with lemon juice after you swim to reduce the impact of copper and chlorine on your hair. Soak your hair with lemon and let it sit for a few minutes before you rinse, wash, and condition, as normal. You can use fresh lemons or a bottled lemon juice for this procedure; make sure to deep condition your hair later as lemon juice can be very drying. .
- Try rinsing your hair with plain apple cider vinegar before you get in the pool. The acidic vinegar makes it harder for the minerals, primarily copper, to infiltrate the hair strands and discolor the hair. Keep some in a spray bottle to easily spritz and saturate hair before a swim.
- Another effective approach is to wash your hair as soon as you are done swimming; do not allow it to naturally dry first. This can curb the damage and discoloration done during your swim!
Talk to your hairstylist or barber for recommendations and specific products designed to prevent discoloration of your distinct hair type from the elements, pollutants, or swimming.
If you own a pool in Arizona, Florida, or Texas, call on the industry professionals at Pool Troopers for your full-service pool maintenance services. Tired of doing the work on your own? Hire a reputable company with decades of experience in serving residential pool owners widely. Our team at Pool Troopers will keep you informed of and on top of trends, tips, and tricks for swimming pool maintenance and an optimal swim experience.