How to Prevent and Fix Green Hair from a Pool

If your hair’s turned green from a swimming pool, shampoo isn’t the answer—but luckily, a few things from your cabinet are. Prevent hair from turning green after a day of swimming or get the green out of your hair if it’s already changed color. You don’t have to be a green-headed blonde forever!

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin,
August 5, 2016

How to get rid of green hair caused by a swimming pool

What Causes Hair to Turn Green in Swimming Pools?

Although many people believe that chlorine is what causes blond hair to turn green, it’s actually caused by a high level of copper in the water—tap water with a high copper content can occasionally turn hair green as well. However, your hair is more likely to change color in water with chlorine, because the chlorine bonds to the copper to form a film that sticks to your hair, making the green color more permanent. Have you ever seen a copper statue that has turned green from the air? The same compounds that cause the green color on the Statue of Liberty also cause your hair to turn green.

Is It Just Blond Hair that Turns Green?

It’s not just blond hair that turns green after a lot of swimming—darker hair can also take on a greenish tint after a day at the pool. However, it’s especially easy to see when you have lighter hair.

How to Prevent Green Hair When Swimming

Keep your hair from turning green when you’re at the pool with apple cider vinegar. Pour it over wet hair after shampooing and conditioning just before you swim, and it will counteract the compounds in the copper, making it harder for them to take hold.

Swimmers’ Hair Treatment to Strengthen Pool-Damaged Hair

If you swim a lot, then you not only have to worry about your hair changing color, you have to worry about it becoming dry, limp, and filmy. Keep your hair healthy with this hair mask: In a blender, puree ½ a cucumber (peeled), 1 egg, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Apply to wet hair and leave on for 10–15 minutes. Rinse with cool water, and repeat once a week during the summer or swim season.

How to Fix Hair that has Turned Green

If your fair hair has turned green already, there is a quick solution: ketchup. Yes, ketchup. Coat your hair with it and let sit for about 30 minutes (preferably with a shower cap), then rinse off and wash as usual.

Another Solution for Green Hair from the Pool

Another (less gross) way to fix your hair if it turned green from a day in the pool is with aspirin—but not in the way you might think. Dissolve 6–8 aspirin tablets in a bowl of warm water (crunch them up first to make them easier to dissolve) and stir. Then rub the solution into your hair and let sit for 20 minutes before washing it out. Your hair will be as good as new!

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Photo by Who Knew?

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