Avid swimmers with blond hair may encounter problems. The hard metals and minerals in the water, including copper, iron and manganese, adhere to the hair. The chlorine in the water oxidizes the metals, leaving the hair with a distinct greenish hue, according to Columbia University's Go Ask Alice! column. The lighter your hair is, the more likely it is that you'll see green hair appear. Use items from around your home to neutralize the color and prevent it from coming back.
Regular aspirin contains salicylic acid, the chemical typically used in face washes. When used on the hair, it counteracts the alkalinity of the chlorine to neutralize the green quickly and easily, says hairstylist Blaine Schlaudt of Blaine’s Color. To use, crush two aspirin with a mortar and pestle and add it to the regular amount of shampoo you typically use. Mix it well to combine and spread the mixture on wet hair as if you were washing normally. The green should disappear quickly, and you can wash out the shampoo as normal.
One remedy might be hard to stomach because of the strong smell, but it can be highly effective. Tomato products such as ketchup and tomato juice are highly acidic and can cut through the green oxidization to get rid of the green in your hair. Start by slathering a tomato product onto dry hair while standing in the shower. Wrap your hair in a plastic bag or shower cap and leave on the substance for 20 to 30 minutes, suggests Hair Boutique. When time is up, remove the shower cap and wash well to remove the smell.
An excess of hard metals and chlorine in the hair can make it dry, damaged and even more susceptible to turning green. When you remove the green from your hair, take care to avoid harsh products that can strip your hair of its natural moisture. Consider making a paste by adding 3 or 4 Tbsp of baking soda to 1 cup of baking soda. It's a gentle mixture that doesn't use harsh shampoos. The baking soda is abrasive enough to clean the hair, according to Women's Day magazine. Wash your hair with the mixture and follow with your regular shampoo.
The best way to counteract chlorine's effect on your hair is to prevent your hair from absorbing too much pool water. Before you set foot in the pool, comb a silicone-based conditioner into your hair and refrain from rinsing it out, suggests The Beauty Brains. It will saturate and protect your hair so your hair doesn't absorb the water. For added protection, slip a bathing cap over your head. As an added bonus, when you remove it after your swim, rinse out the conditioner for even softer hair.
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.