11 Ways To Fix Blond Hair That's Turned Green From Swimming In The Pool

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If you have blond hair and love spending your time in the pool, chances are you've noticed that pool water often gives your hair a green tint. While this can happen to any hair color, the lighter your hair is, the more visible the green will be. If you do have lighter hair, you may be tempted to bleach the green out of your strands. However, this can cause further damage, especially if you've recently bleached your hair — and you definitely want to avoid that.


Instead, there are several ways to remove the green tint from your hair without causing more damage. Additionally, there are tricks you can try to prevent your hair from turning green in the first place (and no — we're not talking about rocking a swimming cap). However, keep in mind that everyone's hair is different, which is why a home remedy that works for one person may not work for another. Luckily, though, there are many options available for removing that green tint from your hair.

Why does hair turn green in the pool?

Before we get into the remedies and ways to prevent your hair from turning green, let's dive into why the hair becomes green in the first place. Most people think chlorine on its own is the culprit. But what's really to blame? Copper! Some pools have a high copper content in the water itself, especially if the water is from the tap. Another common source is copper-based algaecides, which are used to prevent the growth of algae and help the pool maintain a swim-worthy blue hue.


But that doesn't mean the chlorine in the pool isn't doing its part to damage the hair and give it a green tint. "Chlorine damages porous hair by drying it out and rendering it susceptible to external aggressors," celebrity hairstylist Nick Stenson tells Makeup.com. "But copper oxidizing in the hair is actually the culprit for delivering shades of green."

What happens is that the chlorine oxidizes the copper creating copper ions, which then bind to the proteins in the hair, creating a green tint. Apart from getting a green tint, chlorine is also very damaging to the hair, and those who swim in pools frequently will notice that their hair is very porous (and may be frizzy, dry, and prone to damage). And hair with high porosity absorbs the copper ions much quicker.


Before you try home remedies, wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo

If you notice that your hair looks green after the pool, your first step should always be to wash it thoroughly with a clarifying shampoo. Since they are designed to remove any product buildup, clarifying shampoos act as a detox for your scalp and are effective at removing other impurities from the hair, including the copper ions that cause the hair to turn green.


However, keep in mind that a clarifying shampoo can also strip your hair of the natural oils that it needs, which is why it's super important to nourish it with a moisturizing conditioner or a hair mask afterward. If you're lucky, the clarifying shampoo will remove all of the green from your hair.

Although a clarifying shampoo is an effective first step in removing the green tint from your hair, the truth is that it may take a few washes to completely remove it. However, we don't recommend using a clarifying shampoo too often, as it can over-strip your hair and leave it dry. If there is still some green left, there are a couple of other hacks you can use to get rid of it safely.

Rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar

Many people use apple cider vinegar in their daily routines. Not only is it one of the most well-known home remedies, but it has many uses in beauty too. In fact, an apple cider vinegar rinse has been known to be beneficial for hair as it helps balance the pH of your scalp and makes your strands shiny and soft. Apart from that, apple cider vinegar is excellent for removing any buildup, which is why it can also help with getting rid of the copper ions that turn the hair green.


For the rinse, mix 1 cup of apple cider vinegar and 2 cups of water. Then, rinse your hair with it after you've already shampooed and conditioned. Let the apple cider vinegar water sit on your hair for five to 10 minutes, and after that, rinse it out with just water. Since this method isn't harmful to your hair, it's the second thing your should try — right after washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo.

Remove the green with the help of baking soda

Baking soda can be a helpful remedy to eliminate the green tint caused by swimming in chlorinated water. Since baking soda has color-lifting properties, it can help rid the hair of any green tones and restore your hair's color.


We recommend mixing about 1/2 cup of baking soda with water to make a thick, toothpaste-like consistency. Apply the paste to your hair and massage it thoroughly, focusing on any green areas. Leave the paste on for a few minutes to allow the baking soda to do its magic. After that, rinse the paste out and shampoo and condition your hair as usual.

You might need to repeat this process several times, depending on how green your hair is. However, you may want to wait at least a day between the treatments to ensure you don't over-strip your hair and damage it. While baking soda is a safe and rather cheap solution, using it too frequently can dry out your hair.

Saturate your hair in lemon juice

Lemon juice is another home remedy that can help remove the green pigment from your hair. The acid in the lemon not only breaks down the green but can also lighten your hair — so beware of that if you don't want your hair any lighter.


To use lemon juice, saturate your hair in it. We recommend diluting the lemon juice in water or wetting your hair before applying pure lemon juice. If you want to simultaneously lighten your strands, it's best to either sit in the sun for a bit or apply some heat to your hair with a blow dryer, as the heat is what kicks off the lightening process.

After five to 10 minutes, rinse the lemon out and shampoo and condition your hair as always. Since lemon can dry your hair out, using a deep conditioning treatment or a leave-in product is best. Again, we don't recommend repeating this process immediately if some of the green is still in your hair. Instead, wait at least 24 hours to give your hair some time to recover.


Soak the green strands in Coke

As Coca-Cola contains phosphoric acid, it is known to help remove rust — and a similar principle also works when you apply it to your hair. This compound helps remove the green tint in your hair, as it strips the copper buildup that causes it.


To use it, saturate your hair in Coke and massage it through the green areas for a couple of minutes, ensuring any green spots are generously covered. After that, leave it on for a couple of minutes to allow the Coke to penetrate the hair and break down the copper buildup.

Rinse your hair with water and shampoo and condition it, ensuring you use a nourishing hair treatment. Again, while this will help lift some of the green, you might need to redo it again in a couple of days. While using Coke to remove the green tint in hair can be effective, it shouldn't be used as a regular hair treatment as it can strip the hair of its essential oils.

Ketchup works as a toner that neutralizes the green

If you know anything about color theory, you're probably aware that the color red neutralizes green since the two are opposite of each other on the color wheel. Because of this, ketchup has become a popular at-home remedy for neutralizing the post-pool green tint that can happen in blond hair. Since ketchup is acidic, it also helps stop the hair from turning greener — and the red color helps tone it to remove the green that is already visible.


If you want to use ketchup, ensure your hair is wet before you apply it. Then add a generous amount of ketchup to the green areas of your hair and let it sit for 10 to 20 minutes. After that, rinse it out and wash your hair as usual. If you have blond hair, chances are, you're familiar with a purple toner that neutralizes any brassy and yellow color that appears. Ketchup essentially works the same way by canceling out any green tones that appear in your hair.

Add aspirin to your shampoo

Aspirin — which contains salicylic acid — is another home remedy that can help you get rid of any green hues in your hair. The salicylic acid in the aspirin breaks down and dissolves the copper buildup, thereby removing the green tint from your hair. 


The easiest way to apply aspirin to your hair is to simply take a couple of tablets, crush them into a powder and mix them with your shampoo (the shampoo you squeezed into your hand, not the entire bottle, of course). Once you have an even paste, shampoo your hair with it, focusing on the spots where the green is most prominent.

Since it is acidic, aspirin can also harm your hair, so make sure you apply a moisturizing product to your hair afterward. The amount of aspirin tablets you should use depends on your hair thickness as well as how strong the green tint is. However, we recommend starting with only a few, and if they don't give you the result you were hoping for, repeat the process after at least 24 hours to ensure the damage to your hair is minimal.


Use Kool-Aid to brighten the hair

Kool-Aid can actually be used as a temporary hair dye, and it works particularly well on lighter hair colors. Because of this, you can use pink or red Kool-Aid to neutralize the green and tone your hair. Lemon Kool-Aid may also be a great idea if you are worried about the red staining your strands too much.


Depending on your hair length and thickness, mix one to three packs of Kool-Aid with a bit of water to create a paste. Apply the paste evenly to your hair and massage it in. Check on your hair every few minutes by removing some of the paste from a strand. Since Kool-Aid is very vibrant, you won't need to keep it on your hair for too long. Once you notice that the green is being neutralized, you can rinse your hair and clean it with a gentle shampoo, making sure you're not overwashing it.

If your hair ends up looking a bit too red or pink, don't stress — the color should wash out after a few more washes. However, since Kool-Aid works as a temporary hair tint, you might notice green peeking through once the Kool-Aid washes out. If this is the case, one of the other methods might be more beneficial.


Use a red-boosting hair product

As we already established, one way to counteract the green in your hair is by simply adding some red to it. If ketchup and Kool-Aid sound too intimidating for you, you can always opt for a red-boosting hair product. However, those are not as easily found as purple shampoos and conditioners, which you can pick up at most drugstores.


If you struggle to find a red hair product in the form of a shampoo or conditioner, consider opting for a temporary red hair dye which you can add to your favorite hair mask and apply evenly to any green spots. Of course, make sure you only add a bit of the color to your mask since you want to avoid having your hair look red after — you only want to cancel out the green. We recommend doing a patch test before going all in and applying it to your whole head.

Get a professional chlorine-removing shampoo

Home remedies can be great, but they can also be inefficient, especially if the green in your hair is very vibrant. If you have blond hair and spend a lot of time in pools, consider investing in a chlorine-removing shampoo which will help eliminate the chlorine and copper ions from the hair immediately. One product with plenty of great reviews is Malibu C Swimmers Wellness Hair Remedy, specifically designed to help restore your hair's health while removing its green hues.


"My daughter's hair went from silky white to crunchy and neon green in like 20 minutes of swimming!!!!! I tried three different swim shampoos, and none of them did a thing! My hairdresser recommended this to me, so I figured I'd give one more product a shot. This is literally a miracle product! I saw the green disappearing before my eyes," a satisfied buyer raves in their Amazon review. Definitely reach for a product like this if you spend a lot of time in pools and want to keep your hair healthy.

Visit your hairstylist for a professional result

While you can try home remedies if your hair is healthy, if you have brittle, dry, and damaged hair, the best thing you can do is visit a professional and see what they can do to remove the green from it.


A good hairstylist will approach each case individually, but most commonly, they will wash the hair with a clarifying or chlorine-removing shampoo, after which they might go in with a toner to cover up any leftover green. Additionally, a hairstylist may also suggest a deep conditioning treatment that will help restore the hair's moisture, as your hair has most likely been dehydrated by the pool water.

Of course, this is the most expensive solution, but it is also the one that will give you the best results, as a professional will provide you with a custom solution to counteract the green, taking into account your hair type and health.

Prevention tip: Pre-wet your hair before you go into the pool

We can all agree that preventing the green from happening is much better than looking for a way to get rid of it once it's already there. One of the easiest ways you can ensure your hair doesn't turn green is to wet your hair with clean water before you enter the pool. This small step only takes seconds but can save you a lot of hassle in the long run.


Hair already saturated with non-chlorinated water won't absorb as much of the pool water, meaning that it also can't absorb as many copper ions. Of course, this doesn't mean your hair won't turn green at all — but it will certainly turn way more green if you dive in the pool with dry hair. Additionally, wetting your hair before going in the pool can also help prevent chlorine damage which is why this trick is useful for everyone and not just those with blond hair.

Prevention tip: Apply oil or conditioner to your hair before you go into the pool

While saturating your hair in non-chlorinated water before going into the pool is great, an even better prevention hack is to apply a conditioner or coconut oil to your hair before jumping into a chlorinated pool. This will help protect your hair from the water while also nourishing it so that it doesn't get stripped of its natural oils.


Since oil and water don't mix, once your hair absorbs the oil, it won't allow the pool water to penetrate your hair strands. For this, you can use any oil you like, whether it's a specific hair oil or simply something you already have at home, like coconut or olive oil.

"However, you have to keep your head covered, as oil will also cook your hair in the hot sun," celebrity hairstylist Scott Fontana told StyleCaster. So, reach for a swim cap, or at the very least, put your hair in a protective hairstyle such as a bun or a braid. Once you get out of the pool, wash your hair as always, and you will immediately notice that your hair doesn't have any additional damage at all — and most importantly, there won't be any green hues in it.


Prevention tip: Rinse your hair as soon as possible after swimming

One prevention tip that seems very obvious, yet many tend to forget about it, is to immediately rinse your hair once you leave the pool. If you're someone who loves to chill by the pool after swimming, read a book, and even let your hair dry completely before you wash it — you definitely need to change that. 


Now, we're not saying you need to shampoo and condition your hair immediately, but you do need to rinse the hair with non-chlorinated water to ensure there is no time for the green tint to form on your hair. The chlorine and copper particles in the pool water can bond with your hair quickly, which is why it's essential to act fast to remove them. If there is no shower available to you immediately, a good tip is to always have a bottle of water with you, which you can use to quickly rinse your hair.