How To Fix Green-Hued Blond Hair After A Day In The Pool

For a brief, terrorizing moment, you may have thought you were in the land of Whoville. All you did was take a dip in the pool and now your hair is the same color as the town's most famous resident, the Grinch. Fortunately, this is one of those times in life when you can confidently say, "It looks worse than it is." Moreover, you can rest assured that there are ways to fix green-hued hair, and most of them involve homemade remedies that won't cost you much green. Plus, you can take preventive steps to stop your hair from turning green the next time you have the urge to take a dip.

In the meantime, know that you're not being singled out for this transformation if you're a person with blond hair. It's true that you may be more prone to it, but people with hair of all colors can see their shade turn green after swimming in a pool, Pool Troopers says. As common as it is for people to blame chlorine for the color change, copper is the true instigator. All water sources — chlorinated or not — contain some percentage of copper, even in very low concentrations (via the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources). When a pool is chlorinated, and the chlorine merges with copper, the two form a bond "that sticks to the proteins in each strand of hair," Pool Scouts explains. Nevertheless, it's easy to learn how to fix it and form a path out of Whoville.

Save some green by using household products

There are a number of household products you can use to lift the green from your hair. To start, pick the product you most want to work with (or the one you object to least). Consider, for example, making a paste with either aspirin or baking soda (via Pool Scouts). For the former, add warm water to a bowl that contains about seven aspirin (which acts as a bleaching agent) or ½ cup of baking soda (to offset the pH and the alkalinity level of chlorine). Stir your preferred mixture until it resembles a thin paste. Then, massage it into your hair. Let the paste sit for about 20 minutes before washing it out and shampooing your hair. Be prepared to make multiple passes; the more intense the green color, the more likely multiple applications may be necessary.

The same advice applies to other household products, too, like tomato juice or ketchup. As removal agents, both are based on color theory. Among other things, this theory says that colors located on opposite sides of the color wheel cancel each other out, Pool Troopers says. Massage plenty of either ingredient into your hair. To prevent it from dripping down your face while you wait 30 minutes for it to work its magic, wrap your hair in aluminum foil or a plastic bag (or something else you can toss out when you're done and ready to hit the showers).

Try preventive measures first

None of these fix-it methods is difficult. You may even enjoy them. But you may be eager to avoid green-hued hair in the first place. If so, wear a bathing cap to protect your hair from the influence of copper and chlorine. A tight-fitting cap may not be your best look, but you won't have to "work backwards once the damage is already done," the Bob & Paige Salon says.

Otherwise, try applying a hot oil treatment after you shampoo your hair and before you go swimming. The oil will seal your hair cuticles, creating a barrier that the metals ideally won't infiltrate, Swim University says. You can marshal the same protective qualities by applying a leave-in conditioner or rinsing your hair with apple cider vinegar before you swim. To mitigate the power of the smell, pour the vinegar into a spray bottle and squirt away until your hair is drenched (via Pool Troopers).

Depending on where you swim, a pool guard may direct you to the showers after you leave the pool. It's good advice since even water alone can remove some of the copper and chlorine and will prevent the metals from settling into your hair as it dries. No matter how many treatments you end up applying, try to remain positive. After all, it's better than hiding out in a cave with your green hair and the Grinch on Mount Crumpit.