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If your freshly lightened tresses have suddenly turned a Hulkish shade after taking a dip in the pool, you've got a case of swimmer's hair. The chemical process of dyeing hair makes the cuticle or outermost layer of hair more porous, making colored strands an easy target for swim-related discoloration. And the lighter the hair, the more the obvious the green. But what is it about swimming pool water that changes blondes from sassy to grassy?
What's In The Water
Chlorine and swimming pools go hand-in-hand, but it may come as a surprise to know that this common pool chemical is not directly guilty for turning hair green. Chlorine causes hard metals, such as copper and iron, in the water to oxidize. These metals react with the chlorine, giving strands a grassy glow. The lighter the hair and more porous it is, the more obvious the discoloration will be.
How To Prevent Greenies
The simplest way to prevent pool hair is to wear a swim cap. It may not be the most fashionable look, but it does create a barrier between dyed strands and pool water. If the swim team look isn't for you, thoroughly wet your hair before taking a dip as wet tresses will absorb less chlorinated water. For added protection, apply a conditioning treatment as well.
After-Swim Hair Care
No matter how you protect your hair before you hit the pool, always rinse strands thoroughly post-swim. If possible, follow up with a shampoo specially formulated for swimmers. Or, in a pinch, head to the kitchen for some creative and effective ways to get rid of the green.
Getting Rid Of The Green
You can bring your blonde back with ketchup. Apply some of the red stuff to affected strands to neutralize the green. Wait a few minutes and rinse. This is not a recommended treatment for very light blondes, as it may cause hair to turn a bit beige. Vodka isn't just for making Cosmos. Mix 1/2 cup of vodka with 4 cups of hot water and pour over freshly shampooed hair, avoiding your eyes. This hair cocktail will remove chlorine and mineral deposits, removing greenish hues.