How To Get Rid Of Swimmer's Hair

by BRENDA L. / AUG 30, 2023

Reading Time: 5 Minutes


    Going for a dive at your local swimming pool can be a refreshing, relaxing experience – but can your hair say the same about it? Besides the negative effects of chlorine on your tresses, blonde-haired beauties in particular need to be careful to the side-effects of an invigorating swim in the pool. Why? In this blog, I’ll cover in detail the phenomena often referred to as “swimmer’s hair”, aka the emergence of green tones in blonde hair – a consequence of prolonged exposure to chlorinated pool water. Whether this has happened to you whilst on holiday or if you’re simply trying to look for preventative measures to avoid it, this guide will give you everything you need to know.

    Can Chlorine Turn Blonde Hair Green?

    Water in swimming pools, which is usually enriched with chlorine for sanitary purposes, sometimes has copper particles that stick to the outer cuticle layer of your hair. These particles react with the air, and the result of their oxidation turns them green – ultimately affecting your tresses. Whilst this isn’t visible on darker hair, light-coloured strands will show the appearance of greenish hues – and yes, unfortunately this will affect hair extensions too.

    How To Prevent Swimmer’s Hair

    Before diving into the pool, there are a few things that you can do to minimise the contact between your hair and chlorinated water. We have talked more in detail about this in our blog: Swimming With Hair Extensions: A Guide To Protecting Your Extensions – but here’s some of the essential points.

    The best way to prevent your hair from turning green in the swimming pool is, of course, avoiding the pool water coming in contact with your tresses. You can use a swimming cap to cover your hair, or simply put it up in a nice updo and avoid swimming underwater. 

    But if you want to dive, wetting your hair with non-chlorinated water before swimming can help your hair absorb less of the chlorine-ridden water from the pool. You can do this in the shower – if we are talking about a domestic pool – or in one of the facilities usually offered by public swimming pools or hotels. 

    Using hair oils before swimming can also help seal the cuticles of your hair and prevent some of the water absorption. 

    After your pool session, immediately rinse your hair with clean, non-chlorinated water to help remove any residue. Make sure you follow up with a clarifying shampoo for an effective, thorough wash; if unsure, double-shampoo. 

    How To Fix Blonde Hair Turned Green: DIY Remedies

    If it’s too late for preventative measures, DIY remedies can still be a solution to bring your blonde tones back to life. Here’s some natural remedies to counteract green hues in your hair:

    Lemon Juice: The citric acid in lemon juice can neutralise the green tint, however this isn’t recommended for Remy human hair extensions. Mix a bit of lemon juice with water, apply it to your hair, leave it on for a few minutes, and then rinse thoroughly.

    Baking Soda: Baking soda is commonly known as a universal remedy for many different issues, but who knew you could also use it on your tresses? Form a paste using baking soda and water, apply it to your hair, gently massage it in your tresses, and then rinse. This can help lift the green tint hues!

    Ketchup: If you don’t mind experimenting with colour theory, squeezing some ketchup on your hair will help get green out of your strands. As its red pigmentation will counter the green action, it will be able to mute the newly arrived green hues on your hair!

    Seek Professional Help: Consult a Stylist

    If the green tones persist, it’s best to seek advice from a professional hairstylist rather than resorting to different DIY techniques that could potentially do more damage than good in the long run. Instead of insisting, have a consultation with a qualified hairstylist or colourist, so that they can recommend a colour-correcting product, or even – why not? – a whole new colour for the new season!

    Post-Treatment Care:

    After getting rid of the green tones in your hair, chances are that your tresses will be thirsty – especially since chlorinated water, the sun, and all your holiday shenanigans can be quite taxing on hair and hair extensions. Make sure you quench your hair’s thirst by giving it some good old TLC, including a nourishing deep conditioning treatment, and focusing on moisturising washing products.


    If your pool-time has gone wrong, don’t worry: getting rid of swimmer’s hair isn’t impossible at all. Make sure you take care of your hair properly next time you hit the pool!

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