Prevent Your Post-Swim Hair From Turning Green

by Marisa Dalpiaz

Pool season has finally arrived, which means a hopefully gorgeous tan and beautiful, post-swim beachy waves. Unfortunately for some, however, a long sesh at the pool can turn your blonde locks into a sewage-green color. If you're wondering how to prevent your hair from turning green after swimming, you've come to the right place. With proper preventative steps, it's possible to keep your blonde as blonde as can be.

They say blondes have more fun but do they really? Sitting poolside this Fourth of July weekend, I learned something unsightly about our golden girls: some of them are green with envy - literally! The chlorine in the pool totally makes their hair turn green. It's a look that results from a combination of chlorine and copper. Copper is probably not the first thing you think of when taking a dip but there are metals in your pool water. Hard metals that are found in pool water are copper, iron, and manganese. These metals get oxidized by chlorine and grab hold of your hair causing it to turn a greenish tint.

This can be a problem for any one who swims more than Emily Fields in the first season of Pretty Little Liars. However, it is the biggest problem for poolside blondies. While blondes may have more fun, it's definitely not easy being green! But no need to panic. There are a couple of preventative things that you can do to make sure you don't turn into a sulking female Hulk this summer. Really, its just about adding one or two extra steps to your swimming routine to make sure you stay golden.

Here are the top five things you can do to prevent your hair from turning green after swimming.

1. Start With Wet Hair

Before you even dive into the pool, make sure your hair is already wet. If you soak your hair with tap water or even dunk your head under the garden hose, it gives your hair a little coating so that the chlorine can't hold on so tight.

2. Create a Better Barrier

Living Proof No Frizz Leave-In Conditioner, $24, Sephora

Depending on how much you swim, it may also be a good idea to apply a leave-in conditioner all over your hair and tuck it up into a swimming cap. This combination will be a stronger barrier than your pre-swim rinse with the garden hose.

3. Wash After You Swim

This is perhaps the most important part of the process. Even if you are in a rush after your workout or on your way to your next pool party, you must shampoo and condition your hair right after you're finished with your swim. Take special care with your conditioner to make sure you are really sealing in all the moisture that you can. The chlorine in pool water can really dry out your hair. A clarifying shampoo might also prove to be very helpful during this process.

4. Learn Your Product Knowledge

Ion Swimmer's Shampoo, $8, Sally Beauty

To make your post swim rinse most effective, try out a few products to see which one works best for your hair type. When I was on the swim team in high school, I used Ion Swimmer's Shampoo. This one is great because it is made specifically to get rid of the chlorine build-up in your hair that comes with swimming. This line of hair products also makes a great leave-in conditioner for swimmers.

5. Use Something Acidic, Like Ketchup Or Tomato Juice

This is going to sound totally nuts, but my friend's mom once told me that she used to put ketchup in her hair when she was younger to keep it from turning green. Apparently, ketchup (or tomato juice - it's still acidic), lemon juice, and vinegar are all capable of getting rid of the green tint in your golden tresses once the damage is already done. If you mix ketchup with your conditioner and leave it in for about ten minutes, then rinse with cold water repeatedly, you should be able to get out the green.

Image: Fotolia; Allison Rose/Flickr