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How to fix and prevent green hair from swimming

·2-min read

For those of us with light hair, getting green hair from swimming in a pool is a very real pain.

Copper is a metal commonly found in water — yes, even some tap water with a high copper content can turn your hair green — but it’s more likely to see some green after swimming in a pool. Pool water contains chlorine, and when chlorine bonds with copper, it forms a film that sticks to hair proteins and can cause the hair to turn green.

If you grew up blonde, there were probably old wives’ tales and tricks that you were told to prevent your hair from turning green, like how you should wash your hair immediately after swimming.

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While some of them may work, In The Know’s Phoebe Zaslav found some updated hacks to both prevent and fix green hair.

“If you know your hair has a chance of turning green, before going for a dip, coat your entire head of hair with either hair conditioner or leave-in conditioner,” Phoebe said. “Our hair is like a sponge, meaning it absorbs pretty much whatever it touches. The conditioner in this case acts as a barrier between our hair and the pool.”

For fixing your hair, Phoebe also had an easy and natural solution.

“With either a shower cap or wrapped in tinfoil, soak your hair in tomato paste for 15 to 20 minutes before shampooing and conditioning,” she explained. “The acidity and color from the paste should remove the protein buildup and tone the green out of the hair.”

“I’ve done this trick. It works. I promise,” Phoebe said about the tomato paste. “You just might want to get nose plugs or something if you’re not a tomato person.”

Don’t have tomato paste handy? A clarifying shampoo should help ease the green after a few rinses.

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