Attack of the Summer Green Hair!!

With summer here, we are all going to try and enjoy some heat and play in the water.

Green_Hair!

Green Hair!

Last summer my blonde hair had an unfortunate, colour altering, run-in with a friend’s hot tub. Green hair! My platinum ends were murky and so not pretty! Being supplied with all of the tools of the trade, I figured a quick bleach wash on my yucky green would take care of it pretty quickly. The result was was a brighter green! Agh!! I consulted my own stylist and she suggested a paste of soda water and baking soda. This concoction did the trick but the damage was done. I had to get a pretty major haircut the following week.

This prompted some research on the subject of why hair turns green, in pools, in the first place. Turns out, it’s not the chlorine at all but the presence of copper in the water. These positive ions get deposited into the hair, which is negatively charged. The green patina on an oxidized copper roof is not so charming on your tresses! It can happen to anyone but is more noticeable in blondes.

How do you get rid of it? Chelating shampoos, made for swimmers, should work as they lower the pH of hair to get the copper out. A simple clarifier won’t cut it. Suggested home remedies include vinegar, tomato juice and lemon juice. Any of these poured over the hair,  the chemical reaction should happen right away, and the green will be gone. Turns out, it was probably the acidic soda water of my cure that made it work.


This summer, I’m taking the preventative route. Coating your hair with a leave-in conditioner with Silicone polymers will close the cuticle and make it harder for the copper to penetrate. (Look for words like “dimethicone” in the ingredients.) If you want to be natural, apply a little coconut oil to your hair before swimming. If you do own a pool or hot tub, make sure the pH levels of the water isn’t too high to prevent the presence of copper in the first place. Sun and chlorine can both fade your colour. Wearing a hat and using a leave-in with sunscreens will help. Rinsing your hair soon after a swim is important to limit the potential drying effects.

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Vintage bathing cap from Vintage Glory in winnipeg. Retro inspired bathing suit by Juicy Couture. Photo by Dano Tanaka.

I think I’ll take caution a step further and wear this beauty of a bathing cap, found at Vintage Glory! I’ll take this green over the other, any day!

Vintage bathing cap from Vintage Glory, Winnipeg. Photographed by Dano Tanaka.

Vintage bathing cap from Vintage Glory, Winnipeg. Photographed by Dano Tanaka.