Love to swim? Love to color your hair? If both are true, then you have probably experienced the phenomenon of green hair. (And not the rad kind of green hair in this photo.) Swimming and hair coloring don’t always play well together.
You may think chlorine is the big culprit here, but it’s actually copper. Chlorine oxidizes copper, and when that copper touches your hair as you swim, it attaches to the protein and creates a green hue. Think of a copper kettle that has oxidized. Same theory.
There are some steps you can take to avoid this less pleasant form of “Going Green.”
1. Address the Pool First.
Reduce the amount of copper in your pool. A mix of metals in the water is not unusual, but they don’t all need to stick around. Take a sample of the water to a local pool supply store to get your chemical levels. And give us a call to talk about proper chemical balance. We can help you choose products that remove certain metals and still keep your pool clean.
2. Get Your Hair Wet.
Before you take a dive, make sure your hair is already wet. Soaking your hair with tap water or the garden hose will give it a coating so the chlorine can’t hold on so tight.
3. Cover Your Head
Use a swim caps to protect your hair during frequent pool use. Another way to shield your hair from pool chemicals is to apply leave-in conditioner before you get in the water, since this coating can create a waterproof seal. Best Practice? Use both!
4. Take Care of Hair Post-Swim
Take the time to shampoo and condition right after swimming. Don’t skimp on conditioner to make sure you are really sealing in all the moisture that you can. The chlorine in pool water is super drying for your hair and a special clarifying shampoo might also prove to be very helpful during this process. And keep an eye out for products specially for pool hair.
5. Undo the Green
If you’ve already gone to the green side, have no fear; there are ways to get back to your color. Talk to your hairstylist about color correction. Then, go back to Steps 1–4 to keep your color intact.
Questions about chemical balance in your pool? As always, give us a call.
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