Worried Girl With Green Strands in Her Blonde Hair

To your horror and surprise, your once pristine blonde hair suddenly now has a sickening green hue when you get home from vacation.

Now you need to know how to get green out of blonde hair before going to work in a couple of days.

How do you do it? Find some solutions through this article.

What Causes Green in Blonde Hair

Two components must combine and react with each other to cause the green in blonde hair.

These are:

  • Copper – One of the said components of green hair is copper. How did the copper get into the pool water in the first place? The reason there are copper traces in the swimming pool is most likely the corroded pipe in the pool. As the copper pipes deteriorate over time, copper particles get mixed in with the water and get stuck in your hair.
  • Chlorine – Almost all commercial swimming pools contain chlorine. This chemical is needed to keep the water clean and kill any bacteria that might get in it. The chlorine also prevents the growth of algae, which turns the water into a disgusting shade of green.

The unfortunate combination of the copper and chlorine in the pool water oxidizes the copper, which is why your hair turns green. It is essentially copper rust.

Does this only happen with blonde hair? No, this also happens with other hair colors, but the green oxidation is more visible on light blonde hair. If a person has dark hair and light highlights, the green should be visible on the highlights.

How to Prevent Blonde Hair From Turning Green

Apply a Leave-In Conditioner Before Swimming

The conditioner will cover and protect your hair against the chlorine in the water. It will also form a thin barrier that will keep the copper in the water from sticking to your hair. However, you must re-apply the conditioner every hour or between dips in the pool.

Wear a Swim Cap

Unless you are willing to try new hair color ideas in shades of green, you should wear a good swim cap. This will cover your hair, providing an impenetrable barrier against pool chemicals and the sun.

It may be a hassle to wear every time you need to get in and out of the pool. However, if it prevents your hair from turning green, it is worth it.

Wet Your Hair Before Jumping in the Water

You should never get into a chlorinated swimming pool with dry hair. The chlorine and copper in the pool water will get a better grip on your hair if it is dry than when it is already wet.

Wash Your Hair Immediately After Swimming

When you finish swimming, head over to the showers and wash your hair thoroughly. Don’t give the copper and chlorine enough time to affect your hair. The sooner you eliminate the offending minerals, the less green your hair will get.

Smiling Woman Washing Her Hair

Natural Solutions for Green Hair

Tomato Juice

The acid in the tomato juice help break down the copper stuck to your dirty blonde hair, and the red color also neutralizes the green tinge in it.

So, if you have tomato juice on hand while you are on vacation, you should bust it out after swimming in the pool.

Lemon Juice

The acid in lemon juice is stronger than in tomato juice, making it better at breaking down the copper minerals in your hair.

Apply enough lemon juice to soak your hair, leave it in for around 5 to 10 minutes, and then rinse it thoroughly with lukewarm water. You can also use lemon juice to lighten hair without using bleach.

Apple Cider Vinegar

You can use apple cider vinegar to remove the green tinge from your blonde hair. However, you can also use it as a pre-treatment.

Apply enough apple cider vinegar to your hair before you dip it in the pool. The acid will make it difficult for chlorine and copper to stick to your hair and will neutralize most of them

How to Get Green Out of Blonde Hair

When you find a sick shade of green in your hair, don’t panic. There are still ways you can get it out.

Here are some solutions along with the steps in using them:


If you don’t have a clarifying shampoo on hand, like when you are still on vacation at another location, ketchup can help somewhat.

Step 1 – Rinse your hair

If your hair is still soaking in pool water, go to the shower room and rinse it as much as possible. Take a whiff of your hair; if it doesn’t smell of chlorine anymore, you should be good to go.

Towel dry your hair as much as you can, like what you would do when you are dyeing wet hair.

Step 2 – Apply the ketchup

Depending on how long and thick your hair is, you might need to use an entire bottle of tomato ketchup. Begin slathering your hair with the ketchup, ensuring that you cover every inch of your hair.

Wait around ten to fifteen minutes before you rinse. The acid in the ketchup will break down the copper and chlorine in your hair, making them easier to wash out.

Step 3 – Rinse and repeat as needed

The first ketchup treatment might not eliminate the greenish hue immediately, but it should have given you some significant results. If needed, repeat the steps several times until the green hue is barely noticeable.

Also, note that due to the acid in the tomato ketchup, your scalp will itch quite a bit. However, if you are not allergic to tomatoes, this should not be much of an issue.

Girl Applying The Ketchup On Hair

Clarifying Shampoo

Step 1 – Rinse your hair thoroughly

If you just stepped out of the swimming pool, immediately go into the shower room and rinse as much of the chlorinated water out of your hair. This will prevent the green in your hair from getting worse.

Step 2 – Use clarifying shampoo

Wash your hair thoroughly using a clarifying shampoo. This will remove almost all the copper in your hair and virtually all the oxidation. You will notice that your hair will be significantly less green than before.

Step 3 – Repeat as needed

If your hair is still too green for your liking, you can shampoo it again. However, since clarifying shampoo is a bit strong, avoid using it more than twice a day.

Step 4 – Apply leave-in conditioner

After washing your hair, apply a liberal amount of leave-in conditioner, like you would after you finish washing your hair after coloring. This will return much moisture to your hair loss due to the clarifying shampoo and from being soaked in chlorinated water.

Baking Soda

Step 1 – Make a baking soda slurry

You may need up to half a cup of baking soda if you have long hair. Dissolve the baking soda in just enough water to make a loose paste. It should still be thick but flow smoothly.

Step 2 – Rinse your hair

If you just came out of the pool, rinse your hair under the shower until it does not smell of chlorine anymore. Towel dry your hair but leave it a bit damp.

Step 3 – Apply the slurry

Place a bit of the slurry on your palms and work it into your hair. Massage the baking soda into your hair, making sure that you focus on the most discolored parts, like the tips.

Step 4 – Rinse and repeat if necessary

Wait at least five minutes and then rinse your hair thoroughly. Check if the green color has subsided and repeat the steps if the green is still quite visible.

Quick Tips and Tricks

Use Shampoos Made for Swimmers

If you find yourself swimming quite often, you should use such types of shampoo. These shampoos are specifically formulated to remove unwanted chemicals and minerals from the hair and usually work better than some clarifying shampoo brands.

Use a Swim Cap

Swimmers always swim with swim caps on, mainly to make them more sleek and able to cut through the water better. However, they also use swim caps to protect their hair from the effects of chlorine, especially since they spend most of their time in swimming pools.

Shower Before Going Into the Pool

The chlorine and copper will not be able to stick to your hair if it is wet. So, before you jump into the pool, hit the showers first and rinse your hair thoroughly. This will increase your resistance to getting green hair.

Shower Before Going Into The Pool


Is it difficult to remove green from blonde hair?

It will depend on the extent of discoloration. If the color is quite distinct, it will take effort to get it out of your hair. You can get rid of the color quickly if you tackle it immediately.

What are some of the myths surrounding green hair?

One of the biggest myths about green hair from swimming is that algae cause the color. Because the hair is a disgusting shade of green, most people believe that the color comes from algae.

However, if the swimming pool is regularly chlorinated, algae will not grow in the water, so this is impossible.

What is the most effective method for removing green from blonde hair?

The best way to remove the green in your hair is to use actual swimmers’ shampoos. These are specifically formulated to neutralize and remove the chlorine and copper from your hair. In addition, swimmers’ shampoo will not damage your hair.

Can purple shampoo help with removing green from blonde hair?

No, the purple shampoo will only make it darker. To neutralize the green color, you must use red-tinted shampoo because that is the exact color opposite of green on the color wheel.

Will clarifying shampoo help with removing green from blonde hair?

Yes, a good clarifying shampoo strips chlorine and copper from your hair. If used immediately after swimming, clarifying shampoo will prevent your hair from getting even a light tinge of green.

Anthony Giannotti

About the author: Anthony Giannotti

Anthony Giannotti is a senior writer and editor for Beardoholic and a licensed barber for more than 13 years. He owns 3 barbershops and has his own hair care product line that is sold in barbershops worldwide. Known for his impeccable technique and skills, Anthony is an expert in hair and beard care and he knows the best products and tools to get rid of all beard problems and have an amazing beard.

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