How to Fix Blonde Hair That Has Turned Green

Updated on October 31, 2019
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Susan believes there is nothing more irritating than "interruptions" in sweet life. Using fact and humor, she loves sharing advice.

How Do I Fix This?

You love being in the sun, and you love going swimming, whether it be in the river, ocean, or pool. But if you have blonde hair and you jump into chlorinated water or pool with an algaecide, you will run into a big problem. If you have blonde highlights or dyed blonde tresses, you are taking an even greater risk.

What am I talking about? After diving into chlorinated water, you will look into the mirror and yell, "Oh, my gosh! My hair! What happened to it?" This is when you will realize that your beautiful blonde hair has turned green!

What to Do If Your Blonde Hair Turns Green

  1. Don't panic.
  2. Rinse it out with cool water to get rid of the pool water.
  3. Wash with clarifying shampoo.
  4. Have your ends trimmed.

Ketchup—You Have Got to Be Kidding Me...

Use Ketchup to Get Rid of Green Hair

If you do not have clarifying shampoo, grab a bottle of ketchup. The acid in tomatoes breaks down chlorine and copper, which fades the green from your hair. The acid might also make you feel a bit itchy, but it is not bad unless you are allergic to tomatoes. If this is the case, go to your stylist to get a good clarifying or swimmers' shampoo.


  1. You can apply it to dry or rinsed hair, but make sure to wring out the excess water from your hair before you apply it.
  2. Slather the ketchup all over your hair, and let it set for five to ten minutes.
  3. Rinse it out.
  4. Repeat these steps until most of the green tint is gone.

How to Prevent Blonde Hair From Turning Green

  • Before getting in the pool, wet your hair and put conditioner in it. This helps it absorb less chemicals.
  • Put your hair in a clip or a ponytail if it is long enough.
  • If you want to be extra cautious, wear a swimming cap.
  • Buy a good clarifying or swimmers' shampoo to rinse your hair out right after a swim.

What Causes Blonde Hair to Turn Green?

Copper is the culprit. This metal is found in most pools, and when it is oxidized by chlorine, it binds to the proteins in your hair strands, turning it green. It is a simple chemical reaction. But, don't let anyone tell you a salt water pool is safe — it is not. Salt water pools contain copper-based algaecide. The results: Horror! Panic! Tears! Remorse!

Blondes, especially those who have highlights or are colored from a bottle or stylist, are more susceptible to getting green hair from swimming in a pool. Other hair colors may show some green tinges, but it is barely noticeable.

Note From the Blonde-Haired Author

How do I know these methods work? Because after I swam in a saltwater pool, my blonde hair with blonde highlights turned green. Yes, that is my picture at the top of this article. It happened on the first day of our vacation, and my hairstylist was a thousand miles away. It was awful. I was horrified, and my husband, who thought it was hilarious at first, felt like he was in a torture chamber with a crying wife.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

  • What clarifying shampoo do you recommend?

    I used Paul Mitchell because that is what the closest salon sold. Personally, I do not like the product, but it was okay in a pinch, and I was definitely in a pinch.

  • I had green highlights after applying a wash out purple hair colour. Will tomato sauce work? I already tried a hair colour remover product.

    I don't know if tomato sauce or ketchup would help. It sounds like the purple dye might have stripped the color down. That sounds like when my hair absorbed the algaecide, but I don't know. I would say it is worth a try. If it doesn't work, I would go to a professional.


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    • profile image


      5 months ago

      My high-high hair turned green ! Please help . I’ve tried backing soda and vinegar ! No help

    • profile image


      6 months ago


    • profile image

      Deborah Harris 

      14 months ago

      My hair turned green when i t tried going from ultra light blonde to golden blonde my roots turned golden blonde but the rest of my hair turned green how do I fix it can I re-dye it


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