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How to Fix Blonde Hair That Has Turned Green Plus Tips for Prevention

Updated on July 7, 2017

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, you will run into a big problem. If you have blonde highlights, 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 in the shower to get rid of the pool water.
  3. Wash with clarifying shampoo.
  4. Have your ends trimmed.

Ketchup for Blonde Hair that Turns Green
Ketchup for Blonde Hair that Turns Green | Source

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 Your 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 salt water pool, my blonde hair with blonde highlights turned green. 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.


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    • susanholland10 profile image

      Susan Holland 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Hi Greeneyedblondie! I am so glad your hair has never turned green! I would have rather not had the experience. HA! Maybe it is if you have any color in your hair. Mine has highlights. :-)

      Thanks so much for dropping by! :-)

    • profile image

      greeneyedblondie 3 years ago

      You know, I've had blonde hair my whole life and swam in many pools growing up and it's never turned green. At least I don't remember it ever happening. I had a friend who was naturally platinum blonde though and she had stories of her hair turning green. Maybe my parents just didn't care while I was growing up so I never got the, "Why is your hair green?" from them when I was little. Even now it has never turned green. Maybe it's not light enough???

    • SimonJay profile image

      SimonJay 3 years ago

      LOL and i thought it was dangerous trying to go blond and turning ginger not that there's anything wrong with ginger but green haha actually the green looks cool. Ketchup haha who would of thought hey another reason to like ketchup

    • profile image

      tonyleather 3 years ago

      Excellent lens full of incredibly useful advice. Well done!

    • susanholland10 profile image

      Susan Holland 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      @ChristyZ: Thanks, christy_rose! It was a traumatic experience. LOL I hope you find the right products for your kids. Thanks for commenting!! :-)

    • profile image

      ChristyZ 4 years ago

      These are really great tips, when my kids were taking swimming lessons we started noticing that the chlorine was changing their hair color and damaging their hair in general. Very helpful article!

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Love the ketchup tip!

    • susanholland10 profile image

      Susan Holland 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      @anonymous: I hope you don't have to put them to the test like I did. LOL Thanks so much for dropping by. :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Great job!!! You gave great tips!

    • susanholland10 profile image

      Susan Holland 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      @takkhisa: Thank you, Takkhis! :-)

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      Your tips are helpful.

    • susanholland10 profile image

      Susan Holland 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Thanks, ClassyGals! I am honored that you liked the lens. It was pretty traumatic when it happened to me. I hope this lens helps prevent it from happening to others.

      Thank you so much for dropping by! :-)

    • ClassyGals profile image

      Cynthia Davis 4 years ago from Pittsburgh

      Blondes do have more fun, I agree with Rod. Great hair care tips for blondes that like to swim, like me. Angel Blessings**