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Green Hair? No Worries!: Natural Remedies for Swimmers Hair.

If you have color-treated or naturally light hair, and love to swim like I do, then you understand the struggle of swimmers hair. Long summer days spent floating in the pool doesn’t have to mean sporting a Kermit-colored hair style all season long.

How does it happen?

Contrary to popular belief, chlorine is NOT the culprit.

Wait what?! Yep, it’s true, copper is what’s turning your hair a lovely shade of seaweed. Some heavy metals in the water penetrate the hair’s cuticle (the protective outer layer of your hair), and stick in the cracks. The metals then oxidize, resulting in color change. Think of a copper penny. As copper oxidizes it turns green. That is what is happening inside the cuticle of the hair! Chlorine can however, enhance the color changing process by damaging the cuticle and allowing more metal deposits to build up.

At Home Remedies.

Now that we know how swimmers hair happens let’s get rid of it using common kitchen items!


Soak your hair with lemon juice. This works both with fresh lemons or from a bottle.

Let the juice set in your hair for about 5 minutes. Then wash your hair as usual.  

Tomato Paste or Ketchup

Apply the paste or ketchup to the discolored parts of your hair and

wrap the treated sections in tin foil. Let this sit for about 30 minutes.

 Then wash and condition as usual.


Dissolve 10 Aspirin in a quart of water. Rinse your hair with the dissolved

aspirin water and wait 15 minutes before washing and conditioning as usual.


There are many more ways to counteract swimmers hair, such as washing your hair with a can of Coca-Cola or applying baking soda to the tinted strands.

Remember!  A great way to prevent your hair from absorbing metals is to soak your hair in tap water before entering the pool. That way your hair soaks in less of the pool water.

Erica Clayborn
Erica Clayborn