Why Hair Turns Green in the Pool and How to Fix It

by Faith Cancro

On a really hot day, the first thing I’m thinking about is going swimming, and probably the last thing I’m thinking about is what that will do to my hair. The truth is: it will do some pretty bad stuff. The effect chlorine has your hair can be severe if you don’t know how to combat it. The good thing is, there are ways to do that! 


First, let’s talk about what exactly chlorine is doing to your hair, every time you jump in a pool. Every exposure to chlorine strips your hair of keratin, the protective protein that makes up about 95%. Amino acids (what the keratin is made up of) can be broken down by chlorine which then leads to breakage and dryness. Dr. Marnie B. Nussbaum for Mane Addicts says that as chlorine strips your hair and scalp of their natural oils, it’s dissolving the lipids in the hair. These oils are necessary for not only moisture and smoothness, but basically the overall health of your hair. A lack of them can result in numerous issues: breakage (split ends), dullness, dry, frizzy, and damaged looking hair. Not to mention “chlorine can also lead to itchy, red, tight, dry skin on the scalp,” explains Dr. Nussbaum. 


If completely ruining the texture of your hair wasn't enough, chlorine can also have adverse effects on the color of your hair. Do you know what the Statue of Liberty was supposed to look like? Not green, that’s for sure. Essentially this is what happens to your hair. Dr. Leann Poston for Formulate explains, the reason blondes can sometimes turn to greens in the water is because “copper ions settle along the cracks in the hair cuticle,” then oxidize with the chlorine, resulting in a greenish/yellow color. This is especially likely for blondes that are dyed and bleached, as the hair is susceptible to more damage. Natural blondes are still at risk, along with any other untouched or dyed hair, no matter the color- chlorine can lighten and change any color to a certain extent. 


Here’s the good news… 


There are things you can do. You can wet your hair right before getting in the water. It will have absorbed the tap water, allowing less room for the chlorinated water to soak. Coconut oil is another great option to use right before getting in the pool. When it comes to post-swim methods, cleaning your hair right away with a good shampoo is the most effective in terms of protecting your hair.  


If you use the right products and treatments, chlorine really isn’t that scary! The Malibu C Swimmer’s Wellness Treatment is the ideal chlorine aftercare product. It combats virtually everything that chlorine might do. It removes harsh chemicals, i.e. CHLORINE and copper! This results in removal of any green you may see in your hair as well as helping prevent further green color. It restores hair texture- say bye bye brittle hair. It removes mineral buildup which allows your hair to return to a shinier, healthier texture. Malibu Swimmers 5G also helps retain your hair's natural oils which protects your scalp and hair from that dry, itchy feeling. This treatment pairs perfectly with the Malibu C Swimmer's Shampoo and Malibu C Swimmer's Conditioner. Free from sulfates and parabens, it’s a no brainer to get Malibu C Professional to maintain your  healthy summer hair!

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