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Don’t Let Chlorine Ruin Your Pool Day

Dec 6, 2022
Feb 22, 2024

There’s nothing like going for a refreshing swim on a hot day or a hot tub simmer after ski touring. 

But if you have colored hair, you likely weigh the pros and cons before diving in. Hair dye often leads to damage like dryness, breakage, and frizz. The harsh chlorine from pools and hot tubs worsens this, fading your hair color and harming already-weak strands. 

Don’t give up on pool days just yet. This article outlines how to protect dyed hair from chlorine so you can enjoy a worry-free soak.

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Blonde woman in a pool
Table of Contents

How does chlorine affect dyed hair?

Chlorine is a potent chemical added to swimming pools and hot tubs to kill bacteria. The harshness of this chemical can also damage hair, stripping natural oils and causing breakage. 

While its potency means it can damage all hair types, the consequences are more severe for colored hair because it’s weaker. Blonde hair is especially prone to chlorine’s effects since the bleach used to dye hair blonde makes it very weak. In high concentrations, chlorine can also have a chemical reaction with bleached hair, turning it green. Luckily, the following tutorial works for protecting blond hair from chlorine.

How to protect your hair from chlorine

Here are a few tips to keep you swimming:

  • Apply oil to create a barrier between your hair and the chlorine. We recommend coconut or olive oil because they nourish your hair while creating a physical barrier. Plus, you probably have these oils on hand already.
  • Shower before diving in to prevent your hair from absorbing chlorine. Damp hair is less likely to soak in chemicals.
  • Wear a swimming cap to protect your locks.

How to fix green hair from the pool

Frequent chlorine exposure to bleach-treated hair can give it a slight green sheen. If your hair changes color, here are a few DIY methods to remove this tint:

  • Rinse your hair with lemon juice. Lemon juice contains citric acid, which can help remove this oxidation.
  • Rinse with apple cider vinegar. Acetic acid also cleans oxidation, so a wash with apple cider vinegar will help remove the green color from your hair.
  • Use purple shampoo. The purple color in these products neutralizes yellow and green tones, so it’s a great way to wash out the chlorine and reduce the green tint. 
  • Apply a baking soda hair mask. Make a paste with baking soda and water and scrub it into your hair, thoroughly rinsing after it’s sat for a couple minutes. 
  • Try ketchup or tomato juice. Maybe a wild idea, but these products work and are easily accessible. Apply the ketchup or juice to your hair and let it sit under a shower cap for 30 minutes. Thoroughly clean your hair afterward with shampoo and conditioner. 
  • Create an aspirin mask. Mix six crushed-up aspirin tablets with warm water. Apply the mixture to your hair and let it soak for 10–15 minutes. Shampoo and condition your hair as usual.

People also ask 

How do you take care of color-treated hair?

Color-treated hair requires special treatment to repair damage and keep the color from fading. Here are a few tips to keep your hair looking salon-fresh:

  • Use sulfate-free shampoo. Many shampoos include sulfates as a cleansing agent, but these can cause damage. Find products that don’t include synthetic, harmful chemicals. 
  • Choose color-safe products. Many brands offer product lines dedicated to the needs of color-treated hair
  • Use a heat protectant. Styling with hot tools can cause hair damage like dryness, frizz, and color fading. Apply a heat protectant and lower the temperature of these tools to combat damage. 
  • Spread out wash days. Frequently shampooing your hair fades the color quicker. Wash your hair less often, using dry shampoo once between washes to extend your color. 

How do you repair damaged hair?

No matter how well you take care of your hair, some damage is unavoidable. Here are a few tips for healing those upset locks:

  • Stop heat styling. Put away those hot tools and give your hair time to repair. 
  • Apply rich hair masks. Hair masks are excellent for targeting a specific concern, like color or heat damage. Try Olaplex’s No.3 Hair Perfector Mask for split ends or Argan Oil by VINEVIDA for moisture restoration.
  • Use oils and serums. The ends of the hair are usually the most damaged. Try using a concentrated hair oil or serum on your ends between washes to slowly heal them. We recommend PUBLIC GOODS’ Hair Oil because it’s lightweight and smells like jasmine. 
  • Brush wet hair with a comb. Hair is most fragile when wet, so it’s best to use a wide-tooth comb, working slowly while holding the base of the hair to avoid pulling it out at the root. If a comb isn’t enough for your tangles, try using a wet brush — they have more flexible bristles to limit damage while getting those pesky knots. 

How do you take care of your hair after swimming?

A good post-swim hair care routine prevents damage and keeps your hair silky soft. Here’s what we recommend doing:

  1. Thoroughly wash your hair with shampoo. It’s essential to wash all salt and chemicals out after swimming. 
  2. Apply a rich moisturizing conditioner to rehydrate hair follicles. 
  3. Gently comb your wet hair and pat dry with a soft towel.
  4. Apply a leave-in conditioner to keep your strands hydrated and tangle-free. 

Enjoy a worry-free swim

Yes, colored hair is high maintenance. Luckily, this tutorial has taught you everything necessary to enjoy salon-worthy hair — in the color you paid for — while canon-balling. 

Looking for products to address other hair care concerns? Check out videos on Flip. Our creators constantly create candid, informative reviews so you can feel confident and excited about your next purchase. Curious about Flip reviews? Browse them on the App Store!

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