If you are a fan of hair dyeing and experimenting on different hairstyles, you may have heard horror stories of hair turning green, especially after swimming. Some believe that the chlorine found in swimming pools causes the hair to turn green but the real culprit here is copper.
How can your hair turn green after swimming? First, the water in the pool must be aggressive. By aggressive, it means that the water is negative when it comes to the calcium-saturation-index, making it strong enough to dissolve metallic copper. The water should have sulfates in it too, so that any value above pH 8.3 can prevail. The high pH precipitates the chemicals or substances which the water has dissolved. Precipitation can happen in the water itself. Sometimes it happens on the plaster. Most of the time, it happens on your hair.
Your hair won’t turn green if copper is not in the water in the first place. It can either be the pool operator’s fault for not managing the pool well, especially if he or she poured well or natural water with copper in the pool. It can also be your problem for having your make-up dissolved in the water while swimming. Liquid pool heaters also operate on bronze impellers and copper pipes that contribute to the quality of the pool heater and pool water.
Meanwhile, any type of water or liquid bearing copper is usually absorbed by your hair. Your hair can be blond, red, brown or black, but it can’t be spared from the effects of this invisible metal. Your hair will only start turning green once you apply shampoo. Shampoos have high values of pH and once these products are applied on your hair, the dreaded precipitation happens again, causing your hair to turn green. Sometimes, a shade of turquoise is more prominent because of the visible copper sulfate or oxide.
If your hair is naturally blond, green becomes clearly visible because of the lack of pigment that masks the effect of the copper on your hair. Shades of green will become even more visible after the bleaching. Your hair then has more absorbency to keep the copper on your hair.
Gearing Up For A Green Battle
If you want to get rid of chlorine-green hair, just follow these simple tips:
- First, do not let any evaporation occur. Rinse your hair thoroughly after getting out of the pool because once you let your hair dry naturally, the substances which the water left during evaporation will stay on your hair, making the shade of green more visible.
- Do not let precipitation occur. You may think that this is impossible because shampooing alone allows precipitation. You can avoid precipitation if you use not just an ordinary shampoo but a “swimmer’s shampoo” that has a lower pH value. Rinse your hair with tap water.
- Wearing a rubber bathing cap will protect your hair while swimming. If you don’t have one, visit a sports store and choose from a wide variety of rubber bathing caps in different sizes, styles, prices and designs. Make sure that you apply a conditioner on your hair first before wearing your rubber bathing cap.
- Wrapping, rubbing, squeezing or patting your hair gently on a towel to dry your hair can lead to disaster. It is best to blow-dry your hair but be sure to set your styling tool in cool or medium settings. When combing your hair after swimming, use a comb with wide teeth and never use a hair brush because de-tangling your hair when it is wet is critical. Your hair is at its weakest point when it is wet. You can also protect your hair from the effects of copper by going light on hair dyeing, blow drying, combing, using hot curlers and perming.
The easiest way to get rid of so-called chlorine-green hair is to swim only in copper-free water.
Do Your Hair a Favor
Water makes your hair weaker by 20% when it is wet. Water damages your hair’s color, be it natural or hair dyed, when it has copper. Learn your lesson. Do your hair a favor: stay away from substances that damage it, and treat it gently and properly when it is wet.
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