How to Get Chlorine out of Hair

After the summer ends, chlorine damaged hair is a frequent reason why people visit the hairdresser. If you are wondering how to get chlorine out of hair or how to get green out of hair from chlorine, this article will help. But first, what does chlorine do to your hair?

What Does Chlorine Do To Your Hair

Chlorine is a pool conditioner used to prevent the growth of bacteria and keep the water clean and sanitary. Chlorine is a very harsh chemical, and while the amounts used on a swimming pool are safe… your hair may disagree. Chlorine is incredibly drying and will strip natural oils from your hair very quickly. As well as color and expensive keratin treatments.

When you get into the pool, chlorine filled water soaks into your hair. This dries the hair and and chlorine damaged hair becomes fragile. If you don’t protect your hair from chlorine the end result is chlorine damaged hair: dry hair, breakage and split ends. Even occasional exposure to pool water, particularly when combined with sunbathing, can cause a lot of damage.

What does chlorine do to your hair if you are blonde? It can turn it green! It’s not actually the chlorine turning your hair green though. It just dissolves the copper salts that are frequently used in plumbing, which are green. This can turn your hair green from swimming, sometimes very quickly if you have bleached or very porous hair. Not a good look if you got fresh highlights for your holidays!

How To Remove Chlorine From Hair

After reading this you are probably wondering how to get chlorine out of hair as quick as possible. Chlorine chemically bonds to your hair and gets inside the hair shaft. If you are a frequent swimmer, you’ll probably need specialist products to get rid of it. If your hair smells of swimming pool even if it’s dry, you need to use a shampoo for swimmers.

But before we talk about how to get chlorine out of hair, let’s talk about prevention. Before you go into the pool, there are two things you should be doing:

  • Wet your hair with fresh water
  • Apply products that protect your hair from the sun and chlorine

Soaking your hair with fresh water means chlorinated water can’t enter the hair shaft. This means your hair will absorb much less chlorine and will not get so much damage. There will also be less chlorine to remove afterwards.

Specialist products with an oil or silicone base act as a barrier between your hair and the pool water. This means chlorine has no chance to bind to your strands. Most of those products also protect against sun damage to your hair (yes, it’s a thing). If you just got fresh highlights before a holiday, this sort of hair care swim caps are like an insurance policy for your hair color and health.

PictureProduct NamePrice
AquaGuard Pre-Swim Hair Defense 5.3 ozAquaGuard Pre-Swim Hair Defense 5.3 oz$$
Ion Swimmer's Leave-in Conditioner - 8 oz.Ion Swimmer's Leave-in Conditioner - 8 oz.$
TapaReef Pre-Swim Hair Mask with Baobab Protein (8.5 oz Tube)TapaReef Pre-Swim Hair Mask with Baobab Protein (8.5 oz Tube)$$$
TRISWIM Chlorine Removal Swimmers Body Wash Moisturizing Repairing SkinTRISWIM Chlorine Removal Swimmers Body Wash Moisturizing Repairing Skin$$
Malibu C Swimmers Wellness Conditioner, 33.8 Fluid OunceMalibu C Swimmers Wellness Conditioner, 33.8 Fluid Ounce$$$

And if you are a frequent swimmer, use a swim cap. It won’t keep your hair dry, but it will reduce the amount of chlorine it gets exposed to. Soak your hair with drinking water, add a suitable chlorine barrier product and using a swim cap on top. This way your hair will be conditioned when you finally have a shower to get rid of the pool water.

PictureProduct NamePrice
Speedo Silicone Solid Swim CapSpeedo Silicone Solid Swim Cap$
ROTERDON Swimming Goggles for Women MenROTERDON Swimming Goggles for Women Men$$
Kids Swim Goggles 2 Pack (OR Silicone Swim Caps 2 Pack) Crystal Clear Swimming Goggles for Children and TeenagersKids Swim Goggles 2 Pack (OR Silicone Swim Caps 2 Pack)$
Msicyness Swim CapMsicyness Swim Cap$$
Speedo Silicone Long Hair Swim CapSpeedo Silicone Long Hair Swim Cap$

Best Shampoo For Swimmers

If you are a frequent pool user, invest in a swimmer shampoo instead of your regular shampoo to neutralise the chlorine. Wash your hair as soon as you are out of the pool so chlorine doesn’t have time to do damage. There are many brands which claim to offer the best shampoo for swimmers, here are our favourites.

PictureProduct NamePrice
Ultraswim Chlorine Removal Moisturizing ShampooUltraswim Chlorine Removal Moisturizing Shampoo - 7 oz - 2 pk$$
UltraSwim Dynamic Duo Repair Shampoo and ConditionerUltraSwim Dynamic Duo Repair Shampoo and Conditioner, 7 Fluid Ounce Each$
Malibu C Swimmers Wellness CollectionMalibu C Swimmers Wellness Collection$$$
TRISWIM Chlorine Removal Swimmers Shampoo Moisturizing Repairing HairTRISWIM Chlorine Removal Swimmers Shampoo Moisturizing Repairing Hair$$
UltraSwim Chlorine Removal Moisturizing Shampoo, 7 oz.UltraSwim Chlorine Removal Moisturizing Shampoo, 7 oz.$$$

If you don’t want to buy a new shampoo, there are chlorine-removal spray products you can use in the shower. Rinse your hair well after you leave the pool, and spray it generously with the product. Then shampoo as usual. This type of spray works by cancelling the chlorine which is then washed away by regular shampoo.

PictureProduct NamePrice
SwimSpray Chlorine Removal Spray - 4 ozSwimSpray Chlorine Removal Spray - 4 oz$$$
Malibu C Leave-In Conditioner Mist, 9 fl. oz.Malibu C Leave-In Conditioner Mist, 9 fl. oz.$$
Ion Swimmer's Leave-in Conditioner - 8 oz.Ion Swimmer's Leave-in Conditioner - 8 oz.$
TRISWIM Chlorine Removal Swimmers Body Wash Moisturizing Repairing SkinTRISWIM Chlorine Removal Swimmers Body Wash Moisturizing Repairing Skin$$
Swimmer's Soap by Newton Bay - All Natural Aloe Bar Soap to Gently Wash Away ChlorineSwimmer's Soap by Newton Bay - All Natural Aloe Bar Soap to Gently Wash Away Chlorine$$

If you swim often in a pool that is very high in chlorine you may not be able to remove chlorine from hair effectively by washing. There are intensive chlorine removal sachets that you can use every few swimming sessions. They are a powder that you apply to shower rinsed hair, and leave on for a few minutes. They are less practical to use than a spray or a shampoo for swimming, but if you are wondering how to get chlorine out of hair this method always works.

PictureProduct NamePrice
Ion Swimmer's Clarifying TreatmentIon Swimmer's Clarifying Treatment$
Malibu Swimmers Wellness treatment KitMalibu Swimmers Wellness treatment Kit$$$
Ion Swimmer's Clarifying TreatmentIon Swimmer's Clarifying Treatment$

How To Get Green Out Of Hair From Chlorine

Now you know how to get chlorine out of hair, and how to prevent it getting there on the first place… but if you are reading this is probably because your hair is green from chlorine. Asking how to get green out of hair from chlorine is a bit misleading, as the greenish color actually comes from mineral deposits on your hair. So even if you get all the chlorine off your hair, it will still be green.

What you need to do is cancel the green hair out so it looks blonde. Some of the best shampoo for swimmers are also chelating shampoos. This means they remove metals and minerals from hair, and with them the green color. Chlorine can also turn hair brassy due to oxidation of the color, so this type of shampoo is also good if your blonde is turning brassy.

PictureProduct NamePrice
Kenra Clarifying Shampoo, 10.1-OunceKenra Clarifying Shampoo, 10.1-Ounce$$
Malibu C Hard Water Wellness CollectionMalibu C Hard Water Wellness Collection$$$
Ion Hard Water Shampoo, 33.8ozIon Hard Water Shampoo, 33.8oz$$
Hairprint - 99 percent Plant-Based-All Natural Chelating ShampooHairprint - 99% Plant-Based/All Natural Chelating Shampoo (8 fl oz/240 ml)$$$
WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo & Hair Conditioner SetWOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo & Hair Conditioner Set$$$

If you don’t want to buy a shampoo for swimmers then the alternative is a clarifying treatment. Those treatments come in a sachet full of little crystals that you mix with water. The resulting paste is then applied to your hair and left for the recommended time, and that’s how to get green out of hair from chlorine. Bring a sachet with you on holidays in case you suffer from a green hair from the pool emergency.

PictureProduct NamePrice
Malibu C Hard Water Weekly DemineralizerMalibu C Hard Water Weekly Demineralizer$$
Ion Crystal Clarifying TreatmentIon Crystal Clarifying Treatment$

Some people swear by natural methods, such as ketchup (the red will cancel the green in our hair) but they have a tendency to smell funny. A mix of white vinegar, tomato juice and lemon juice will accomplish the same results, but can leave your hair feeling very dry.

You may need to get your hair bleached to remove the green, but that should be last resort. Usually a bleach bath is more than enough to remove the copper residue that is turning your hair green, and you don’t need to bleach your entire head again.

How to get chlorine out of hair is a frequent question in summer, but regular swimmers also get pool green hair. No matter if your a bleach or natural blonde, your hair can go green in the pool if you are not careful.

Do you have any other tricks about how to remove chlorine from hair? Let us know in the comments.

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Find all our advice on how to have healthy hair here!