"Swimmer's Hair" and "Green Hair"

Avoid "Swimmer's Hair" and “Green Hair”
Many head for swimming pools for recreation and relaxation, while others use pools all year for physical fitness, and thus the problem of pool chemicals turning hair (specifically, blonde and color-treated blonde or highlighted hair) an undesirable shade of green. What causes this discoloration in most cases is copper, a metal that may be present in pool water (even in your tap water if your local municipal water supply has a detectable level of copper), and also from copper in anti-algae pool treatments or other pool treatment chemicals, even from copper pipes that supply the pool's water. If you color-treat or perm your hair, residual amounts of the chemical ammonium chloride react with copper in pool water, forming copper ions that attach to the hair shaft and causeDiscoloration (the green color shade on hair is copper oxidizing on your hair-just like a copper roof turning green over time). A long time myth has been that the chlorine in water is the cause of green hair. The chlorine has nothing to do with creating the tint but it will definitely dry and damage your hair and skin. Chlorine can change hair color with it’s bleaching properties to lighten hair (particularly hair that is already light) or dull the color of dyed hair. To prevent the green, you want to reduce the build-up of metals on your hair by using shampoos that contain the chelating agent EDTA (ethylenediamene tetracetic acid), a common additive to shampoos and fairly easy to find. Most every shampoo labeled "clarifying" or "anti-residue" contains EDTA and removes build-up. A special "swimmer's shampoo" isn't necessary, though these generally contain chelating agents anyway, so they do work.
The best but not too attractive option is to always wear a bathing cap while swimming. Tucking your hair into a rubber cap will reduce contact with pool water, so no damage occurs. Applying a leave-in conditioner before the bathing cap makes applying it easier (less hair pulling) and also serves as a conditioning treatment; as your scalp releases body heat, it will be trapped under the bathing cap, allowing the conditioner to penetrate hair better. An alternative to wearing a bathing cap, and help minimize damage from chlorine and avoid green cast to hair from copper in pool water:
*Soak hair with clean water before entering pool water so hair does not soak up as much chlorine and chemicals, and rinse again after exiting the pool, never allow pool water-soaked hair to dry.
*If you own a swimming pool, talk to your pool supply store about chemical treatments that can be added to the water to make it less acidic, (acid encourages copper release from metal pieces due to corrosion). Your local pool supply store can also test your pool water to determine the presence of metals and make suggestions on how to get them down to an acceptable level.
*If you swim regularly, use as little heat-styling on your hair as possible and avoid brushing too often, which causes further damage. Be sure to use an emollient, or leave-in conditioner, for at least the ends of hair, and be sure to keep hair protected while outdoors by wearing a hat or scarf whenever possible. Do regular deep conditioning treatments. When you combine the damage pool water can do to hair, with the drying damage from the sun, you can quickly put your hair into a state of severe distress that will resemble straw.
For much more information on hair care and removing ‘swimmers green tint’: Beauty and the Budget at VirtualBookWorm

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