Purple Shampoo for Green Pool Hair – Here’s Why It Doesn’t Work

Written by Charlene Latreuille

Updated on

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purple shampoo for green pool hair

Every blonde needs a purple shampoo to combat the brassy devil.

But not all brassy tones can be corrected by our ever-so-reliable superhero mauve.

For example:

A purple shampoo won’t work for green pool hair simply because purple does not counterbalance green.

Remember that basic color chart from elementary school?

green pool hair solution

Well, this is the secret all hairstylists use to perform color neutralization and tone corrections.

And the science goes like this:

Colors on the opposite ends cancel each other out.

In hairdressers’ parlance, this means opposite colors offset each other to restore balance.

Let me explain this with a quick example …

Look at the color chart above, and check out the relationships between the colors:

  • Blue – Opposite to Orange
  • Purple – Opposite to Yellow
  • Red – Opposite to Green

The color theory proves that to neutralize GREEN colored hair, you need to go to the opposite end of the spectrum and use RED.

Paula Digges, Redken’s Certified Mastercolorist, also agrees. Purple is not the solution for green tinge in your hair. RED is.

Read it here: Will purple shampoo fix the green tinge in my hair?

Now, if your hairstylist is 300 miles away and you need an immediate fix, the solution I recommend is the Joico Color Infuse Red Shampoo.

Joico Red Shampoo

red shampoo for green pool hair

Multi-spectrum color defense with Bio-advanced peptides that make your hair color look vibrant.


This Joico shampoo deep cleanses and detoxes your hair by drawing out every trace of chlorine and minerals that cause brassiness while canceling out the green with its red pigments.

To help you understand why it works so well, keep reading …

Why Hair Turns Green In The Pool?

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Swimming pool woes – how to remove green tint from hair

A lot of people think that chlorine is the main culprit that turns your hair green.

However, this is only part of the whole reason.

The truth is, your hair turns green because of minerals like copper, iron, and manganese in swimming pools.

So, if you think that chlorine is the one and only reason, think again!

Even your tap water has copper. However, your hair is more likely to turn green in the pool because of the reaction of chlorine on these elements.

Chlorine oxidizes these metals, which then creates a film that sticks to your hair strands and turns them green, dull, and ashy.

To give you a clearer picture …

Think of old roofs, old pennies, or even the Statue of Liberty.

Over time, they all turned green because the copper they’re made of has oxidized.

Blondes have the biggest problem with green hair. But that doesn’t mean they’re the only ones who can have it.

Darker colored hair can also have that dreaded green color after a few days in the pool.

However, it is easier to spot it on people with lighter hair colors.

Does Purple Shampoo On Green Hair Work?

If you’re naturally blonde, bottled-blonde, or someone who generally has light hair, you’re probably no stranger to purple toners and shampoos.

And in the case of green hair, you’ll see or hear a lot of people telling you that those are the solutions.


Because purple shampoos help to fix discoloration on light-colored hair.

And rather than looking like a shining halo, your hair can take on the colors of bananas or oranges.

Some of the most common causes of brassiness and discoloration are pollution, product build-up, heat styling, and swimming.

Purple shampoo works by using its color-to-color correct yellow or warm tones in blonde hair.

That means the color cools down the yellow shades and restores your hair to a more cool-toned and brighter hue.

More often than not, purple shampoos are many people’s saving grace. Unfortunately, they don’t have the same effect on green hair.

Going back to the color wheel, you’ll understand why.

To solve a discoloration problem, you’ll have to counteract the tone with its opposite color on the wheel.

To put it simply, color-correcting your hair is all about balancing the warm and cool tones.

If the hue of your hair is too warm, correct it by adding cooler shades and vice versa.

That’s why if you have more of a brassy or orangey discoloration, purple shampoo or toner won’t do the trick. But a blue shampoo will.

It’s the same thing with green hair. Green and purple are two cool colors and don’t cancel each other out.

Adding them together might even darken your hair or turn it brown.

How To Correct Green Tones In Hair

Now that you’ve got the secrets to color neutralization and tone correction down, you probably have a good idea of what can really help when your hair turns green.

The opposite of GREEN in the color wheel is RED.

So, instead of purple shampoo, you’ll need red shampoo for green hair.

The most popular and effective shampoo that works so well to correct unwanted green tones in light-colored hair is the Joico Color Infuse Red shampoo.

Joico Red Shampoo

Formulated with antioxidants, this red shampoo gets to the root of the problem first to deep cleanse all the elements from the pool that makes your hair green (i.e chlorine and copper).

The deep cleansing action is then followed by red pigment deposits that cool down the warm tones.


Before you jump in with both feet, make sure you do a strand test.

If you prefer to be cautious, you can dilute it or use it little by little at a time until you get your desired results.

Other solutions you can try to fix the green tinge in your hair …

Chelating Shampoos

In addition to red shampoo, you can also use a chelating EDTA shampoo to treat or prevent your blonde hair from turning green.

Such shampoos are often prescribed to swimmers because they are excellent for neutralizing metal ions in water.

Chelating shampoos can effectively wash away minerals, chlorine, and metals picked up by your hair, which leaves your hair clean and free of the dirty green tint.

One of the best chelating shampoos out there is the Malibu C Wellness Swimmers Shampoo. It’s ultra-mild and can be used by professionals and recreational swimmers alike.

Malibu C Swimmers Wellness Shampoo

It contains nourishing agents like Pro-Vitamin B5, flax Protein, and rice protein that help combat dry, crunchy, and brittle hair.

Aside from that, the Malibu C Wellness Swimmers Shampoo also has Allantoin, which prevents scalp irritation and inflammation.

Among its other benefits:

Preventing green hair and creating a protective barrier on your hair to keep it from damage even after your future swims.

The Malibu C Wellness Swimmer Shampoo also prides itself on being 100% vegan and cruelty-free.

It’s also:

  • Paraben-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Sodium Chloride free
  • And Sulfate-free

and includes Sodium Thiosulfate that is found in most swimmer’s shampoos.

Another bonus with that is that it doubles as a daily use body wash.

So, don’t be afraid to lather up from head to toe. You can now swim in the pool with confidence!

While the shampoos above can easily do the trick for most cases of green pool hair, if you can’t grab any of them immediately, you can still opt for natural DIY methods.

DIY: How Do You Fix Green Pool Hair?

1. Baking Soda

This is probably the easiest home remedy in my list, given that almost everyone has baking soda at home.

Here’s how you can use it:

  • In a bowl, mix 1/4 to 1/2 cup of baking soda with as much water it takes to form a runny paste
  • Then apply the mixture the green areas of your hair

Baking soda helps to neutralize chlorine and lifts the green tint from your strands.

  • Massage it into your hair
  • Let it sit
  • Then rinse with water and shampoo

Baking soda may leave your hair dry because of its high pH, so don’t forget to follow up with a low pH conditioner.

Depending on how dark your hair was tinted, you may have to repeat the process a few times to get rid of the green color.

2. Ketchup

Yes, you read that, right!

Ketchup. As disgusting as it sounds, this condiment can help fix your pool hair. If you can’t handle ketchup, you can use tomato paste or tomato juice.

Apply a thin layer of it to your hair and let it sit. Use a wide-toothed comb to spread it out evenly if necessary.

Then, allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before you get into the bathroom, then rinse your hair with water. After that, continue with your normal hair care routine.

Ketchup is slightly acidic, which helps to break down the copper in your hair. The intense red color also helps to counteract the green tint of pool hair.

3. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is commonly used as a home whitening or bleaching agent. And much, in the same way, it can be used to lighten and treat your green pool hair.

It breaks down the copper oxides that are coating your strands.

Pour half a cup of lemon juice to your hair and let it sit there for 5 minutes.

Massage it in, and when time’s up, rinse with water.

Repeat as needed.

4. Coke or Club Soda

If you want to get rid of rust, Coke or Club Soda is a great solution. They can deoxidize copper from your hair instantly.

Pour it all over your hair, then shampoo and condition as you would regularly do. You can also combine it with lemon.

Mix the juice of one lemon with a splash of soda then distribute it evenly through your hair.

Let it stay there for 3 to 5 minutes then rinse with water, shampoo, and conditioner.

However, if you have a dry, flaky, cracked, or irritated scalp …

Don’t try this method.

5. Aspirin

If you’ve got some extra aspirin lying around, you can actually use them to treat your green pool hair.

Crush around 8 of the tablets, then mix with water until it dissolves. Lather this over your hair and wait for 15 minutes, then continue your usual hair care routine.

Aspirin contains salicylic acid, which combats the alkalinity of chlorine, and leads to the neutralization of your hair color.

Do not forget to apply conditioner after rinsing your hair.

6. Apple Cider Vinegar

Last but not least, you can also use Apple Cider Vinegar to treat your pool hair.

Mix 1/2 cup of water with 1/4 cup of vinegar in a bowl. Then, soak your hair in the mixture for about two minutes.

Afterward, add 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda to the bowl while your hair is still dipped in it.

Let it fizzle for another two to three minutes, then rinse and shampoo your hair.

Much like the lemon juice and baking soda technique, this can leave your hair very dry, so prepare to do some deep conditioning afterward.

Prevent Your Hair From Turning Green Before It Happens

Although green hair is easily treatable, prevention is better than cure.

Fortunately, there are plenty of simple ways to prevent hair discoloration without you having to spend a dime.

Here’s how you can prevent your hair from going green from the pools …

1. Saturate your hair with water before dipping in the pool

Think of your hair like a sponge.

When a sponge is fully soaked, it won’t absorb any more liquid. Similarly, when your hair is fully soaked with water, it won’t have capacity to absorb chemicals from the pool.

2. Condition Your Hair Before

Conditioners create a barrier between your hair and the chemicals in the pool. They seal the hair cuticles so that copper won’t bind with your strands.

So, coat your hair with a leave-in conditioner before going for your swim. Get your hair and scalp protected before diving in.

3. Wear A Swim Cap

Swim caps aren’t really a fashion statement.

But, they do the trick.

They cover your hair completely. And they reduce your hair’s exposure to the chemicals in the swimming pool.

Swim caps are a good choice for you, especially if you have color-treated hair.

But, remember, they are not water-tight. So, it’s best if you still do the necessary precautions before wearing the swim cap over your head.

4. Don’t Skip The After Rinse

After your fun in the water, don’t skimp out on rinsing your hair. Remember to clean it well, shampoo, conditioner, and all.

That would help replenish your hair from the pool’s harsh chemicals and keep it healthy. Healthy hair makes it much harder for metal ions to bind to it.

So, if you don’t want your blonde hair turning green, the best way to upkeep your hair color is to have healthy cleaning hair habits.


Your hair turning a sickly green shade may be quite worrisome. But, if your hair turns green after a dip in the pool, don’t panic.

Stay calm and know that this isn’t as bad as you think.

Given how pool water is processed, you can expect your hair to always be at war with the minerals and chemicals in the water.

The best way to handle it is to equip yourself with good preventive measures and good products that work.

Don’t let the green hair ruin your fun and keep you from charging at full speed towards an amazing pool day.

Joico Red Shampoo

can you use purple toner on green hair

The best red shampoo to fix green pool water hair.


About the Author

Charlene LatreuilleCharlene Latreuille

Charlene Latreuille has been blogging for over 10 years and has a background in digital marketing.

Specializing in women's hair health, she blends scientific insight with practical advice, crafting easy-to-follow guides.