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Get Rid of the Green: Blonde Hair and Swimming Pools

After a summer full of swimming, you may have the same problem as my two stepdaughters: bright, vivid green hair from swimming in a pool.  Don’t worry, you aren’t doomed to Incredible Hulk hair forever.

Did you know that despite chlorine being blamed for turning hair green, it’s actually not chlorine’s fault at all?  Oxidized metals in the water bind to the protein in your hair, depositing its color.  Green tint is actually caused by copper (source: About.com Chemistry).   Imbalanced pH levels in the swimming pool also contribute to turning hair green, as metallic material in the water is dissolved.  The imbalanced water rids itself of the excess, leaving suspended copper to attach to your hair and develop the sickly green color (source: PoolManual.com).

The best way to tackle green hair is to prevent it in the first place.  Rinsing your hair with clean tap water before getting into the pool prevents your hair from soaking up as much pool water, since it’s already saturated. Combing a conditioner through your hair before swimming can also prevent copper from binding to your hair.  Last but not least, rinse your hair with tap or distilled water after getting out of the pool.  This not only prevents the green discoloration, it also removes the chemicals that damage and dry your hair.

But if it’s already green, what can be done?  My youngest stepdaughter, after months of swimming in a pool at her other home and no one helping her to take any steps at all to protect her hair, ended up with deep green, dry, brittle hair.  She was embarrassed by it, so I researched how to get rid of the green.

There are many home remedies out there for removing the green from hair, and commercial products, like swimmers’ shampoo, are also available.  I decided to try what seemed like the simplest remedy: baking soda.

When my stepdaughter took her bath, we mixed baking soda with shampoo until it created a paste.  I used just enough shampoo to wet and hold together the baking soda, as it is the baking soda doing most of the work here.  I worked it into her hair until the baking soda/shampoo paste formed a relatively thick mask on her hair, focusing on the darkest green spots.  I set a timer and let the mixture remain on her hair for 10 minutes, then washed it out and used a deep conditioner to repair some of the damage.  Almost all of the green was removed with one treatment.  We followed up the next day with another treatment, and her hair was back to 100% blonde!

Want to try something else?  I haven’t tried any other remedies, but here are other ideas:

How to Remove Green from Hair

Home Remedies to Remove Green Tint from Blonde Hair

How to Remove Green Discoloration from Hair

Preventing and Fixing Green Hair after Swimming

*Green hair image courtesy of AmalieSmidth on Flickr.com*

Pantene Beautiful Lengths Replenishing Mask

Obviously I haven’t been posting here much lately, but finally a product has impressed me enough to dust off this blog and write a review! 

With hair nearly to my waist, I am very particular about the conditioner I use, and I have tried nearly every deep conditioner there is on the market.  When I tried Pantene Beautiful Lengths Replenishing Mask, it was love at first sight.

Pantene’s website claims this hair mask “helps restore smoothness to dry, damaged hair and helps prevent flyaways caused by breakage and frizz” and that the product “helps strengthen hair against breakage so you can grow it longer”.

The first time I tried this hair mask, I noticed it was easier to comb my hair after my shower.  But even better, later in the day when I took my hair down, it was still easier to comb through my hair and detangle it than it normally is.  For hair that tangles like it’s an Olympic event, that is quite an accomplishment!

Anything that makes my hair easier to comb and detangle is already ahead of the pack to me, but this hair mask also makes my hair feel softer and smoother.  I have tried conditioners and hair masks from L’Oreal, Garnier, and other brands, but this is by far my favorite.  I have stock-piled Pantene’s hair mask and keep and extra jar (or two) in my bathroom cabinet.

Bottom line: great product, great price (less than $5), great for your hair!

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Creme Serum Overnight Repair

Since I am still growing my hair long, I am obsessed with deep conditioners and hair care products. Walgreens recently had John Frieda’s Frizz-Ease Creme Serum Overnight Repair Formula on sale, so I figured, why not check it out?

The product claim:

* Visibly repairs breakage and split ends while deeply nourishing to replenish essential moisture, making hair softer and healthier

* With Damage Mending Technology, FRIZZ-EASE® Crème Serum Overnight Repair Formula envelops each hair strand to stimulate deep transformational mending overnight.

*Contains a blend of silicones, conditioning agents and a humectant, plus an infusion of chamomile extract
*Lightweight formula absorbs quickly into hair without leaving any residue on your pillow*After just one use, hair texture is dramatically improved with a silky-soft feel

The product instructions are to rub a quarter-sized amount of this product between your hands and distribute through your hair, concentrating on dry ends. I used a little bit more since my hair is past shoulder-length.

I was dubious that the product wouldn’t rub off onto the pillowcase, but it actually did not. The creme smells good but left my hair looking a bit greasy, so I definitely would leave this treatment to sleeping hours only!

The next morning, the ends of my hair felt smoother. I wouldn’t herald it a miracle product like some reviewers on drugstore.com, but I did notice how soft and smooth my hair was. However, for an average of $8.99, the bottle is very small, especially if you have long hair and need to use more product (and chances are, even if your hair is not very long, you will need more than the recommended quarter-size amount to see any results).

I give this product 2 out of 5 stars. It smells nice and temporarily smoothed my hair, but I prefer the deep conditioners I use in the shower as far as conditioning goes. This product seems to work more like a smoothing cream than a conditioner, and you can find a great smoothing cream at half the price of this product (like Suave Professionals Sleek Smoothing Cream, which costs about $2 to $3).

This product just doesn’t hold up to its deep conditioning and repairing promises. I’ll finish the bottle I already have but won’t purchase it again.

This is one of those love-it-or-hate-it products, though. Anyone else try it? Other opinions or results?

Avon Planet Spa Mediterranean Olive Oil Conditioning Hair Mask

My quest for the perfect hair conditioner continues! Since Avon rudely discontinued their Planet Spa African Shea Butter hair mask, I decided to give their Meditteranean Olive Oil Conditioning Hair Mask a try.

The product claim: “Pro-vitamin formula provides ultra-conditioning for a healthy-looking shine.” Out of 57 reviews of this conditioner on Avon’s website, 54 would recommend it to a friend.

I’ve tried this a couple times and wasn’t terribly impressed at first. Partly that is due to the grudge I still hold against Avon for discontinuing the African Shea Butter conditioner, which smelled heavenly and made my hair remarkably soft. I also have a tendency to just wear my hair in a ponytail since I’m trying to protect it from blowdrying so much, but today after using this conditioner I wore my hair down and actually saw the results of the conditioner.

My hair was easy to comb after I rinsed this out, and I pulled back the sides of my hair while it was still damp but left the rest down. After it dried by itself, I combed it to smooth it out, and I noticed right away that my hair is shinier than usual. I didn’t use any product in my hair, so it has to be from using this conditioner.

My hair is fine, and I was worried that the olive oil would weigh my hair down or make it feel greasy. This conditioner rinsed out cleanly and made my hair soft without weighing it down or leaving a residue.

Still, as far as a deep conditioner goes, this one is fine but not amazing. My favorite is still Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Fortifying Deep Conditioner 3 Minute Masque. (By the way, what is with these ridiculously long product names?)

I give Avon’s Mediterranean Olive Oil conditioner 3 stars out of 5. It definitely makes my hair shinier, has a pleasant smell, and is a great deal at $4.50 a bottle. I really don’t know if I will buy it again, though, once mine is empty. I strongly prefer the African Shea Butter conditioner that Avon felt the need to stop selling (damn you, Avon!). The Olive Oil conditioner simply feels more like an everyday light conditioner, not a deep, replenishing conditioner.

TRESemme Heat Tamer Spray

Now that I am growing my hair as long as it will grow, I am much more concerned with protecting it and keeping it healthy. I blow-dry my hair as infrequently as possible, with the result that most days, my hair is either in a ponytail or dangling lazily in my face.

I hit the hair care aisle in search of something to protect my hair on days I actually don’t sleep in, and actually have time to blowdry it. I decided to try TRESemme’s Heat Tamer Protective Spray.

Product claim:
“To guard against heat styling damage and friction, spray this multi-use protective spray to keep your hair shiny and incredibly soft. It’s a fantastic tool for instantly transforming all hair textures, enhancing hairs’ flexibility to reform and hold shape. Also, the moisture-locking vitamin complex hydrates and is heat-activated to guard against harsh styling damage.”

Instructions for use:
“Spray liberally 6-8 inches away from mid-shaft to ends. Its trigger spray offers easy misting.

Use both on damp hair before you blow-dry and on dry hair before curling or flat ironing to shield hair from damaging heat.”

I have tried this product a few times now, spraying it on the lower half of my hair before blowdrying. I don’t use mousse or gel because (a) I don’t like the greasy feel of product in my hair, and (b) my hair is stick straight and doesn’t need any coaxing to be flat as a board.

The result? I love this stuff. It not only smells good, it makes my hair soft and shiny, and there’s way less frizzing than when I don’t use it during blow-drying. I can’t keep my hands off my hair today, it’s so soft.

Apparently I’m not the only fan, as this product garnered some pretty enthusiastic reviews on Drugstore.com.

Bottom line: for about $4-$5, it smells great, conditions my hair, makes it smell good, makes it soft, controls frizz, and even seems to add some volume. What’s not to love? I would definitely buy this again.

Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Fortifying Deep Conditioner

After trying a Garnier Fructis hair color, I couldn’t help but notice that my hair was softer and a lot shinier after the coloring. I wanted to try more of the Garnier Fructis hair care products, so I picked up a jar of Sleek & Shine Fortifying Deep Conditioner.

The product claim: “…specially created to smooth dry, unmanageable hair and contains Nutritive Fruit Micro-Oils – an innovative combination of apricot and avocado oils, and vitamins B3 and B6. Hair is 5x stronger, 5x smoother and so much shinier. The result? Long-lasting frizz control for hair that’s incredibly sleek, even with moisture in the air.”

I have used this conditioner about 3 or 4 times since coloring my hair, leaving it on my hair for the recommended 3 minutes before rinsing it out. My hair is easier to comb, softer, and definitely shinier than when I have used any other conditioner. So far I am very pleased with this conditioner and would like to try the Sleek & Shine shampoo and conditioner when the bottles I already have in the shower are empty.

It’s not often that hair appears healthier, shinier, and stronger after a coloring, but the Garnier Fructis products have made a noticable difference in my hair. I will definitely try this brand of hair color when my hair is ready for a touch-up, and I’d like to try more of the Sleek & Shine line. They also make an anti-frizz serum, leave-in conditioning cream, and an instant melting conditioner. Has anyone tried any of these other products?

Hair Care Mistakes

Here are some common hair care mistakes to avoid, from beautytipsonline.com:

Dark roots:
If you color your hair, plan on maintenance. This means touching up your roots as they grow out.

Pulling your hair back too tight:
Leave some slack when pulling your hair back into a pony tail or bun. If it’s too tight, it looks strict and may even give you a headache.

Thinking the hair color sample on the box will give you the same results:
Many factors play into the outcome of your hair color. Perms, other processing, and the amount of time you leave it in will all make a difference. If your hair doesn’t match the box’s sample color when you’re done, it’s probably because the model has a different natural hair color than your own.

And a few more, from becomegorgeous.com:

Not having you hair trimmed regularly:
…avoiding the salon can lead to split ends which travel up to the shaft, leaving hair looking damaged and unruly. The irony of dodging the salon chair is that if you do it for too long, you might eventually have to have far more of your hair chopped off than you would have because it will be in such bad condition.

Not conditioning regularly:

At 8 in the morning when you’re running late for work, it’s all to tempting to use shampoo and be done with it, but neglecting the conditioner will eventually take its toll. A daily conditioner helps to detangle and add shine to the hair, while an intensive conditioner used regularly will help to repair any damage and keep the hair looking healthy and shiny. Avoid either and your hair will look frizzy and damaged.

Frazzling your locks:

Heated appliances cause more damage to hair then any other factor, so we should all be in the habit of using a heat defence spray whenever we reach for the hairdryer, flat irons or tongs. Sadly for many, using a protective styling product is too much like hard work and for them, ruined locks are just around the corner!