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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*

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Repair Chapped Lips

‘Tis the season…for dry, cracked, chapped lips! Flaky lips can be painful, and hell, not so great to look at to boot.

There are a few things you can try easily at home:

1. Use warm water, a wash cloth, and a small amount of sugar to lightly buff your lips and smoothe away the dry skin. As soon as you dry your lips, apply a lip balm (tip from dailymakeover.com).

2. After you brush your teeth, use the rinsed but still wet toothbrush to make gentle, circular motions on your lips to exfoliate them. As soon as I’m done, I apply my Smith’s Rosebud Salve to keep my lips from getting chapped again.

To prevent chapped lips in the first place, try these tips from ehow.com:

* Don’t lick your lips, since the evaporation of your saliva will dry out your lips.

* Drink plenty of water for hydration.

* Use lip balm that contains sunscreen if you will be outside.