Is It Okay to Dye Hair with Chlorine in It? How to Remove Chlorine?

Semi-permanent and permanent hair dye has become a constant part of many of our hair routines. It is always exciting to try out new colors, blends, and shades if you’re a fan of hair dyes.

However, before you make that trip to the salon, stop for a moment and consider whether your hair is in the best shape for dyeing.

Swimming, for instance, is one activity that puts your hair in danger because of the effects of Chlorine on your hair. If you are often swimming or you’ve just been in the water, have you ever stopped to wonder if it’s okay to dye your hair with Chlorine in it? Well, you should!

Let us find out how chlorine reacts with hair dye, whether pool water mess up hair dye, how long should you wait to dye your hair after swimming and lots more.

Does chlorine react with hair dye?

Yes! Chlorine reacts negatively with hair dye and can make your hair color dry and dull because it is a bleaching agent. Even when you haven’t used a hair dye, Chlorine can mess with your hair color. 

Chlorine will also prevent the dye from working on the hair fiber properly. It will prevent the peroxide from opening up the hair cuticles so that the dye can deposit the color. The result is an uneven color distribution on the hair fiber.

This is why swimmers are always advised to use a cap to protect their hair from chlorine.

Showering before getting in the pool and applying conditioner throughout your hair helps to protect your hair against chlorine reaction, just as a chlorine-removing shampoo after swimming does much to protect your hair.

Does pool water mess up hair dye?

It is a bad idea to dye your hair after swimming, because the pool water can, and most likely will mess up your hair dye. 

The aggressive nature of chlorine in pool water, when added to the peroxide and ammonia in the hair dye can cause severe, and sometimes irreversible damage to the hair.

So, pool water definitely messes up hair dye.

It is also not a great idea to go swimming immediately after dyeing your hair because the Chlorine can drain out the color, cause it to fade, and even change your color tone if you used a lighter dye color on your hair.

Hair experts advise that you wait until you have shampooed your hair at least once before swimming, and this will often take between 1 and 3 days.

How long should you wait to dye your hair after swimming?

The answer to this question is however long it takes for you to get your hair chlorine-free. You can get the chlorine out of your hair in a few minutes, so a long wait is not necessary. 

Provided you have washed your hair clean and rinsed it properly, you can proceed to dye your hair. However, inform your hairstylist if you’ve been in the pool so that they’ll pay extra attention and get your hair clarified before dyeing it.

It doesn’t hurt to wait a day or two after removing the chlorine from your hair before applying the hair dye. It gives your scalp time to produce natural oils for extra hair protection.

Should I wash Chlorine out of my hair before coloring?

You definitely should! If you don’t wash Chlorine out of your hair and proceed to get it colored, you are setting yourself up for multi-color hair, uneven tone, and color distribution, and even weakened hair, especially if you have dry or brittle hair.

In simple terms, the dye will not work well in hair containing chlorine, and damaged hair fiber is almost certain.

How do you remove chlorine from hair?

There are several ways to get Chlorine out of your hair, including home-based methods and the use of products. Let us find out what they are.

1. Shampoo and Conditioner Wash

The simplest way to remove chlorine from your hair is to wash it twice with chlorine removal shampoo and conditioner

  • Begin by wetting your hair with lots of warm water and then apply your hair shampoo.
  • Rub the shampoo on your hair gently and then rinse it off.
  • Then, apply your shampoo again and massage your hair for minutes like you would when washing, and ensure that it lathers properly.
  • Rinse your hair with warm water.
  • Apply hair conditioner to your hair, especially in the middle and ends.
  • Finally, rinse your hair thoroughly and dry. 

2. Use a chlorine-removal spray

Chlorine removal sprays are also available in swimming and athletic stores and can be used right after swimming. 

  • After swimming, rinse your hair before using the hair spray, and then shampoo.
  • While in the shower, hold the bottle half an arm’s length away from your head and mist all the hair on your head with the hair spray. 
  • After that, rinse off the spray with your shampoo.
  • The spray neutralizes the chlorine in your hair, thereby preventing irritation and damage it could cause.
  • You can also use the chlorine-removal sprays on your skin because they are produced for both hair and skin. They can also help you to remove smell and chlorine irritation from your skin.

3. Apple cider vinegar

After swimming, you can wash your hair with Apple Cider Vinegar instead of a clarifying shampoo because it has similar functions.

Measure 60 ml of Apple Cider Vinegar and pour it over your head during your shower time. Work the vinegar through your scalp and hair tips with your fingers. 

After working it through your hair, rinse off the vinegar with warm water until your hair is clean.

Follow this step with a conditioner if you still perceive the vinegar smell to get it out. You don’t need to wash your hair again with shampoo because the vinegar works just like shampoo.

Although Apple Cider Vinegar is effective, it can strip your hair of its nutrients and natural oils, so don’t use it too often.

4. Use a baking soda paste

Measure between 32g and 64g of baking soda and add enough water to make it into a runny paste.

Get your hair damp, apply the baking soda paste and massive it on your hair from your scalp to the tip.

Proceed to rinse out the paste with water and shampoo. Baking soda helps to neutralize chlorine and remove any green color the chlorine may have deposited.

Use a moisturizing conditioner after washing because baking soda will make your hair feel dry.

For light hair, you might have to do this a few times, especially to remove all residual green color.

5. Tomato paste, juice, and ketchup

Tomato products like paste, juice, and ketchup can all work as a DIY removal ingredient for your hair. 

The tomato products’ red color is attributed to be helpful in neutralizing the green color deposit due to the presence of chlorine on the hair.

Apply either of these tomato products to your damp hair and massage it from your scalp to the ends. Distribute it evenly throughout your hair using a wide-tooth comb. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes and then rinse your hair in the shower.

Once your hair is clean, follow up with your normal hair routine.

6. Lemon juice and club soda rinse

A citrus rinse formed with club soda and lemon juice can take the chlorine out of your hair and leave it in its natural state.

  • Mix a splash of club soda and juice from one lemon in a bowl. Pour the mixture over your hair (whether dry or damp).
  • Use a wide-toothed comb to go through your hair for even product distribution.
  • Alternatively, you can pour the mixture into a spray bottle and apply it all over your hair.
  • Leave the mixture on your hair for 3-5 minutes and rinse your hair in the shower. 
  • Then, apply your regular shampoo and wash your hair.
  • If you have a dry, flaky, dry, or irritated scalp, skip this treatment because it would be counter-productive.

7. Special Chlorine treatment (for regular chlorine exposure)

If you swim a lot and cannot afford to use swim shampoos, this chlorine treatment will be great for you. They are powder-like and come in packets.

Simply massage them into your hair in the shower. Let it sit for about 2 minutes before washing it out.

You can use this treatment alongside other chlorine-removal products, or a standalone product.

8. Swimming Hair Care Products

Other products like distilled water, rose water, and argan oil, including daily hair conditioners, are necessary for soothing your hair if you have suffered chlorine damage to your hair.

You can apply them and leave in your hair or wash them out after allowing them to sit in your hair for a while.

Also, purchasing and using a moisturizing treatment can help to repair split ends when your hair has been exposed to chlorine.

Final Comments:

The presence of chlorine in your hair can lead to damaged and brittle hair, and even prevent hair dye from working. 

However, there are no worries because of the steps we have discussed above and how they help you remove chlorine from your hair while leaving it healthy.