How to Get Rid of Green and Brassy Strands on Blonde Hair

6:54 AM

This is why platinum hair or bleached hair turns green, how to fix it and avoid it.

When I made my hair platinum blonde, I was not convinced that purple or silver toning shampoos are important. I thought it was just a marketing thing until I witnessed for myself what hard or chlorinated water does to porous bleached hair.

About a month after going platinum, I was watching TV with my kids and my daughter said, "Mom, your hair looks greenish! It makes you look like a fish." By the way, we were watching for the Nth time Shark know that animated movie in which Will Smith voiced the hero fish Oscar, who was yellow and blue with a bit of green.

I thought she was joking and I told myself, "I don't look like Oscar. But kids don't lie, right? So I went outside where it was bright and took a picture of my bleached hair. To my horror, my platinum hair had become dull and I had brown and green streaks. How on earth did I get green hair?

I went online, did some research and I discovered that the culprit was hard water that comes out of the shower--my shower. Hard water is water that has some or high mineral content. Just because you don't see it does not mean it is not doing anything to your hair.Those mineral or metal deposits in the water, especially copper, get deposited in the hair.

And because bleached hair is soooo porous--you eventually see green strands that are obvious. Unfortunately it's not like the radiant green or emerald green kind of shade you can get from temporary dyes.

It is the dull, mossy, yucky kind of green you get. Even real blonde heads experience this problem. Even if you hair had not been bleached or chemically treated, constant exposure to chlorinated water, be it from a swimming pool or community water supply, can make the hair porous and susceptible to turning green eventually.

Blonde Hair Platinum Hair
Don't let chlorine or hard water turn these beautiful strands brassy
So, I did a couple of things to remove the "green" and brassiness, which i stated below, and then I bought Davines' Alchemic Silver Shampoo from Alexa's Salon Therapeutique.
Platinum hair turned green hair by hard water
Not only did hard water turn my hair brassy, there are strands that are visibly greenish

How to fix "Green Hair"

According to my research, toning the hair will not fix it. Here are the things that one can do:
  • See a hairstylist. This is obviously the easiest and the safest thing to do and these professionals would know how to fix it. The down side is that it costs money, so one is compelled to try a few DIY remedies.
  • Use clarifying shampoo. This type of shampoo should clear your hair of mineral deposits. However, you have to take note that using clarifying shampoo too often can dry your hair so be sure to use conditioner.
  • Some suggest using red-based toner or ketchup. I did not bother to do this because there some videos on YouTube that show this does not work. On the other hand, some do claim that it works so feel free to try it on your own.
  • Use baking Soda and hydrogen peroxide. I made a mixture of 1 part baking soda and 1 part hydrogen peroxide. I mixed it with shampoo and massaged it all over my head for a few minutes and let it stay for a while. It worked in one wash but it did not remove the dullness not to mention that it made my hair super dry. Also, it stripped my hair of the toner that I previously used. Before doing this, I suggest you take a few strands of your hair and test it. Better safe than sorry.

Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide can fix green hair
This strand of hair was green. The lighter area is the portion where I rubbed the mixture. The greenish color was indeed removed but the strands became yellow because the mixture also removed the toner.

  • Others suggest using apple cider vinegar rinse. I did not try this one.
  • Bleach wash. I was impatient so I did a bleach wash the next day. A bleach wash is basically bleach and developer, the same one you use to bleach hair, but diluted with lots of shampoo and conditioner. I put it on my hair and let it stay for 10 minutes tops. It worked for me because I know my own hair. However, please do your research first and do a strand test. Use this method with caution. By the way, people also use bleach wash to remove hair color. Don't forget to follow up with deep conditioning

Bleach Wash Can Fix Green Hair
My hair after a bleach wash. The green tinge is gone. Again, my toner was also gone. My hair is back to being yellow and it needs to be toned again.

How to avoid getting green hair

Now, the green streaks are gone. So, the next concern is avoiding having green hair again. After tedious research, I learned the following.
  • Shampoo hair right after getting out of the pool.--Come on, it is summer, can you really say no to swimming? You may use a swim cap or saturate your hair with conditioner before going into the pool--just to be safe.
  • Use clarifying shampoo at least once a week. Take note that it can make your hair dry and speed up the fading of semi-permanent dyes as it strips hair of mineral deposits. Read instructions and use mild clarifying shampoo.
  • Shampoo or wet hair 2-3 times a week only, those who have bleached their hair know why :) wink wink
  • Also take note, that the color of your hair mask can affect the tone of your hair. remember that bleached hair is like a blank canvas. I once used an egg mask and guess what it did to my hair...
  • Regularly visit your stylist--it can be a costly BUT it is your safest option--especially if your hairstylist is an expert.
  • For those who have platinum or blonde hair, whether you are the real deal or you have achieved it by bleaching, you DEFINITELY need purple shampoo. Whatever brand you use, it is up to you. However, choose the one that protects your hair from mineral deposits.

    Also take note that a purple shampoo does not automatically tone hair, there are some that do, but purples shampoos mainly keep the hair from turning brassy in between salon visits. I recently got Davines' Alchemic Silver Shampoo. It now protects my hair from becoming discolored due to hard water that is coming from the shower.

    This brand is quite difficult to find locally. I have seen it in Amazon and other similar sites. So, I got mine from Alexa's Salon Therapeutique, a salon here that  specializes in hair bleaching, balayage, blonde and funky hair colors, as well as different kinds of hair treatments. They sell many imported hair products at reasonable prices.

Note: This is not my hair, its just a photo from the salon that I included in this post.

Moving on, the lesson in this story is that, going platinum is easy but maintaining it takes effort. However, if you are up to it, come join the bleached blonde bandwagon. Don't go through all that trouble of bleaching and toning, just to let hard water turn it into a big mess the month after.

If you want to know how I tone my hair, you should read Toning Brassy Hair with Wella Color Charm T18 or read my post about DIY TONER with a little precaution that you can read HERE.
Got more tips? Please share. Until next post...

How to Get Rid of Green and Brassy Strands on Blonde Hair

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