Swimming in a pool or the ocean after coloring your hair: How long should you wait?

take care of the color of sea water

If you just dyed your hair and they invited you to spend a weekend in a beautiful house that has a spectacular pool, don’t stop reading this.

Because it could save your hair.

Or I should say, it could save the color of your hair.

Because if you didn’t know, chlorine from swimming pools or salt water from the ocean could ruin the dye in your hair.  


That’s why today, I will tell you how long you need to wait to submerge your hair in a pool or ocean water.

And I can tell you because I was about to make the same mistake.


The person who saved me was Valerie, my classmate at university, who lived a horrible experience.


That’s why I’ll tell you:

  • Why you shouldn’t swim after just coloring your hair
  • The minimum time you should wait before enjoying the pool or ocean
  • How to protect your hair from the damage that chlorinated and salty ocean water can cause


Tabla de Contenidos


Why you shouldn’t swim after having just colored your hair

protect it from chlorine water

When you have just colored your hair, you feel like you could touch the sky with your hands.

It doesn’t matter what color it is or if it’s Californian wicks or balayage or an incredible ashy blonde.

You feel totally renewed. Different. And ready to go out and take on the world.


That’s how I felt while I got my bag ready to enjoy a few days at the weekend house of a friend.

Do you know what it means to spend a few days at a weekend house?


It means a pool.

Cool yourself off any time you want.

Jumping in in all of its various forms.

Also, barbeques and lots and lots of laughs.


So, I was preparing my bag when Valeria arrived.


The first thing she did was congratulate me on my recently colored, impactfully Burgundy hair.

But after, her hair went from happiness to fear.


 Have you ever seen when someone’s face goes completely white from one moment to another? 


I thought her blood pressure had dropped or something like that, and I was about to call an ambulance.

And she simply said the phrase:

 “Don’t even think about going into the pool with recently colored hair!”


That was when I lost the color from my face, and I almost fainted.

How could she ask me not to go into the pool with how excited I was?

Chlorine can damage the color of dyed hair

She then explained that it wasn’t good when you’ve recently died your hair, to swim, either in the pool or in the ocean.

It had happened to her the previous summer.

In just a few days, her colored blonde hair had ended up green.

Three days passed without her leaving her house because she couldn’t stand being seen like chlorine had ruined her recently dyed hair.


Chlorine is a chemical that is placed in pool water to avoid bacteria’s growth in the water. Up until there, everything is fine. No one likes to swim in a filthy pool that’s filled with bugs.

But in addition to killing bacteria, chlorine kills hair dye.

And I say kill figuratively because, in reality, what it does is oxidize the pigment that gave the color to your hair.

And when your dyed hair oxidizes, the color fades, it changes.

In blonde hair, it ends up green.


 The truth is that hair dyed blonde is the kind the suffers the most in pool and ocean water. Because the blue pigments of chlorine decolor the yellows of the hair, which turns it green. 

In hair dyed red, like mine, you run the risk of turning copper, which isn’t what I wanted.

You’ll ask yourself what I asked myself, how do I protect the color of my colored hair from the chlorine and seawater?


How much time do I have to wait to enjoy the pool or the ocean?


Firstly, you should wait a minimum of between three and four days to give the dye pigments more time to set in.


But, the truth is that chlorine and ocean water, in addition to ultraviolet rays, always ends up affecting the color of the dye.

Unless you live with a shower cap on every time you go in the pool or the ocean and immediately put on a hat to cover up from the sun every time you get out of the water.


Yes, the outlook is discouraging because, ultimately, the chlorine as much as the ocean water will end up affecting the color of your hair.


But even so, you can do some things to extend the vivacity of the hair dye.

Do you want to know what they are?


How to protect your colored hair from the damage of chlorine and ocean water

salty sea water

I know that what I’m going to tell you is going to sound crazy.

I said the same thing to Valeria, but after her hair ended up green for enjoying her beach vacation, she learned a few tricks, which I at least plan to follow to the “t.” 

Take note.

Or not.

You decide.

But if your blonde-dyed hair turns green after diving into the pool, you are warned.


  • Coconut oil

keeps hair hydrated

Check coconut oil on Amazon


Yes. Valeria applies a few drops of coconut oil, first rubbing it in your hands and smoothing distributing it all over your hair.

Coconut oil forms a film between the hair and the chlorinated water.


 It can be a bit sticky, but this is better than the dye disappearing in the blink of an eye. 

Before taking a dip in the pool or the ocean, simply wet your hair with tap water.


When you get out of the pool or the ocean, you should also rinse your hair with tap water.

Valeria always has a bottle of water on hand to rinse her hair when she gets out of the ocean.


  • Use sunscreen for your hair

take care of your hair in summer

This was a surprise for me.

I knew that there was sunscreen for your skin, but for hair?


My friend Valeria really is an open encyclopedia for hair care.

 She uses sunscreen for her hair, which contains filters that block UVA and UVB rays and reduce chlorine’s effects on the hair.  


Also, it repairs split ends and prevents frizz.

Because in addition to chlorine, ocean water, and the sun, the hair becomes more fragile in summer because the hair fibers split, and a horrendous frizz appears.

So, now you know.

Keep sunscreen for your hair always on hand, as much at the pool as at the beach.


  • Do you feel your hair dirty after swimming in a pool or the sea?

No problem.

There are a lot of products specifically designed to remove chlorine or salt from hair. One of these products is the Aveda Cleanser, which is safe for colored hairs.


Every time you are invited to the beach, you say no, for fear of damaging your hair?

Check chlorine and salt cleanser on Amazon


With a product like this, you can start enjoying the beach or swimming pool days like everyone else.


  • Choose a shampoo for colored hair without sulfates.

This type of shampoo helps restore the color while giving your hair back the shine that chlorine gets rid of.

They also hydrate the hair, giving it back the moisture that the sun and the chlorinated and ocean water strip out.

Every two or three days, I have some deep hair mask, which is best for repairing extreme damages.


So, there I was in my room, once again getting my bag ready.

But this time, I was adding a shower cap and a hat for the sun.

The sunscreen for hair was my friend Valeria’s responsibility since she came prepared.

Do you want me to tell you the truth?


 With all of this hair care, I fully enjoyed those days at the weekend home, and my hair color didn’t get ruined. 

I fully enjoyed the pool, the sun, and the barbeques.


Because, honestly, we aren’t going to not enjoy the summer and good times with friends just because we dyed our hair.

But if we can do something to extend the life of the color in our hair, we’d be stupid not to do it, don’t you think?


One more thing.

A tip that my friend Valeria gave me.

If you have dyed-blonde hair and chlorine or ocean water turned it a bit green, here is a solution.


Hair massages with baking soda to get rid of the green in blonde hair

Mix five tablespoons of baking soda with enough water to create a thick paste.

Once you achieve this, arm yourself with courage, I promise it will be worth it, and distribute the paste over your hair, massaging your scalp in circles.

Let it sit for five minutes and rinse with abundant water.


Wash your hair with a special shampoo for colored hair and apply a deep moisturizing hair mask.

You can use it every two or three days to neutralize the green in the hair that is produced by ocean or pool water.


Now you know how to protect the color in your dyed hair from the ocean water, chlorine in pools, and sun rays.

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