Will Purple Shampoo Fix Green Hair?

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Green tints in the hair are not an uncommon problem and can happen for a variety of reasons. Regardless of the cause though, if it was unintentional, you’re going to want to fix it!

So it stands to reason you’d want to find out – will purple shampoo fix green hair?

Purple shampoo has long been used in salons to tone light hair. Now purple shampoo has jumped from the salon to the bathroom.

Everyone loves a new product, and purple shampoo was an instant hit! But many don’t know how to use toning shampoos correctly.

This has led to a lot of disappointment. Many try a color-correcting shampoo to solve all their hair problems, only to realize it didn’t do what they expected. That’s likely because they don’t really understand why and how it’s supposed to be used.

In this article, we are going to look at the different reasons your hair might have turned green, and depending on the cause, will make some suggestions as to how to go about fixing it and find out if a purple shampoo is an answer.


What Turns Hair Green?


Chlorinated water.is probably the most common occurrence of unwanted green hair. It’s not just blonde hair that turns green after a lot of swimming. Darker hair can also take on a greenish tinge.

But obviously, it will be a lot more noticeable if your hair is lighter.

Contrary to popular belief, chlorine is not the culprit. Well, at least it’s not entirely to blame. It’s actually the copper in water that causes your hair to turn green.

Even tap water with a high copper content can give your hair a greenish tinge. 

However, your hair is more likely to turn green after swimming in a chlorinated pool because chlorine oxidizes and bonds to the copper to form a film that sticks to your hair, which turns your hair green.

Coloring your bleached hair brown

Hair turning green can also be the after-effects of bleached hair not properly absorbing brown dye.  Ash-toned brown dyes tend to have a heavy green base pigment. They tone out excess warm tones to produce the ashy color.

Bleaching strips your hair of red pigment. Without any red (warm) pigment, there is nothing to balance out the green base tones of the dye. Voila, green hair.

Toning your hair

Did your hair turn green after using a toner? You may have left it in longer than recommended, mixed incorrect amounts of toner and developer, or used the wrong toner shade.

Toners with a blue base are used to cancel out the orange tones that often come as a result of bleaching darker hair.

Now if your hair is more on the brassy/yellow side, rather than orange, and you used a blue toner, well… blue and yellow make green!

Will Purple Shampoo Fix Green Hair?

No products found.

Purple shampoo will not fix green hair.

Purple shampoo was developed to neutralize brassy, yellow tones, not green.

You wouldn’t go to the dentist if you needed an oil change, so don’t use a purple shampoo meant for unwanted yellow hair, if yellow is not the problem.

What happens if I put purple shampoo on green hair?

If you use purple shampoo on green hair, it will most likely not do anything. But depending on your hair color, you could end up with a muddy brownish blue tinge, or it could make your hair darker without taking out the green.

Going from sage to broccoli was probably not what you were going for.

What Color Cancels Out Green Hair?

The trick is not to “fix” the unwanted undertones, it’s to neutralize them. Take a look at the color wheel below.

The colors opposite each other on the color wheel will cancel each other out.

Purple is the opposite of yellow, which is why purple shampoo was developed to tone down brassy, yellow tones in light hair.

If you’re trying to get rid of green, then the opposite color is red.

Will purple shampoo fix green hair? No, but red shampoo will.

How Do I Fix Green Tones In My Hair?

We’ve put together a detailed article on fixing green tones, but here are the basics.

➤ If your hair turned green as a result of a colour or toning mishap…

Use a red color-depositing shampoo to neutralize your unwanted green tones.

Keracolor Clenditioner RED Hair Dye - Semi Permanent Hair Color Depositing Conditioner, Cruelty-free, 12 Fl. Oz.
Keracolor Clenditioner RED Hair Dye - Semi Permanent Hair Color Depositing Conditioner, Cruelty-free, 12 Fl. Oz.
Product Type:Beauty; Item Package Dimension:6.604 cm L X6.8072 cm W X14.1986 cm H; Item Package Quantity : 1
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➤ If your hair turned green after you went swimming…

The good news is your hair didn’t actually change color. That green you’re seeing is actually just an oxidized mineral buildup.

Copper and chlorine binding to the proteins on the surface of the hair shaft is what causes your hair to turn green. Here are a few simple solutions to this problem that you can try:

Use a clarifying or chelating shampoo

Clarifying and chelating shampoos are deep cleansers that were specifically formulated to remove residue and buildup. Since we are dealing with a buildup of minerals, both are a good option.

What’s the difference between the two? Sometimes the terms are used interchangeably, but chelating shampoos contain specific “chelating agents” to remove minerals, metals, and chlorine that cause damage. Chelating shampoos will have one or more of the following ingredients:

  • Tetrasodium/Trisodium EDTA
  • Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid
  • Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate
  • Oxalic Acid or Sodium Oxalate
  • Potassium or Sodium Citrate
  • Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate
  • Sodium Gluconate and Gluconolactone

Clarifying shampoo tends to be very harsh on your hair and is only meant to be used once every couple of weeks – not instead of regular shampoo.

ClarpHx Clarify Shampoo 12oz
ClarpHx Clarify Shampoo 12oz
UV & Color protection formula.; Sulfate & Amine-free. DEA & MEA-free. Paraben-free. Gluten-free. 100% vegan.
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If you have color-treated hair, a lot of clarifying and chelating shampoos can change your color.

So, if you are just looking to get the green out and not change the color, maybe opt for trying one of the other options below if you have color-treated hair.

Ketchup, tomato paste or tomato juice

Heinz Classic Squeeze Bottles Ketchup, 14 Oz Bottle, Pack of Two
Heinz Classic Squeeze Bottles Ketchup, 14 Oz Bottle, Pack of Two
Heinz Classic Squeeze Bottles Ketchup, 14 Oz Bottle, Pack of Two; 2 Pack. Each Squeeze Bottle is 14 Ounces. Total 28 ounces
$12.53 Amazon Prime

These products are not only red – your counterbalance to green, but they also all contain citric acid, which is one of the common ingredients in chelating shampoos. Citric acid helps to break down the copper in your hair.

Apply a thin layer to your hair, use a shower cap or wrap your head in tin foil and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing with water. Follow up with shampoo and conditioner.

Lemon Juice

If the tomato-based products work because the citric acid breaks down the oxidized copper that is coating your strands, then lemon juice will also work as a chelator. Just note that lemon juice may lighten your hair as well.

Saturate your hair with lemon juice and let it sit for 5 minutes, then rinse.


Aspirin contains salicylic acid, which combats the alkalinity of chlorine, and leads to the neutralization of your hair color.

Crush 6 – 8 tablets, then mix with a glass of warm water until they dissolve. Coat hair with the solution and let sit for 15 minutes, then shampoo and condition.

Apple cider vinegar & baking soda

Mix 1/2 cup of water with 1/4 cup of vinegar in a bowl. Then, soak your hair in the mixture for about two minutes. Then, add 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda to the bowl while your hair is still dipped in it. Let it fizzle for another two to three minutes, then rinse, shampoo and condition your hair.

Coke or Club Soda

Coke or Club Soda can deoxidize copper from your hair instantly.

Pour it all over your hair, then shampoo and condition as you would regularly.

*Don’t try this method if you have a dry, flaky, cracked, or irritated scalp.

Preventing Green Swimmer’s Hair

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We’ll leave you with a few preventative measures you can take to avoid green swimmer’s hair:

  • Wear a swim cap.
  • Completely wet your hair with regular water before jumping into the pool.
  • Use a leave-in conditioner.
  • Make sure you wash your hair after swimming every time you get out of the pool. 
  • If it’s your own pool – make sure you are testing your pool water to keep viruses, bacteria, and algae at bay and to ensure chemical levels are within normal ranges.

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Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).