Ask The Attic- Swimming With Funky Hair

Q: Hi I have a question about your manic panic and special effects dye products. I know how the color fades through every wash, but I was wanting to know when summer comes around and I were to go swimming would the chlorine or whatever chemicals that are put in pools, would that make it fade quicker or even come ompletely out? I would hate to go swimming and turn someones pool Thanks!

A: Swimming in a pool will make your color fade more quickly (and you’re likely to stain whatever towel you use when you get out, so bring a dark one along with you, instead of risking your host’s towels) but you won’t turn someone’s pool green (you just don’t have enough dye in your hair to pull that one off) or come out a bleached mess.
In summer, between swimming and sun exposure, you’re going to need a touchup more often than you would during the winter, whether you use Manic Panic, Special Effects, or any other demi or semi permanent dye. One of the ways you can help your dye to stay bright is to use a colorizing shampoo. You can also take a tiny bit of the dye you use for regular coloring, and mix it with your conditioner! Let this sit in your hair before your final rinse and you’ll keep your color bright for a LOT longer.

Finally, in summer, it’s always a good idea to pack along some facial cleanser wipes if your dye is really fresh, or if you’re going to get really wet or sweaty. There’s nothing worse than having a rainbow of streaks running down your face, and those wipes can stop ’em before they even start.

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17 thoughts on “Ask The Attic- Swimming With Funky Hair

  1. Noface

    What about if you’re going to be swimming in the ocean? I’m new to dying my hair with Demi permanent dyes, and my inlaws and husband and I are going to spend a week at the beach. I want to keep my hair as is, what will I have to do?

  2. Amalthea Post author

    Swimming in the ocean has its pros and cons. The pro is that the color isn’t stripped out by chlorine, so that’s a big win, however, if you’re going to wash your hair with shampoo daily to remove the salt, you’re going to lose some color that way. In my experience, the best bet is to just rinse with lukewarm water to get the salt out and try to keep the shampoo to a minimum, and you should be good to go for the week!

  3. Sarah Paie

    Hi! I’m going swimming in my boyfriends salt water pool today, and I use manic panic. Right now i have cleo rose and hot hot pink in, and while I do kind of expect some of it to fade out, is it as bad as the chlorine? I have dreadlocks, so salt water pools are my best friend, and I really don’t mind redying my hair because it’s not an inconvenience for me.. I just want to be prepared to have to redo it tomorrow if necessary!

  4. Amalthea Post author

    Salt water pools aren’t going to fade your hair as badly as chlorine. Chlorine acts as a bleaching agent, so it not only strips your hair, but it also tends to leave a green tint behind, which salt doesn’t do. However, just the fact that you’re soaking the hair, and then rinsing, etc, IS going to cause a bit of fading. Your best bet? Put a little bit of your dye into whatever conditioner you use, and after swimming, rinse your hair in clean water, let that colored conditioner sit for a bit, rinse and go!

  5. Someone

    How long can I stay in a chlorine pool without the dye fading almost completely because I have “professionally” dyed blue ends on my hair and it’s semipermanent dye

  6. Amalthea Post author

    Hi there! Chlorine is kind of the worst thing than can happen to semi or demi permanent dye. On top of bleaching out the color, it also opens the follicles which makes your hair dry out more easily and lets the bleach in deeper. While there’s nothing you can do to completely avoid fading caused by swimming, your best bet is to use a swim cap, or coat the ends in conditioner before hitting the pool. This will help the follicles to stay closed, and keep the dye in a little longer.

  7. Alexus

    I’m about to go swimming and my hair color is the rockabilly blue and I was wondering what would happen if I touched my hair up when I get home . It’s a chlorine pool btw.

  8. Meghan

    I’m in the pool several days a week between teaching swim lessons and swimming competitively. I do wear a cap but waster still gets in it. I’m going to start coating my hair in conditioner before I swim. I was wondering: for conditioning after being in the pool, how much dye should be mixed into the conditioner? What’s the ratio?

  9. Amalthea Post author

    There’s no golden rule, but our best advice is start with a little, and work your way up. If you use too much, you risk “running” in the water, which may be frowned upon by the pool owners. Start with 1 or 2 tablespoons per 4 ounce bottle, and work up SLOWLY from there, and you’ll find what works best for you!

  10. Meghan

    So use the colored conditioner before and after? I was planning on using plain condition before and colored after. Thanks for the recommendation on the ratio!

  11. Amalthea Post author

    The issue with putting regular conditioner on before is that it will coat the hair follicles, and it’s unlikely that the colored conditioner will be able to deposit dye. The best bet might be to do a thorough rinse after being in the pool, and apply the colored conditioner each time!

  12. Meghan

    I also read that coconut oil can protect your hair from the chlorine making it sort of waterproof while in the pool. Would this be a good thing to try?

  13. Meghan

    Yep! I typically use a clarifying shampoo before I dye. It really helps get the gunk out. Thank you for all your advice!

  14. Jocelyn

    So I am dying the tips of my hair purple for the summer, then cutting it off at the end of summer. I wanted to know how long do you have to wait to swim after you dye your hair with manic panic?

  15. Amalthea Post author

    You can swim right away, but it will also start fading right away. Some people have luck putting conditioner on before swimming, and wearing a swim cap will always help.

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