By: Shane Embury

Ryan Lochte dyed his hair platinum blue prior to the 2016 Olympic Games, and it seems to be a greater topic of discussion than the medals he has earned. Fans have a lot to say about the swimmer’s new ’do, and not all of the comments are flattering
Before the Olympics began, Lochte bleached his hair to an icy blue. Speculations arose about his motivation, with some people believing that this dye job was a way to rein in the American spirit. His hair could then represent the “blue” part of the USA’s legendary red, white and blue flag; however, this attempt at national pride clearly flopped when his hair ended up looking more silver than blue. Several people were unaware that blue was ever the intention, and others just disliked the color altogether.

Lochte bleached his hair before the Olympics, but it was difficult to tell if his new locks were blue or silver.

“I saw it during the Olympics last week, and I don’t really know what he thinking [sic].  That color does not match his eyes at all,” said HVA sophomore DJ Fugate.

Lochte then made the biggest mistake that a swimmer can make when he competed in the Olympics with his freshly bleached hair. Everyone has heard the classic tale of bleached hair turning green in chlorinated water, and that is what happened to Lochte.  His hair shifted from a silvery-blue to a mint green.

Within a matter of time, no one was talking about his gold, silver and bronze medals, and instead there was a lot of chatter about the unique green atop his head.

“He looks like those little troll dolls, all tan with pastel hair,” said Maddie Love, another sophomore at HVA, before she went on to criticize his hair-dye decision. “It is basically a law of life that recently-bleached hair turns green in pool water. How did he think this was a good idea? I’m kinda disappointed because he made everyone so hype for his Olympic races and even went the extra mile with the hair, and pretty much no one was talking about his times or anything.”

By the time the men’s 4×200 meter relay won gold, Lochte’s hair had already turned an unmistakable shade of green.

Ironically, USA swimmer Jimmy Feigen bleached his hair before the Olympics as well, but his hair never turned that minty shade of green. It could be because he did not swim as many races as Lochte, so at least now he gets to keep the hair he wanted. Meanwhile, Lochte himself is confused about what is going on with his hair. “Don’t ask me what color it is, because I still don’t know. I’m still trying to get that. It first started out as a light bluish-gray, then it went to green. Now it’s going back to blue, so it’s all over the place,” Lochte told People on August 13.

One perk of Lochte’s green locks is that they have given a hint to why the diving pool at the Olympics has turned an ominous green. Copper sulfate may have been excessively added to the pool water in an attempt to prevent algae growth. A high concentration of this chemical is known to turn the water green, and it gives off the horrible odor that people have been complaining about. Furthermore, this chemical does stain bleached hair green, which would explain why Lochte has experienced a change in hair color. Thus, despite the critiques on Lochte’s green hair, his hair may have actually provided a clue as to the debate surrounding the Olympic pools.

Since his first Olympic appearance in 2004, it has been accepted that Lochte has the physique and aquatic abilities of a mermaid. At least now he has the hair to match, even though it is to the displeasure of many fans. Hopefully this will serve as reminder for other swimmers not to bleach their hair before swimming.