Ryan Lochte Talks to PEOPLE About His Hair, Michael Phelps, and His Future in Swimming

The 12-time medalist says he needs a "mental break"


Okay, let’s address the elephant in the room.

Ryan Lochte has 12 Olympic medals – 6 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze. And all anyone can talk about is his hair.

“There’s been a lot of talk about it,” Lochte told PEOPLE on Saturday. “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 light bluish gray, and then it went to green. Now it’s going back to blue, so it’s all over the place.”

Not everyone is convinced. “Most of the time, it looks green,” says Brazilian swimmer – and close Lochte pal – Thiago Pereira. “He just said it was supposed to be blue, and it’s like there’s no way.”

PEOPLE caught up with Lochte at the P&> Family Home, a suite in Rio where the athletes and their families can come to relax, eat, and get their laundry done.

While he was there, Lochte, got a hot towel shave, which he tells PEOPLE was “awesome.”

Lochte, 32, had a somewhat disappointing Olympics – if you consider winning just one gold medal as “disappointing.” After strong showings in the preliminary heats for the 200-meter individual medley, Lochte finished the final in fifth place.

But Lochte says he’ll be back – and doubles down on his assertion that his longtime friend will swim again in the 2020 games.

Phelps denies that he’ll compete again, but Lochte remains unconvinced.

For more of PEOPLE’s Olympic coverage, pick up our collector’s edition, The Best of the Games, on sale now.

“He said that in 2012,” Lochte says. “I remember that. And I was the only one who said he was going to come back. So I still guarantee that he’ll come back again. You know, if I’m coming back, I want him to come back, too. It’s really good for the sport. ”

So after the Olympics are over, what are Lochte’s plans?

“I haven’t really taken a break from swimming since i began at the age of 8,” he says. “I’m definitely going to take a mental break. I think my body needs it an my mind needs it.”

“But I definitely want to come back in the sport,” he continues. “I’m not done yet. There are a lot more goals that I want to accomplish, so I guess you can say that I’ll definitely be back in the water for 2020.”

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