UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
Why does chlorine turn your hair green?
Question Date: 2010-01-13
Answer 1:

Contrary to popular belief, the greening of hair from spending a lot of time in swimming pools is not the direct cause of chlorine. Your hair turns green from the presence of hard metals (copper, iron, and manganese, in particular) in the pool water. Think about the color that old pennies turn after time or the Statue of Liberty. The chlorine in the water speeds up the oxidation process and the metals are able to bond to your hair, causing the greenish hue. While this happens to all types of hair colors, it is most visible in the people with blonde or lighter hair.

Answer 2:

Green hair is usually caused by copper being dissolved in the water and oxidizing due to the change in pH by the chemicals that keep the water clean and the amount of copper in the water source. It precipitates out and stains the hair green (think of what color copper is when it oxidizes).

Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2020 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use