I’m sure you’ve heard it before – swimming pools can turn blonde hair green. Most people are under the false impression that chlorine is to blame. The truth is, chlorine is not the main enemy, but it’s a sidekick.
So, the question is….
What Turns Blonde Hair Green In A Swimming Pool?
The answer is: copper!
Copper is a metal that is found in some swimming pools, particularly ones that are filled using well water. Copper can also enter the pool water from certain copper-based algaecides.
So how does copper in pool water turn your hair green?
The copper in the water is oxidized by chlorine, which then binds to the proteins in the hair strands. The metal will produce a green tint in the hair. Simple chemistry.
Will Blonde Hair Turn Green in a Saltwater Pool?
Short answer: yes.
Saltwater pools are chlorine-based pools. However, instead of adding chlorine manually with tablets or powder, salt is added to the water, which runs through an electrically charged generator, turning the salt into chlorine.
If you have copper in the water, and the chlorine created by the salt oxidizes it, it may turn your hair green just like a regular chlorine swimming pool.
3 Ways To Prevent Green Hair From a Pool
If you’re the pool owner, you can start by getting your pool checked for metals, especially copper. Bring a sample of your pool water in to our store for a free water test.
Make sure you ask for test on the copper level as this is not a regular everyday test.
1. Stop Using Copper-Based Algaecides
Some algaecides contain copper, and are very effective in killing algae, but they can also cause staining and, of course, green hair.
Look for a non copper algaecide to use in your pool as a weekly algae preventative, such as Zodiac 400 or don’t use algaecide at all and just keep your chlorine level in check.
2. Remove The Metals In The Water
If you have metals in your water, be sure to remove them by using a chemical such as Zodiac Metal Remover that removes metals in the water.
3. Hair Conditioner and Other Treatments
You can also protect your hair by using a leave-in conditioner before swimming. Also, wash and rinse your hair as soon as you get out of the pool.
How To Fix Green Hair From a Swimming Pool
We’ve outlined two different remedies you can use to get rid of the green hair you got from swimming in a pool.
If you’re hair is already green from the swimming pool, you can use a shampoo that chelates the metal…
Chelate: A chemical compound in the form of a heterocyclic ring, containing a metal ion attached by coordinate bonds to at least two nonmetal ions.
If you love Bloody Marys or tomato juice then this home remedy for removing the green from your hair shouldn’t be a problem for you.
Using a liberal amount of tomato juice in your hair and on your scalp for 5-10 minutes works wonders. You can then wash it with shampoo and use regular conditioner.