Why Does Chlorine Turn Hair Green + How to fix it

Why Does Chlorine Turn Hair Green?

At times, you may have noticed that your hair begins to develop a greenish tinge after frequenting a pool.

Why is that?

How does the clear blue water of the swimming pool become a green hair dye?

This is a common concern, especially for frequent swimmers or those with light-colored hair. In this blog post, we will delve into the mystery of why chlorine turns hair green and provide some insightful solutions to prevent it.

Why Does Chlorine Turn Hair Green?

Why Does Chlorine Turn Hair Green

Understanding Chlorine’s Role in Pools

Firstly, it’s important to clarify a common misconception. While chlorine plays a significant role in swimming pool maintenance, it is not directly responsible for turning hair green.

Evidently, this statement may seem perplexing. However, to illustrate, let’s understand chlorine’s primary purpose.

Chlorine is a chemical widely used in swimming pools due to its disinfectant properties. Its main task is to kill harmful bacteria and algae, ensuring a safe swimming environment.

However, chlorine’s interaction with other elements in the water is what creates the problem for our hair.

The Real Culprit: Copper

In contrast to popular belief, the real culprit behind green hair is copper. Copper is a common metal found in water supplies and is often present in the algaecides used in pool maintenance.

When chlorine is added to the pool, it oxidizes the copper, producing a green-colored compound. Consequently, when you swim, this compound attaches to the proteins in your hair, causing it to take on a green hue.

This effect is particularly noticeable in individuals with lighter hair colors, such as blonde or gray. This is because their hair is more porous and, therefore, absorbs more of the green copper compound.

How to Prevent Green Hair

Now that we understand the problem, let’s discuss the solution. Prevention is the best way to avoid green hair from swimming. Before diving into the pool, wet your hair with fresh water.

This reduces the amount of copper compound your hair can absorb.

Moreover, consider applying a swimmer’s cap or using a specialized swimmer’s shampoo. These products often contain ingredients that neutralize the effects of chlorine and copper.

Regularly rinsing and washing your hair after swimming can also be effective.

Hair turns green in pool: Reasons and solution


In conclusion, while chlorine is often blamed for turning hair green, the real cause is the copper compounds created when chlorine interacts with copper present in pool water.

Thankfully, with preventative measures such as wetting your hair before swimming, wearing a swim cap, and using swimmer’s shampoo, you can enjoy your swim without worrying about the dreaded green tinge.

So, the next time someone asks, “Why does chlorine turn hair green?” you can confidently correct them, explaining that it’s not the chlorine, but the copper that is to blame.

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