Why does pool water turn blonde hair green? It is a question the swimming pool contractors from Bella Blue Pools in Toledo, Ohio answer on occasion. When pool water is properly cared for and the chemicals are properly balanced, green hair doesn’t have to happen.

Chances are if you have been around swimming pools or know people who swim a lot — blonde hair is, or can be, prone to turning green from the chemicals in the water. Chlorine is usually blamed, but it is not the only culprit.

Why does pool water turn blonde hair green?

If it’s not chlorine that turns blonde hair green — what is it? It’s copper. Copper is a naturally-occurring chemical found in some swimming pools, especially those filled with well water. Copper is also found in some algaecides.

If copper is in the water, it will oxidize with the chlorine in the water and those combined metals, when they meet blonde hair, will turn it green. The reason it doesn’t turn other hair color green is that brown, or red or black hair simply wouldn’t show the green tinge.

How can you prevent green hair?

  1. Talk with your pool contractor and let him or her know about the green hair issue and ask for non copper based algaecides for the pool water. It’s a simple matter of switching chemicals.
  2. If you’re filling the pool with well water, use a filter on the hose. Better yet, have water trucked in — this will prevent the possibility of draining your well and of copper in the water.
  3. Protect your hair — no matter what color — with a leave in conditioner. Also make sure you wash and rinse your hair as soon as you’re done swimming.
  4. Wear a bathing cap. Many people don’t want to wear a cap, but it is an option to keep your hair protected from the chemicals in the water.
 If green hair has been an issue for you, let us know and let’s look at the chemicals being used, the water source and address the chemistry to assure green hair doesn’t happen.