What causes green hair?

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Ross Bogue, Sep 15, 2003.

  1. Ross Bogue

    Ross Bogue Guest

    A question for the pool maintainers among us.

    This weekend my 7-year-old son's class (and their families) were invited to a pool party at the home
    of one of the wealthier families in our area. Everyone had a great time. At one time I counted 46
    kids in their pool.

    About halfway through the affair, I noticed that the blonder kids' hair had clearly turned a shade
    of green. Not the bright yellow bleached look that I'm accustomed to among swim team members, but
    almost a Kool- Aid green.

    The next day, my son's hair (medium brown) was ok, but my daughter's hair (kinda in-between
    blond-red-light brown) was still noticeably a bit green.

    What could have caused that? There was nothing visibly wrong with the water, nor was there any funny
    smell to it.

    Ross
     
    Tags:


  2. De Valois

    De Valois Guest

    Ross Bogue left this mess on Mon, 15 Sep 2003 12:24:50 +0000 (UTC) for The Way to clean up:
    >
    >
    >A question for the pool maintainers among us.
    >
    >This weekend my 7-year-old son's class (and their families) were invited to a pool party at the
    >home of one of the wealthier families in our area. Everyone had a great time. At one time I counted
    >46 kids in their pool.
    >
    >About halfway through the affair, I noticed that the blonder kids' hair had clearly turned a shade
    >of green. Not the bright yellow bleached look that I'm accustomed to among swim team members, but
    >almost a Kool- Aid green.
    >
    >The next day, my son's hair (medium brown) was ok, but my daughter's hair (kinda in-between
    >blond-red-light brown) was still noticeably a bit green.
    >
    >What could have caused that? There was nothing visibly wrong with the water, nor was there any
    >funny smell to it.
    >

    Question: does your daughter use any type of hair dye or gel? Likely the pool water created a
    chemical reaction of some sort.

    Tao te Carl

    "It takes a village to have an idiot." - Carl (c) 2003
     
  3. Dakitty

    Dakitty Guest

    "Ross Bogue" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > A question for the pool maintainers among us.
    >
    > This weekend my 7-year-old son's class (and their families) were invited to a pool party at the
    > home of one of the wealthier families in our area. Everyone had a great time. At one time I
    > counted 46 kids in their pool.
    >
    > About halfway through the affair, I noticed that the blonder kids' hair had clearly turned a shade
    > of green. Not the bright yellow bleached look that I'm accustomed to among swim team members, but
    > almost a Kool- Aid green.
    >
    > The next day, my son's hair (medium brown) was ok, but my daughter's hair (kinda in-between
    > blond-red-light brown) was still noticeably a bit green.
    >
    > What could have caused that? There was nothing visibly wrong with the water, nor was there any
    > funny smell to it.
    >

    It's the chlorine. Lighter hair color is especially sensitive to it, and if there are hair products
    on it, or hair coloring, it speeds it up even more. For example, adult female swimmers with blond
    and colored hair, it's a standard thing that the hair starts turning green. Which makes it a pain to
    maintain it. It needs to be recolored more often, there are special chlorine neutralizing shampoos
    out there too.

    Nothing wrong with the pool or your daughter. It's the normal chlorination of it that will affect
    hair. The more time they spend in a pool (any normally chlorinated pool) the greener their hair.
    Heh, welcome to pool sports ;)
     
  4. Ross Bogue

    Ross Bogue Guest

    In <[email protected]> DaKitty wrote:
    >
    > It's the chlorine. Lighter hair color is especially sensitive to it, and if there are hair
    > products on it, or hair coloring, it speeds it up even more.

    That was my first thought also. But she'd been swimming in public pools all summer with no visible
    effects. Either there was a *lot* of chlorine in that pool, or there was something else going on.

    Ross
     
  5. Me

    Me Guest

    Copper, from the pipes. Chemicals react with the pipes and a small amount of copper is dissolved in
    the pool water. No harm, it will disappear.

    Ross Bogue wrote:
    > A question for the pool maintainers among us.
    >
    > This weekend my 7-year-old son's class (and their families) were invited to a pool party at the
    > home of one of the wealthier families in our area. Everyone had a great time. At one time I
    > counted 46 kids in their pool.
    >
    > About halfway through the affair, I noticed that the blonder kids' hair had clearly turned a shade
    > of green. Not the bright yellow bleached look that I'm accustomed to among swim team members, but
    > almost a Kool- Aid green.
    >
    > The next day, my son's hair (medium brown) was ok, but my daughter's hair (kinda in-between
    > blond-red-light brown) was still noticeably a bit green.
    >
    > What could have caused that? There was nothing visibly wrong with the water, nor was there any
    > funny smell to it.
    >
    >
    >
    > Ross
     
  6. Ross Bogue

    Ross Bogue Guest

    In <[email protected]> de Valois wrote:
    >
    > Question: does your daughter use any type of hair dye or gel? Likely the pool water created a
    > chemical reaction of some sort.

    No.

    And I believe the extremely blond 7-year-olds (male and female siblings) whose hair I first noticed
    didn't use such stuff either.

    Ross
     
  7. De Valois

    De Valois Guest

    Ross Bogue left this mess on Mon, 15 Sep 2003 16:06:31 +0000 (UTC) for The Way to clean up:
    >
    >In <[email protected]> DaKitty wrote:
    >>
    >> It's the chlorine. Lighter hair color is especially sensitive to it, and if there are hair
    >> products on it, or hair coloring, it speeds it up even more.
    >
    >
    >That was my first thought also. But she'd been swimming in public pools all summer with no visible
    >effects. Either there was a *lot* of chlorine in that pool, or there was something else going on.
    >

    About the only other thing I can think of is if there is, either by design or from run-off, some
    sort of copper-based chemical in the water. That might not show up in dark hair, but in lighter
    hair, it sure could.

    Tao te Carl

    "It takes a village to have an idiot." - Carl (c) 2003
     
  8. De Valois

    De Valois Guest

    de Valois left this mess on 15 Sep 2003 11:42:44 -0700 for The Way to clean up:
    >
    >Ross Bogue left this mess on Mon, 15 Sep 2003 16:06:31 +0000 (UTC) for The Way to clean up:
    >>
    >>In <[email protected]> DaKitty wrote:
    >>>
    >>> It's the chlorine. Lighter hair color is especially sensitive to it, and if there are hair
    >>> products on it, or hair coloring, it speeds it up even more.
    >>
    >>
    >>That was my first thought also. But she'd been swimming in public pools all summer with no visible
    >>effects. Either there was a *lot* of chlorine in that pool, or there was something else going on.
    >>
    >
    >About the only other thing I can think of is if there is, either by design or from run-off, some
    >sort of copper-based chemical in the water. That might not show up in dark hair, but in lighter
    >hair, it sure could.
    >

    By the way, any new decking using pressure-treated lumber around the pool?

    Tao te Carl

    "It takes a village to have an idiot." - Carl (c) 2003
     
  9. Dakitty

    Dakitty Guest

    "Ross Bogue" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > In <[email protected]> DaKitty wrote:
    > >
    > > It's the chlorine. Lighter hair color is especially sensitive to it, and if there are hair
    > > products on it, or hair coloring, it speeds it up even more.
    >
    >
    > That was my first thought also. But she'd been swimming in public pools all summer with no visible
    > effects. Either there was a *lot* of chlorine in that pool, or there was something else going on.
    >
    I vaguely remember hearing that there's more than one way to chlorinate a pool. And that the
    concentrations may end up being different.

    But that's about as much as I remember.

    One thing I notice, it's not so much relative to hair as it is to chlorine. Sometimes I swim in the
    pool at my condo complex, and other times with my team. The smell of the chlorine is different
    between those two pools. It's definitely chlorine smell, but it's somehow distinctly different. I'm
    not sure how to explain how it's different. My guess would be that the balance of the chemicals is
    different.

    Both of those pools are professionally maintained, and need to strictly watch that the pool is not
    over-chlorinated, because they both get a lot of kids swimming in it.

    I couldn't tell you how my hair reacts to either one, cause it's dark, and not colored. My friends
    hair tends to go green after too many days in a pool, no matter what pools she is in.
     
  10. Ross Bogue

    Ross Bogue Guest

    In <[email protected]> DaKitty wrote:
    >
    > I vaguely remember hearing that there's more than one way to chlorinate a pool. And that the
    > concentrations may end up being different.

    I'll just assume that it somehow had a lot of chlorine.

    > Both of those pools are professionally maintained, and need to strictly watch that the pool is not
    > over-chlorinated, because they both get a lot of kids swimming in it.

    I imagine his pool is strictly a do-it-yourself job. And with lots of kids coming over that day, he
    may have tried a massive chlorine dose.

    Ross
     
  11. Ross Bogue

    Ross Bogue Guest

    In <[email protected]> de Valois wrote:
    >
    > By the way, any new decking using pressure-treated lumber around the pool?

    Nope. Large concrete patio, fairly new brick house.

    Could have been farm chemicals nearby, but they would have been downhill a ways from the house.

    Ross
     
  12. Ross Bogue

    Ross Bogue Guest

    In <[email protected]> Me wrote:
    > Copper, from the pipes. Chemicals react with the pipes and a small amount of copper is dissolved
    > in the pool water. No harm, it will disappear.

    Another good possibility. Thanks!

    Ross
     
  13. >From: "DaKitty" [email protected]

    >It's the chlorine. Lighter hair color is especially sensitive to it, and if there are hair products
    >on it, or hair coloring, it speeds it up even more. For example, adult female swimmers with blond
    >and colored hair, it's a standard thing that the hair starts turning green. Which makes it a pain
    >to maintain it. It needs to be recolored more often, there are special chlorine neutralizing
    >shampoos out there too.
    >
    >Nothing wrong with the pool or your daughter. It's the normal chlorination of it that will
    >affect hair.

    So this is common with chlorine? I had heard that hair turns green with the PH is out of balance.
     
  14. Peabody

    Peabody Guest

    Ross Bogue says...

    > What could have caused that? There was nothing visibly wrong with the water, nor was there any
    > funny smell to
    > it.

    It's caused by copper. Either the tap water used to fill the pool has a lot of copper in it, or the
    water got overly acidic at some point and extracted copper from the pool heater's heat exchanger,
    or, more likely, they've been using a copper-based algecide.

    In addition, before the copper will actually come out of solution and attach to hair, I think some
    other aspect of the water chemistry must also be out of whack.

    It won't really hurt anything, but it doesn't have to be that way. A pool store could test the water
    (including for copper), and probably prescribe a fix.

    A store that sells supplies to beauty shops will have special shampoos that will remove the green
    from hair.
     
  15. Curt

    Curt Guest

    Too much chlorine.

    Curt

    "Ross Bogue" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > A question for the pool maintainers among us.
    >
    > This weekend my 7-year-old son's class (and their families) were invited to a pool party at the
    > home of one of the wealthier families in our area. Everyone had a great time. At one time I
    > counted 46 kids in their pool.
    >
    > About halfway through the affair, I noticed that the blonder kids' hair had clearly turned a shade
    > of green. Not the bright yellow bleached look that I'm accustomed to among swim team members, but
    > almost a Kool- Aid green.
    >
    > The next day, my son's hair (medium brown) was ok, but my daughter's hair (kinda in-between
    > blond-red-light brown) was still noticeably a bit green.
    >
    > What could have caused that? There was nothing visibly wrong with the water, nor was there any
    > funny smell to it.
    >
    >
    >
    > Ross
     
  16. De Valois

    De Valois Guest

    http://ccure.com/Swimmershair.html

    Ross Bogue left this mess on Mon, 15 Sep 2003 12:24:50 +0000 (UTC) for The Way to clean up:
    >
    >
    >A question for the pool maintainers among us.
    >
    >This weekend my 7-year-old son's class (and their families) were invited to a pool party at the
    >home of one of the wealthier families in our area. Everyone had a great time. At one time I counted
    >46 kids in their pool.
    >
    >About halfway through the affair, I noticed that the blonder kids' hair had clearly turned a shade
    >of green. Not the bright yellow bleached look that I'm accustomed to among swim team members, but
    >almost a Kool- Aid green.
    >
    >The next day, my son's hair (medium brown) was ok, but my daughter's hair (kinda in-between
    >blond-red-light brown) was still noticeably a bit green.
    >
    >What could have caused that? There was nothing visibly wrong with the water, nor was there any
    >funny smell to it.
    >
    >
    >
    >Ross
    >

    Tao te Carl

    "It takes a village to have an idiot." - Carl (c) 2003
     
  17. Ross Bogue

    Ross Bogue Guest

    In <[email protected]> de Valois wrote:
    > http://ccure.com/Swimmershair.html
    >

    .. which says that it's due to copper (agreeing with Peabody and someone else). The page is selling
    an acidic shampoo.

    Thanks!

    Now, Peabody seems to say that copper-based algaecides are just fine unless the pool chemistry
    (presumably meaning the pH and total alkalinity) is messed up. Only then do we get the green hair
    syndrome. How badly does it have to be out of whack before this gets to be a problem?

    Ross
     
  18. De Valois

    De Valois Guest

    Ross Bogue left this mess on Tue, 16 Sep 2003 13:01:00 +0000 (UTC) for The Way to clean up:
    >
    >In <[email protected]> de Valois wrote:
    >> http://ccure.com/Swimmershair.html
    >>
    >
    >
    >.. which says that it's due to copper (agreeing with Peabody and someone else). The page is selling
    >an acidic shampoo.
    >
    >Thanks!
    >
    >
    >Now, Peabody seems to say that copper-based algaecides are just fine unless the pool chemistry
    >(presumably meaning the pH and total alkalinity) is messed up. Only then do we get the green hair
    >syndrome. How badly does it have to be out of whack before this gets to be a problem?

    http://www.archwaterworks.com/yourpool/poolcare/problem_greensuit.html

    It appears that it doesn't have to be too far out of whack in total, but even a localized anomaly
    might be sufficient.
    >Ross
    >
    >

    Tao te Carl

    "It takes a village to have an idiot." - Carl (c) 2003
     
  19. Madelaine

    Madelaine Guest

    Ross Bogue wrote:
    > In <[email protected]> de Valois wrote:
    >
    >>http://ccure.com/Swimmershair.html
    >>
    >
    >
    >
    > .. which says that it's due to copper (agreeing with Peabody and someone else). The page is
    > selling an acidic shampoo.
    >
    > Thanks!
    >
    >
    > Now, Peabody seems to say that copper-based algaecides are just fine unless the pool chemistry
    > (presumably meaning the pH and total alkalinity) is messed up. Only then do we get the green hair
    > syndrome. How badly does it have to be out of whack before this gets to be a problem?
    >
    >
    >
    > Ross
    >
    >

    Ross, It sounds to me like the fact that this is (presumably) an outdoor pool, and people with wet
    hair then exposed their hair to sunlight combined to cause the green hair. At a pool party you are
    likely (esp. if you are a child) to get your hair wet, dry out in the sun without having rinced it,
    get wet again etc. in repeating cycles. I doubt that in that case the chemical have to be messed up,
    it is just a matter of length of exposure.

    To prevent this in the future, I would just encourage hair rinsing (playing in a sprinkler would
    make that more fun for the kids). If the green doesn't want to come out of her hair using the
    commercial shampoos, convince her to try short hair.

    I have color-treated hair which tends toward blonde in its natural state, and I have never had green
    hair, but I avoid outdoor pools like the plague because I sunburn like crazy. Madelaine
     
  20. Ross Bogue

    Ross Bogue Guest

    In <[email protected]> Madelaine wrote:
    >
    > Ross, It sounds to me like the fact that this is (presumably) an outdoor pool, and people with wet
    > hair then exposed their hair to sunlight combined to cause the green hair. At a pool party you are
    > likely ( esp. if you are a child) to get your hair wet, dry out in the sun without having rinced
    > it, get wet again etc. in repeating cycles. I doubt that in that case the chemical have to be
    > messed up, it is just a matter of length of exposure.

    Thanks, Maddie.

    There wasn't much sunlight. It was a warm overcast evening. There were a couple occasional
    sprinkles, but not enough to make anyone worry about going inside. The kids didn't care at all -
    they were already wet and the pool was heated anyway.

    The green hair was becoming obvious after the first 1/2 hour. So this was an extreme case.

    One thing everyone is saying is that the color is harmless and will rinse out (I think my
    daughter's has already rinsed out). That's good, because I don't want to embarrass the hosts. I
    don't intend to say anything to them about it, at least not just now. They were being very nice to
    have the class over.

    Ross

    (BTW, I don't think I mentioned: It was very nice visiting with you last month. Maybe next time I
    can have the family with me.)
     
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