Does Chlorine REALLY Turn Your Hair Green?


The telltale signs of a carefree childhood summer: grass stains, Popsicle mouth, and…green hair. While these days most of us spend more time bathing in fluorescent lighting (rather than summer rays), we’re still pretty curious about whether pool time is really to blame for our summer hair situation.

To get it straight, we went to a reliable source: Eric Spengler, Living Proof’s head of R&D. It turns out, it’s not really chlorine that turns your hair green—it’s copper chloride.

So, um, what is copper chloride exactly? Copper comes from the pipes, while chlorine comes from the pool. Chlorine is a very aggressive element, meaning that it dissolves other elements quite easily. And it’s a green/teal color exactly like the shade of your hair after too much time in the pool.  So you can thank this bully of an element for your green hair. And for our brunette readers, don’t feel left out: your hair turns green just like the blondes—you just have a harder time seeing it.

So what can you do to prevent this green tint? Protect, protect, protect. “Using any one of our leave-in conditioners can create a barrier, helping to prevent the chemical from reaching the hair and causing it to turn green,” says Eric.

Want to know the best leave-in for your hair? Head here, take a quick quiz, and start protecting your strands.

Photo thanks to Kate from The Small Things, a blog we love. Read about her Living Proof tips here.

More hair help:

You’re Washing Your Hair All Wrong

Hair Myths You Need to STOP Believing

7 Things Your Stylist Really Wishes You Knew