Occasionally blonde swimmers have a problem with hair discoloration after extended swimming. The hair takes on a greenish tint, which is blamed on everything from rusty pipes to hair color preparations to chlorine. The cause is actually copper oxide.
Copper can be introduced to the water in many ways. The primary sources are:
Trace copper in the water supply
Copper bleed from brass pumps or piping, copper fittings or piping, or gas heater coils (which are solid copper)
Residues from copper-based algaecides
As these tiny amounts of copper react to chlorine in the pool water, copper oxide is formed. Copper oxide has a blue-green appearance: it’s the stuff that builds up on bronze statues and metal roofs.
Actually. this problem is not unique to blondes. If copper is present in the water, copper oxide adheres to hair of any color. It is usually only seen on blonde or light red hair because other hair is too dark for the deposit to be visible.
As far as the immediate hair problem is concerned, a rinse or shampoo with a slightly acidic pH will strip the copper deposit from the hair. Many drug stores carry commercial shampoo or creme rinse preparations for this purpose. If they are not available, an effectrive home remedy is to use lemon juice or vinegar to rinse the hair. “Green Hair Syndrome” can be prevented by regularly applying a chelating compund to the water. “Metal Out,” “Metal Magnet,” and “YR-17” are all examples of chelating compounds. Contact Pelican Pool Service for more information about chelation chemistry to remove the copper from your pool water.