Green Hair! What’s the matter with my water?

Dear Clean Water Man:I color my hair blond and it keeps turning green. My hair stylist says that there is something wrong with the water in my home . I am tired of going in to get special treatments to remove the green from my hair and I am wondering, what’s the matter with my water?Lady Liberty, Ridgefield, CT

Dear Lady Liberty:

It is interesting that you would sign yourself Lady Liberty, because your hair is covered with the same thing that gives the Statue of Liberty her green/blue hue, and that thing is oxidized copper. Now, the Statue of Liberty is clad with copper, but in its natural state, your hair is not. The copper in your hair is coming from the plumbing in your home and there are four major causes for the copper plumbing to deposit itself in your hair. Colored hair is the most susceptible due to the fact that it is pre-treated in order to accept color in the first place.

Three of the four causes are what can be termed aggressiveness in the water. The first type of aggressiveness is acidity. When we think of acidity, we think of vinegar or orange juice. Your water, if acidic, is nowhere near as acidic as vinegar or orange juice, but the inside of your copper pipe is exposed to an almost relentless flow of slightly acidic water. The acidity dissolves the copper pipe from the inside and the dissolved copper is carried until it deposits itself in your hair and now that it is exposed to air, it oxidizes and turns blue/green.

The next type of aggressiveness is oxidation, and it is usually caused by chlorinated community water. The chlorine or chloramine will oxidize the inside of the copper pipes and the oxidized molecules peel off and are carried with the water until it deposits in your hair where it is already blue/green even before it is exposed to air.

The next major cause is natural copper in your well. It will deposit in your hair and turn it blue/green.

The last major cause is improper grounding involving the plumbing. Most plumbing systems are grounded by the electrician who does the original electrical work in the home. Sometimes, a grounding clamp is removed for repairs and not replaced, or a phone, cable, electric fence, or other electric device is connected to the plumbing for a ground. Other times, there is a galvanic reaction between many different metals installed in the plumbing and they act in unison as a very low voltage battery. The stray current caused by these issues will suspend copper molecules which will eventually find their way to your hair, oxidize, and turn your hair blue/green.

An experienced water treatment technician can test your water and determine the cause for the greening. Since many women may not be able to convince their husbands to fix this since it is “only hair”, husbands have to know that the green hair portends something much worse on its way, that is thinned out plumbing and broken pipes with flooding. Think of your hair as an alarm, telling you to get your water fixed before major damage is done.

See my website at or if you live in Connecticut call me at 203-417-9601 to set up your free water treatment consultation.

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