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 mineral that gives the Statue of Liberty her green/blue hue - 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. There are four major reasons that copper from your plumbing deposits in your hair. Three of the four causes are what can be termed aggressiveness in the water. Before getting into the causes, please note that colored hair is the most susceptible to color change because it is pre-treated to accept color in the first place
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 then carried until it deposits in your hair. Since it is now 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; it can be already blue/green before it is exposed to air and sticks to your hair.
The third 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 signals that something much worse is on its way; it indicates that plumbing pipes and parts are thinning, and being eroded, and that broken pipes with flooding could be on the horizon. Think of your hair as an alarm, telling you to get your water fixed before major damage occurs.
Go to the website of our sister, water treatment service, company, Clean Water Man, Inc, at www.cleanwaterman.com, or if you live in Fairfield and Litchfield Counties in Connecticut, call our office at 203-313-8291 to set up a free water treatment consultation on the premises.
If you live out of these areas and would like a consultation on how to correct the issue, please call us at 203-313-8291 to schedule one. A fee schedule will be provided for this service.