Green hair

Cutis. 1995 Jul;56(1):37-40.


Green hair is an unusual dermatologic condition usually due to the deposition of copper from exogenous sources. We report the cases of two patients who presented to our clinic with green discoloration of their hair. This pigmentation of hair has generally been reported in patients with blond hair as a consequence of increased concentrations of copper in domestic or swimming pool water. Although an increased copper content of the affected hair seems to be a prerequisite, other predisposing factors have to be present for this situation to occur. These include previous hair damage (mechanical, sun exposure, bleaching, dyeing, waving), frequent contact with chlorinated water, or use of alkaline shampoos. Several options for treatment have been described for this problem, including application of hot vegetable oil, hydrogen peroxide, edetic acid- or D-penicillamine-containing shampoos, or hydroxyethyl diphosphonic acid.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Copper / adverse effects*
  • Copper / analysis
  • Electron Probe Microanalysis
  • Female
  • Hair / chemistry
  • Hair / ultrastructure
  • Hair Color / drug effects*
  • Hair Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Hair Diseases / pathology
  • Hair Diseases / therapy
  • Hair Preparations
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Penicillamine / therapeutic use
  • Pigmentation Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Pigmentation Disorders / pathology
  • Pigmentation Disorders / therapy
  • Swimming Pools


  • Hair Preparations
  • Copper
  • Penicillamine