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May 9, 1977

Green Hair

JAMA. 1977;237(19):2092. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270460078026

THE APPEARANCE of green hair in a child is as startling to the parent as it is to the physician. Since current literature has little to say about green hair, we report the following two cases.

Report of Cases 

Case 1.—  In a 5-year-old blond girl, progressively increasing green discoloration of her hair developed over one weekend. This followed repeated swimming in a motel pool. The green color was peripheral in distribution and was particularly noticeable in the "ponytail" area (Fig 1). The moistened hair felt silky smooth when passed between the fingers. The green color gradually disappeared when she stopped swimming in that particular pool; this return to normal was aided by daily alternate washing with basic and acidic shampoos, and by careful rinsing and drying the hair after swimming.

Case 2.—  In a 6-year-old blond boy, a similar discoloration developed after he swam repeatedly in a different pool.