Is there any chemical that is biologically produced in humans, that when impregnated in hair follicles, produces green hair?

If current keratin follicles cannot do that, pick another biochemical for hair follicles and try again...

I assume that making new proteins, like Chlorophyll, is harder than impregnating hair follicles with things that are already produced by humans, like urea, or blood...

An environmental explanation.... like a high-copper environment, is ranked by side-effects, and permanency. Permanency is worth more points than no-side-effects...

'Points' is currently metaphorical, but that can change in tune with viewer responses.

Side-effects from the process are expected, but less side-effects will make a better answer.


Designing a human that grows green hair, naturally, while staying as close to real humans as possible?

  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean "while staying as close to real humans as possible?" $\endgroup$ – MattDMo Apr 17 '15 at 1:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Mattdmo - I mean making a deriverative of a human with as few changes as possible. For example, I could have green-haired humans due to chlorophyll, but that would mean those 'humans' would need some radical new genes and food supply to make chlorophyll... unless they don't.... While piping urea to the scalp to hair follicles is easier... or at least seems so to me, due to urea production a natural byproduct of normal human eating habits and biology. $\endgroup$ – Malady Apr 17 '15 at 2:36
  • $\begingroup$ This question looks like a better fit for World Building, as would any other speculative science question. $\endgroup$ – March Ho Apr 17 '15 at 6:32
  • $\begingroup$ Flagged it for a move... $\endgroup$ – Malady Apr 17 '15 at 15:46
  • $\begingroup$ Too short for an answer - When I was a teenager (and still had hair) I had green highlights. The secret appears to be the orientation of the melanin containing structures within the keratin of the hair. Check out iridescence in bird feathers. If someone wants to expand and turn this into an answer feel free. $\endgroup$ – pojo-guy Oct 22 '18 at 20:30

I've turned my hair green semi naturally before. Black hair - bleached blonde - waterpolo player that was in a chlorinated pool 6 times a week. There's a lot online regarding chlorine turning hair green...but it's important to note that chlorine is actually not what turns your hair green. It's actually copper.

Copper has a blue green coloring to it when oxidized and it bonds to the hair on a molecular level...when added to an otherwise uncoloured hair, the green color becomes decently prominent. You can undo this with some shampoos (I believe 'chelating' shampoos is the term for that).

Copper is required by our bodies to some degree...you can go two ways with this:

  1. Your people are actually blonde by nature, but a heavy presence of copper in their environment begins to collect on their hair. Lacking the ability to remove it, everyone has green copper coated hair.

  2. Your people have an unusually high amount of copper in their bodies...their naturally unpigmented / blonde hair begins to take on a green color simply due to their naturally high copper levels.

  • $\begingroup$ Yeah... I was thinking verdigris, but I didn't think humans that extruded copper from their heads was close enough to human... But, your version has merit! $\endgroup$ – Malady Apr 17 '15 at 18:43
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    $\begingroup$ Copper is actually a component of our sweat as well...simply having the people with a higher than normal copper content could see their sweat giving their hair green colours $\endgroup$ – Twelfth Apr 17 '15 at 19:00
  • $\begingroup$ Well, for an Earth-like planet with more copper than Earth, that might work... but not here on Earth, as we don't have enough copper excess to make reasonable... or do we? Copper in Health - Wikipedia - Wilson's Disease variant may help deposit copper into hair follicles... $\endgroup$ – Malady Apr 17 '15 at 19:11
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    $\begingroup$ @Malandy - after a bit of internet research, it actually doesn't look like a green color hair is natural one Earth within any species (only exceptions relate to algae growing on the hair, not the hair color itself). You might have to have an altered Earth, or a population with a common ancestor that had a copper related genetic disease (wilson's variant as you state). Vanadium, Chromium, and Titanium can produce these colors (though thats crystallized in rocks)...copper seems the most likely from a chemical point of view. $\endgroup$ – Twelfth Apr 17 '15 at 19:43

One way a human could have green hair is not through chemicals, but through a symbiotic relationship with some green organism living on or in the hair, as with the sloth and algae: (sloth algae fur link). This would still require some changes, as I doubt that human hair is currently a good environment for algae.


First, I'm going to assume you're asking how we can make humans grow green hair, instead of just having it by dying it the color that we want.

Pigmentation is a curious thing - the reason that we have hair and skin of a certain color is a combination of our genetic makeup, coupled with our dietary intake having a predisposition towards certain colors - change one or the other and you can have your green hair. A diet heavy in green byproducts would help, but you'd have to pick one that's non-toxic. Alternatively, you could genetically engineer humans so that their diet naturally produces an excess of green, though you might find this showing up in skin and nails.

Green does occur in nature regularly, so you're in some luck there - though it usually results as a type of photosynthesis. You could try experimenting with creating photosynthetic hair that is naturally green, though this would have other results - some might be desirable (less need to consume) and some might not (wild mood swings depending on the weather).

Of course, if we allow for direct genetic engineering, you could just alter human DNA to naturally produce the pigment on its own - though you might wind up with more than just green hair on your head, since excess like hair is not very discriminating.

In short, while you could definitely make it happen, there's bound to be unsightly side-effects you're going to have to work out before mass producing green-haired people.

  • $\begingroup$ Yep, your assumption is correct, and I have changed the question to clarify. Good point about side-effects there, I'm going to say that it doesn't matter, but a method that has as few as possible is best. $\endgroup$ – Malady Apr 17 '15 at 18:48
  • $\begingroup$ Do you have any ideas for any lists of pigments or anything that could be used to explain what changed about human biochemistry to get green hair? Like a list of all green dyes that are non-toxic, or all green plant pigments... ... Do you think I could ask that on Bio.SE, or is it too much of a List Question? $\endgroup$ – Malady Jun 17 '15 at 20:34
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    $\begingroup$ @Malandy Definitely not appropriate on Bio.SE, but I think Twelfth has provided good recommendations in their answer - beyond what I could suggest. $\endgroup$ – Zibbobz Jun 17 '15 at 20:36
  • $\begingroup$ And now I remember why I picked Twelfth's Answer... Not gonna switch back though? $\endgroup$ – Malady Jun 17 '15 at 20:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Malandy I'd suggest going with Twelfth's answer, if the chemical component is more important than how you get there. But that's entirely up to you. $\endgroup$ – Zibbobz Jun 17 '15 at 20:41

I have two brothers who had blonde hair when children that got darker as they aged. Thus they weren't really permanent blonde I guess.

When we went to the sea shore for the summer my brothers' skin got red and their blonde hair seemed to turn faintly greenish.

That's right, I have relatives whose blonde hair tended to turn faintly greenish in the sunlight.

So if whatever process made their hair seem faintly greenish was stronger a person could have hair that looked obviously greenish at first sight.


Skin and hair have 2 natural pigments, eumelanin and preomelanin. See, other animals such as birds have a pigment known as porphyria, which is in human blood but not skin. Idk if a person with this would have like, dry or thin hair, because porphyria-pigmented feathers are weaker. Then again, evolution could have fixed the issue a while ago. So, from a strictly fantasy perspective, the answer is definitely yes. However, humans don’t have pigmentation from porphyria naturally...yet.

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