The chemicals in the Rio pool are turning Ryan Lochte's hair green

Lochte green hairGetty Images/Adam PrettyLochte’s locks have taken on a new hue.

Just before the Rio Olympics started, Ryan Lochte revealed a shocking new look: a silvery-blue hairdo. 

In a recent press conference, he revealed that the hair colour change was meant to replace the strange, crystal-encrusted grills that he used to wear during medal ceremonies. (It also helps cover up his emerging grey hairs, he said.) Seems Lochte simply cannot compete unless he has some kind of signature look. 

But now, Lochte’s hair is changing again: It’s turning a lovely shade of mint green, as you can spot in some of the photos.

Lochte hasn’t commented publicly on the colour change, but the green tint is especially visible in some of his recent Instagram posts. Just look at this photo he posted yesterday:

So why is this happening? It’s not because Lochte is swimming in green water. Right now, it’s only the diving and water polo pools that have turned green.

But we do know this: Pool water turns hair — espeically blonde hair — a shade of green. Copper sulfate, a chemical added to pools to fight algae growth, binds to the protein on the hair shaft and deposits a green colour, Yahoo reports. The effect is greatest in people with light hair, whether it’s natural blonde or dyed.

Because Lochte recently dyed his locks that silvery white shade, it appears his new colour is reacting with the chemicals from the pool.

A final, promising theory: Maybe Lochte’s been planning this all along/is turning into a mermaid. 

 The world may never know.

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