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Collecting and recording data

Postby burnsbmca » Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:03 pm

My daughter has chosen to do her science fair on "What causes hair to turn green after swimming". She hypothesized that it is the chlorine. After she has done her research she ha s decided to use 4 liquid mixtures (water, water and chlorine, water and copper algaecide, and one with all three water chlorine and algaecide. She will put blonde hair in each solution and monitor the results. She is now having trouble figuring out how to record and graph her data. Any suggestions?

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Re: Collecting and recording data

Postby braeden1 » Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:12 pm


one option to collect data would be to make and print out color splotches ranging from blond hair color to green. These could be numbered 1-20, with 1 being blond, and 20 being green. She could then compare the hair to the color splotches and find which one matches best.
This data could be graphed on a bar or a line graph.

hope this helps :P

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Re: Collecting and recording data

Postby staryl13 » Sun Feb 06, 2011 11:01 am

To add onto the previous response, here is an example of a project that someone else conducted in the same area.

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... google.com

It would also be helpful to check out the Science Buddies Guide on displaying results:

http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... ysis.shtml

Hope this helps!
"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -Isaac Asimov

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Re: Collecting and recording data

Postby donnahardy2 » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:07 pm


This is a great chemistry project. You have had some good advice on evaluating your results. The problem is that it’s difficult to quantitate results. Using reference samples that include a range from no green to very green with a corresponding number scale will help in graphing the results. Also, since the evaluating is still qualitative, it would be useful to have more than one person evaluate the results.

It is possible to measure hair color using a reflectance spectrocolorimeter, as described in this reference. It is very unlikely that you would have access to a reflectance colorimeter, but your daughter should be aware that it would be possible to actually measure the color of hair.

http://journal.scconline.org/pdf/cc1985 ... p00037.pdf

Your daughter may want to do some more background reading. Green swimming pool hair is usually the result of the precipitation of copper hydroxide in the hair by high pH shampoo. Copper will be present in swimming pools as soluble salts of copper chloride or copper sulfate. If the copper is not rinsed out before shampooing, then it can precipitate as copper hydroxide, which is bright bluish green.

Here is the Science Buddies website information on pH.

http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... cale.shtml

Here is information on the most common soluble copper salts, copper chloride and copper sulfate:



Here is information on the insoluble copper hydroxide. Notice the color of this compound. Once this precipitates in the hair, it is hard to remove.


Here’s some practical advice for preventing green swimming pool hair and this may give your daughter some additional ideas for her science project:

http://www.essortment.com/lifestyle/gre ... d_saig.htm

Your daughter probably has not had a lot of chemistry yet, so let me know if there are more questions.

Donna Hardy

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