Is hard water bad for your hair?
How do I fix hard water damaged hair?
Hard water hair problems arise from water with a high content of calcium and magnesium salts. As a result, the hair looks dull and lacks shine while the ends become dry and predisposed to breakage. Quite the opposite to how you would like your tresses to be, wouldn’t you say? Read the article to discover how to reduce the effect of hard water on your hair.
What Is Hard Water?
It is called “hard” since the linen washed in the water with high mineral content seems coarse to the touch when it dries. The fabric absorbs the salts from the water and becomes crisp. The same happens to hair when it is washed in hard water.
In the areas where the soil is rich in limestone or chalk which are mostly made of calcium and magnesium salts, the water is hard. These minerals are not harmful to the human body — they are essential for our health. But like any other chemical elements, they have their properties.
What Does Hard Water Do to Your Hair?
Hard water leaves a film of salts on everything. Hair washed in it looks dull, flat, and lifeless. These are the first signs of hard water on hair. Besides, hard water build-up makes it more complicated for hair care products to get inside the locks and, therefore, makes any treatment less efficient. Namely, cleansing products foam poorly in hard water and fail to clean our strands thoroughly. As a consequence, manufacturers add more chemicals to the products to make them work better, which is bad both for our health and the environment.
That said, it might result in very fine, soft locks feeling a bit harder after washing. But in the long run, since the tresses get less moisturizing and nourishment, and you will inevitably suffer from hard water hair damage.
While the water poor in minerals is not great for cooking and drinking, washing in hard water is not good either. Calcium is important for bones, hair, and nails. We take calcium supplements to make them stronger. But a film of calcium on our locks doesn’t add any strength! Just the other way around — the hard water effects on hair are disastrous. Sooner or later, washing hair with hard water might lead to itchy skin, dandruff, dermatitis, and even eczema, not to mention hard water hair loss.
Dark hair turned orange? Here’s why that happens. Brassiness can occur if you live in a hard water area high in iron content. Iron in shower water acts as an oxidizer, causing orange/red tones in darker hair. Additionally, UV rays can expedite the oxidation process too. @helloklean
How Hard Water Is Connected with pH
Hard water has a higher pH than soft water. When salts are dissolved in water, it becomes more basic. As a result, water reach in mineral salts has a higher pH. If the pH level goes above neutral, the liquid dries the skin. If you have dry skin already, washing it with hard water will make things even worse.
How to Check If the Water Is Hard or Soft
The easiest way to check it is to look inside your kettle. If you use tap water for making your tea, the amount of limescale on the bottom of your kettle will serve as an indicator. If you get quite a lot of it in no time, the water is hard.
You might order a test to check the mineral content of your water as well as its pH level. It doesn’t cost too much and might give you plenty of additional information and a clearer idea of what is going on.
How to Make Water Softer
White stains on your shower cabin when it dries and some scale in your kettle leave no doubt that the water is hard at your place. What is the best way to deal with it? You either try to reduce the percentage of salts in the water the household consumes or reverse the effects of hard water on your hair. Here are the options you have.
Use a Filter
The radical approach is to install a filtrating system like a reverse osmosis filter on the water pipe entering your house. It is the best solution but rather expensive.
A magnetic water conditioner is cheaper and more practical. It doesn’t clean the water as efficiently as the multi-stage filter for the whole house but it makes water softer. The device is suitable for moderately hard water.
Both solutions are challenging to apply when you are traveling, renting a flat, or planning to move to a new place soon. Then you temporarily give up the idea to fix the problem once and forever and concentrate your effort on reducing the damage.
What’s one reason to filter your water? So blonde hair can actually stay blonde, for longer. Copper and iron are natural oxidizing minerals found in areas with hard water as well as your home’s piping system. They can cause buildup that leads to pre-mature hair discoloration – faded hair. @helloklean
Soften the Water You Use for Washing Your Locks
The cheapest way to soften water is either to boil it or to freeze it down and melt it afterward. The salt forms a residue, and the water becomes softer. You can also attack the side effect of hard water on your tresses by adding apple vinegar or lemon juice into an after-wash rinse. The acids will decrease the pH level, wash away the dull film, and make your tresses look shiny and attractive!
Use Special Hair Products for Hard Water
Since the problem is quite common, numerous hard water hair products are on sale. A dedicated clarifying shampoo helps fight long-term effects and wash away the build-up of calcium and magnesium salts. However, many products created to strip mineral build-up are too strong to use on tinted hair, and they’ll dry out your mane if applied every day. The best shampoo for hard water is color-safe. Using it just once a week will help your daily shampoo work better without over-drying your scalp.
All conditioners and moisturizers soften hair and prevent its dryness. A hair conditioner for hard water is created to give your locks additional moisturizing and care after using a harsh clarifying shampoo. It also normalizes the hair’s pH level, helping to avoid long-term problems.
An occasional oil treatment is also beneficial for the hair that systematically suffers from dryness caused by hard water with high pH.
Hard water prevents your tresses from looking good, and with time, it might irritate the scalp and lead to hair loss. The best and obvious decision is to stop using hard water for cleansing. Since it is not always possible, we advise incorporating the above-mentioned tips on hard water hair care. Forget about dull and brittle locks and other hard water hair issues forever!
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