Could Hard Water Be Ruining Your Hair? Startling Signs You Need To Know
Water is one of the most important aspects in our hair journey. You need water to clean, hydrate, and soften your hair. Water is often the main ingredients in many moisturizing products, and is an integral part of most hair care routines.
But did you know that your water could be ruining your hair without you even knowing it?
There are 3 main elements of water that can impact your hair. The pH level, temperature, and hardness of the water you use on your hair can affect your hair's health. In this article I will share how to determine if hard water is damaging your hair and what to do about it.
What is 'Hard Water'?
'Hard water' is a phrase used to describe the buildup of minerals on your hair. Elements like calcium and magnesium are deposited in layers over time, and can leave a film on your skin, on your hair, and even on your appliances.
How to Determine If You Have Hard Water
You can do a quick google search to see if your city has hard water. If you have hard water in your home, there will be signs to let you know the mineral content of your water is high.
One sign of hard water is when you see a film or water spots and residue on your dishes after you wash them. Hard water can even leave mineral stains on your clothes in the washing machine.
Another indication of hard water is a decrease in water pressure over time. If the water pressure on your faucets was really strong when you first moved in, but has lessened over time, it could be a sign that there are mineral deposits blocking the water flow.
Hard water can leave a film on your hands or irritate your skin and cause itching and dryness after a shower. If hard water can do all that your dishes and your skin--just imagine what it can do to your hair.
The Effect of Hard Water on Your Hair
Hard water can cause dryness, breakage, thinning, and even hair loss. The buildup of calcium and magnesium on your hair and scalp can cause severe irritation, especially if you have pre-existing scalp issues like seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis.
If your hair is frizzy, dull and lacks shine, the hardness of the water you shampoo with could be playing a part. Hard water causes the outer protective layer of of your hair to become raised, which can give hair a rough and frizzy appearance.
This layer needs to lay smooth and flat to lock in moisture and give the hair a shiny appearance. While it's raised, moisture will easily leave your hair strands and leave them looking dull and feeling dry.
Hard water can also make your hair color fade, or prevent hair color treatments from penetrating your hair strands. Over time, hair that has been exposed to hard water can become weaker and less able to withstand manipulation.
What You Can Do About It
If you confirm that your home does indeed have hard water, don't give up hope. There are several things you can do to correct the issue:
Go to the Salon: A lot of salons account for hard water problems by installing filtration systems that remove the harmful minerals from the water that is used on clients' hair.
Get a Water Softener Shower Head for Your Home: You can purchase a shower head online or at your local hardware store that has a carbon filter to prevent mineral buildup. These shower heads are easy to install and they remove the magnesium and calcium from the water before it flows through to your scalp and skin.
Use Apple Cider Vinegar: You can counter the effects of hard water on your hair by doing a weekly rinse with a mixture of distilled water and apple cider vinegar. Apple Cider Vinegar helps to balance the pH level of your hair. Rinse with cool water afterwards.
Usually when our hair acts funny, we immediately think it's the products we're using. But sometimes, it can actually be the water that is causing the problem. If you have hard water and you follow the tips listed above, you can help remove mineral buildup so that your hair can receive the proper moisture and strength that it needs to flourish.