If you’ve clicked on this article, you must have heard of the effects that hard water has on our hair. Hard water is the main problem for a lot of households, but what is it, and what kind of effects would it have on your hair? This article would answer these questions and help you protect your hair!
What is Hard Water?
Hard water is water that contains very high levels of minerals, particularly high levels of calcium and magnesium. Apart from the damage that hard water can cause to your pipework and your household water appliances, they are also harmful to your hair and skin. The minerals in hard water aren’t directly harmful to your health, but when it comes to your hair, you should think again.
Effects of Hard Water on Hair
Because of the high levels of minerals that are present in hard water, when you wash your hair, the minerals would mix up with the shampoo to form limescale or salts. These salts would then cause scum to remain on your scalp and your hair. The limescale would prevent your hair from absorbing any moisturizers from the conditioner, and so you would end up with dry hair.
Hard water can also cause tangles in your hair, and makes your hair susceptible to breakage. Breakage can lead to thinning hair if you don’t do anything about it. You can also get colored hair, especially if there are high levels of other minerals like iron in the water.
If you’re not sure about the hard water levels in your home, you could simply test for water hardness by following some easy steps.
Tips for Washing Hair with Hard Water
- Use a Water Softener
This is an expensive, but long-term solution to solving the effects of hard water on your hair. If you want to keep washing your hair with your water supply, you can easily install a water softener in your home to soften the water before it gets to the house. There are a lot of great water softeners you can buy, and a lot of them are also affordable and easy to install.
You might not see the difference between soft water and hard water, but once you start washing your hair after the water softener is installed, the differences would manifest. Also, if you have a problem with dandruff or eczema, washing your hair with soft water definitely helps.
There are different water softening processes, but all of them are safe and would protect your hair. If you’re looking for a salt-based water softener as a permanent solution to protect your hair, you should check out the Fleck 5600SXT system, but for a salt-free system, the Eddy Water Descaler totally works.
- Use a Shower Head Filter
You can easily purchase a shower head filter at many home improvement stores around you, and it is also easier to install than water softeners. Although there are affordable water softener prices, a showerhead filter is much cheaper. It would reduce the minerals in hard water and prevent limescale in your showerhead. Although this doesn’t solve the problem of hard water in your whole house, it would prevent your hair from getting dry and thinning every time you take a shower. Once you purchase them, you can easily attach them to the showerhead and they are easy to install.
- Use Moisturizers and Conditioners
You can also make use of leave-in conditioners to make your hair lively again, although this won’t get rid of the limescale build-up in your home. You can apply leave-in conditioners, preferably natural oils, when your hair is still damp after a shower. Once you wash your hair with shampoo, you should dry it with a towel and use a conditioner. Natural ones like argan oil, almond oil, coconut oil and others would do the trick and make your hair glossy again.
- Use Clarifying Shampoos
Another way to adverse and prevent the effects of hard water on your hair is to make use of a clarifying shampoo. Of course, it is more advisable to make use of shampoos that are completely natural. This is because, apart from cleaning your hair, they also make your hair fuller, thicker and shinier.
If you’re looking for natural clarifying shampoos, you can try out the nut and shikakai shampoo. You can also buy shampoos from the market, but the industrialized ones are a bit harsh on hair and can worsen the effects of the hard water, so it’s best to use them very little at a time.
- Use Purified Water
If you want to avoid the effects of hard water on your hair, you can also purchase purified bottled water, or you can buy a filter jug which are made by a lot of the water softener companies out there. You can use the purified water to rinse your hair after rinsing it out with hard water.
Although this seems like a good idea, the purified bottled waters can cause harm to the environment. This is because you would have to have a lot of bottled water in your home, and plastic bottles would pile up. Plastic bottles are hard to recycle and take around four hundred years before they can fully biodegrade, thus, not eco-friendly.
When you make use of the filter jug, it does not cause plastic waste. Even with this, using purified water is more of a temporary solution to hard water effects on hair than a long term one.
- Use Natural Acidic Rinse
You can also make use of lemon, lime or vinegar to rinse your hair out because this would reduce any buildup of limescale or minerals in your hair. You can do this by mixing a tablespoon of any of the options with cups of purified water. Then, you should massage the solution into your wet hair, and after a few minutes, you would have to rinse the solution out. This method is also kind of temporary, and it can prove to be expensive if one has to purchase lemon, lime of vinegar, and purified water.