When thinking about hair care, different types of water probably isn’t the first thought that comes to mind. But, types of water may play a bigger role than you think when it comes to hair.
Read on to learn more about the potential effects of hard water on hair.
The Difference Between Hard And Soft Water For Hair And Skin
Soft water is considered to be much better for your hair and skin. If you have hard water at home, don’t fret. While the United States’ water supply is 85% hard water, it’s possible to either change the type of water you currently have in your home, or make a few changes in order to avoid the damaging effects.1
What Is Hard Water?
The hardness of water is determined by the amount of minerals present in the water – specifically calcium and magnesium. Showering with hard water can lead to hair breakage and thinning over time.
Studies have shown that hard water can also have an effect on your skin and might lead to skin irritation and dryness, especially for those with sensitive skin.2
What Is Soft Water?
The softness of water is characterized by the lack of salts and minerals in the water.
By installing a water softener, your hair is more likely to keep hold of more moisture through the most diligent hair washing and hair drying processes.
Soft water is also better for the skin as it isn’t as drying or irritating as hard water.3
Dealing With The Minerals In Hard Water: What Can Calcium And Magnesium Do To Your Hair?
As mentioned, the calcium carbonate and magnesium sulfate found in hard water are often thought to lead to dry, fragile, and/or damaged hair. This is likely due to the residue that the minerals leave on your hair, building up over time.
Hydrated, Healthy Hair: Should You Install A Water Softener?
If you are concerned with the health of your hair and skin but aren’t sure which type of water you have, you might want to have a professional test your water for mineral content.
While it isn’t a necessity, having a water softener installed it is the most effective way to rid your water supply of excess minerals.4
Hair Care: Water Hardness And Finding The Right Shampoo Conditioner, And Leave-In Products
As mentioned, having hard water is extremely common in the United States. There are also other precautions that may be taken if a water softener isn’t within your budget/reach.
- Use A Hydrating Shampoo And Conditioner
- Choose an intensely moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.
This will be crucial for helping you maintain moisture and protecting against the damages of hard water. Look for products specially-formulated with hydrating ingredients such as argon or jojoba oil.
You can also try using a clarifying shampoo every so often. This will rid your hair of any buildup. Just be sure not to use a clarifying shampoo as your main shampoo. Overusing clarifying shampoos can lead to further dryness.
Going Beyond Hair And Skin: Households Don’t Like Hard Water Either
Hard water is bad for skin and hair care. It’s also clear that hard water doesn’t typically fare well within households either:
→ Remove hard water stains from bathroom/kitchen surfaces. Mix a solution of vinegar and baking soda and apply it to the stain. If a vinegar and baking soda solution doesn’t work, you can also try lime juice.5
→ Make your own soft water by using water than has been boiled (and then cooled). The boiling process may help reduce some of the minerals in the water making it more effective for cleaning purposes.6
→ Buy water softening additives for your laundry. The water in the washing machine is often hard, and can leave a residue on your clothes.7
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