It’s the new year and time to discuss some basic problems that may harm our hair. We’ve hit on this somewhat but time to explain why we need to combat it. Many of us have heard the terms “soft water” and “hard water” before without much thought as to what they mean or why it even matters. Hard water or harsher H₂O is characterized as water that contains high levels of minerals, while soft H₂O contains a lesser amount. The water type that typically causes the most trouble is harsher H₂O due to the fact that those high mineral levels can cause build-up and film not only on your shower head, but on your skin and hair as well.
With that being said, what exactly makes this type of H₂O bad for your hair and how do you prevent it? We are going to delve into this problem by explaining what it is, why it harms our hair and how to combat the effects.
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What is Hard Water
This type of water is H₂O that contains high levels of minerals and metals, mainly calcium and magnesium but also includes iron, copper, silica, lead and manganese. If you’re unsure of whether or not your H₂O is hard or soft, grab an empty water bottle, fill it 2/3 of the way with H₂O and add a few drops of dish soap. Put the cap on the bottle and shake it up; if a lot of bubbles form then your H₂O is soft. Also, if you find that your water leaves soap scum in your tub, sink or on the dishes then your water may be hard.
Why it’s Bad for Natural Hair
The minerals that are found in H₂O can stick to the hair shaft and cause build up which can seal moisture out of the hair and give it a dull, almost grayish appearance. The build-up can also cause the strands to become slightly sticky or tacky, causing tension when the hair is combed or brushed.
Harsher H₂O build up basically blocks the hair from getting the nutrients and moisture that it needs to remain healthy, causing it to become weak, brittle, and eventually causes it to break off. The heavy deposit of minerals also causes build-up on the scalp, which may interfere with healthy hair growth.
What to Do if You Have Harsher Water
If you’ve found that you have harsher H₂O, there are a few things that you should start doing and consider buying. First thing’s first, buy a shower filter. Shower filters usually go for about $70-100 but believe me, it’s worth it in the long run.
You should also start shampooing your hair, especially if you tend to shy away from shampoos or cleansers. Ridding your hair of all traces of mineral build-up can really only be done through shampooing or doing acid-based rinses (vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice, etc.). If you’re worried about sulfates, try to find an all-natural alternative such as castile soap or black soap.
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The last thing that should be considered is investing in a H₂O softener for your household. This only pertains to those who are in a home that they own, as it is a permanent plumbing fixture. You can also check out water filters that attach to your shower head at the fraction of the price of investing in a H₂O softener. You can spend a ton of money or a few dollars and a few of our favorites are: AquaBliss High Output 12-Stage Shower Filter and Universal Vitamin C Shower Head Water Filter-Water Purifier and Softener.
Do you have this problem in your home?