Do you have hard water and seem to be struggling with your hair? The two might be related! Having hard water can have a big effect on your hair. The appearance, texture, and scalp health. We are covering all of that and more today! So, let’s talk about the effects of hard water on your hair!
When we moved to Florida, I had no idea about the reputation that water had here. It is known for its hardness. After we moved into our home, I noticed a decline in my hair health. The way it felt and looked. At first, I chalked it up to stress and having an illness. Once I was able to get those things under control, I soon realized that our water was severely contributing to my hair health. No matter what I did my hair still felt dry and brittle. But there is help!
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What is Hard Water?
Water hardness is the amount of dissolved calcium & magnesium along with other minerals in the water.
The EPA has regulations in place about our drinking water. The amount of and what chemicals, contaminants, and minerals they will allow into our drinking water. You can read more about that here. Each individual water treatment plant also has individual regulations on what they allow and they also do testing on your local water which is available to review. You can go to your local water treatment plant site, and it should be available for you to view. It is kind of interesting what is in our water.
What are the Effects on Our Hair?
- Excessive minerals can block pores on your scalp. When this occurs, you can have a buildup of these minerals, and sometimes it can lead to hair shedding.
- Prevents moisture from absorbing. When minerals penetrate the hair strand, they can create a cast on your hair. This can make it difficult for moisture to get in and out of the hair.
- Dry and damaged hair. Highly porous hair can sometimes be the most at risk and see the most damage. Their hair will soak up minerals much easier than healthy hair. In turn, making your hair seem drier and more damaged than it is.
- Hair color fading. Hard water can fade color-treated hair and sometimes even change the color. That’s why a lot of color-safe products are sulfate free.
- Dry, Flaky scalp. The buildup of minerals from hard water can produce a film on your hair and scalp. It prevents moisture from penetrating and can lead to itchiness and inflammation of your scalp. You might think you have dandruff but really it is your scalp being suffocated from the effects of hard water.
Signs of Hard Water
- Hard water spots on everything. Water glasses, shower doors, faucets, etc.
- Shampoo or soaps do not lather well.
- Hair is extra dry and tangly.
- Skin and scalp are itchy.
I have Hard Water, Now What?
- Get a filter – Invest in either a water softener/refiner or a shower head filter. We were lucky enough to be able to have a whole house water refiner from Costco installed along with a reverse osmosis system for our drinking water. If you can’t do this, then there are some filtration systems that you can install on your shower head that should help. I have a few links below.
- Do a pre-shampoo treatment – Before we had our water refiner installed, I started using a Scalp Scrub. Doing this can help to cleanse and purify your scalp and hair to prep prior to using your shampoo. This can help to dissolve dead skin cells, product buildup, and environmental pollutants. I did a blog post a while back, The Secret to a Healthy Scalp. You might find that helpful and you can read that here.
- Rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar – Using a vinegar rinse when you have hard water can help to deeply cleanse your hair and scalp while keeping moisture and preserving the hair color. It will also help with the PH balance. I love to use Purifying Vinegar Rinse even after having my water refiner because it helps to purify my scalp and hair and gives amazing shine!
- Use a purified water rinse – If all else fails, try using a bottle of purified water as a final rinse. You can usually buy them in a gallon jug at the store and use that as your final rinse if you are not able to buy a filter for your shower head or buy a water softener for your home. You would be surprised by how something so small can make a big difference!
I am so happy that we were able to get a water refiner installed in our home. It has made an amazing difference in our hair and skin. Not to mention our drinking water!
Do you currently have hard water or have you in the past? Please share in the comments if you think you might be struggling with hard water hair!