Today I would like to talk about hard water and how it could be effecting your hair. Believe it or not, about 85% of households in the US have hard water. Some cases worse than others. I know that the water that I have at home puts me into that 85%. So today I just want to explain what it means to have hard water and the effects it may be having on your hair. What signs to look for and quick easy solutions.
So what hard water means is that there is a high mineral content in your water. Some of these minerals may come from a well, some from piping, and some are actually put in your water to prevent bacterial from forming. This will eventually lead to a mineral build up in your hair.
Some of the more common signs are crunchy brittle hair, lack of shine and body, hair that doesn’t want to hold a curl, discoloration such as a green, orange or red tint, and finding that your shampoo doesn’t want to lather. One thing that I notice as a stylist is that mineral buildup will prevent color and chemical services from taking properly.
So let’s talk about what we are dealing with. Chlorine is very common in most tap water. It is used to kill bacteria in drinking water. When left in the hair, chlorine will begin to damage the cuticle(the outer most layer of hair), causing the hair to tangle, leaving it much more prone to breakage. It also leaves a very gummy feeling on wet hair, and a straw like feeling on dry hair. Chlorine will also cause colored hair to fade much faster than it should.
Calcium is also very common in most homes in the US. A telltale sign of calcium would be those chalky white rings you see in your sinks and tubs. A heavy content of this mineral will cause white flakes at the scalp and can build up possibly preventing future hair growth.
One of the minerals that is most visible in the hair is copper. It is used in water to prevent algae. It can also be from the pipes in your house. A high copper content can cause blondes to get a greenish tint to their hair and can cause dark hair to look even darker. This can cause problems when having your hair colored or any chemical service done.
Iron is a chemical most commonly found in well water. Iron can cause a orangy or reddish tint on your hair and can also change the texture. It is also known to cause split ends.
Ok so know that you know what may be in your water, let’s talk about what we can do about it.
I’m sure that some of you have heard to wash your hair with bottled water. Let’s be honest, that can get a little pricy and not to mention can be a real pain. So if you are still washing your hair with tap water, which most of us are, one thing you can do is use a clarifying shampoo once a week.
Now for those of you that color your hair it is important to find the right shampoo because 90% of clarifying shampoos are not color safe. I swear by the Pureology clarifying shampoo called Purify! Not only is it color safe but it is sulfate free for those of you that get keratin treatments. Purify will effectively remove minerals for your hair without disturbing your color. When using a clarifying shampoo it is important to follow-up with a good conditioner. I like to pair up Purify with Hydrate conditioner also made by Pureology. They have two formulas, one for a more coarse texture and one for a more fine texture.
Now for those of you that have extremely hard water and are noticing extreme dryness and/ or discoloration in your hair you might need to go a step further then just a clarifying shampoo. There are treatments that we do in the salon that are designed to gently remove mineral build up. A Pre Art treatment can be done once a month to cleanse your hair of all unwanted minerals. It’s quick and easy and will make you feel like you have a new head of hair! If you are suffering, or should I say if your hair is suffering from hard water be sure to ask your stylist about this treatment! Hopefully this was helpful!