What ishard water? When rainwater runs through rocks, soils, and sand, it naturally collects minerals such as calcium and magnesium, which is what makes water hard. While these minerals aren’t harmful to your health, they sure are tough on yourhair. As hard water enters your home and pours out of your showerhead untreated, they react with shampoos, conditioners, and soaps toreduceeffectivenessand cause irritation.
If you've experienced dry, oily, dull hair; keep reading because there is a solution to all your hair problems!
How does hard water affect hair?
You may also notice that hard water leaves your hair feelingfilmy and straw-like. Your initial reaction may be to wash your hair more frequently to remove the soapy residue from your hair. However, for the same reason above, themore often you shampoo your hair in hard water,theless moistureretained in the hair strands.This results in dry, coarse, and frizzy hair, and also dries out your scalp, causing dandruff.
As mentioned before, the high levels of minerals that are present in hard water will mix up with the shampoo to formlimescaleor salts. These salts would then form a scum that settles in your scalp and hair follicles. Thislimescalewill then prevent your hair from absorbing any moistures from the conditioner, causingdryness and itchiness.
With dry and straw-like hair that causes unmanageable tangles, this can make your hair susceptible to breakage. In turn, breakage can lead tothinning hairif you don’t do anything about it. Hard water can also cause you dyed hair to change colours, especially if there are high levels of other minerals like iron in the water.
How do you soften hard water at home?
Install a Shower Head Filter
Many home hardware stores sell shower head filters that claim to reduce the minerals in hard water, preventing the limescale from building up. Once purchased, you can simply attach them to your showerhead and run water normally. Although this doessoften your shower watertemporarily, it doesn't solve theproblems of hard water throughout your home. Nor does it address the water running from the bath tap.
Use Deep Moisturizers and Conditioners
Another option is to use deep moisturizers or leave-in conditioners to bring softness back into your hair. Preferably, try to use natural oils, and leave the solutions in when your hair is damp after the shower. Natural oils such as, argan oil, almond oil, coconut oil and others would do the trick and make your hair glossy again. Although this won't get rid of the limescale problems in your home, at least your hair will return to it's soft, glossy look.
Try Clarifying Shampoos
Another way to adverse and prevent the effects of hard water on your hair is to use of a clarifying shampoo. You can also buy shampoos from any grocery chain, 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. Like always, it is recommended to use shampoos that are made of completely natural ingredients, free of perfumes and other chemicals.Clarifying shampoos not only clean your hair better but also make it fuller, thicker, and appear shinier, apart from cleaning your hair.
Make A Natural Acidic Rinse
Try a homemade solution of lemon, lime orvinegarto rinse your hair out, as the acidity will naturally educe 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 bottled water. Then, leave the solution in your wet hair for a few minutes, finishing with a final rinse with the same purified water. Although this is a quick fix method, it can lead to becoming more expensive if you continuously need to purchase lemons, vinegar and purified water.
Install a Whole-House Water Softener
There are solutions to temporarily alleviate flat or oily hair caused by hard water, but for long-lasting, continual results,installing a water softeneris the way to go.
Water softeners workto remove calcium and magnesium in your home’s water supply, leaving you with soft water and smooth, manageable hair. Soft water also balances your hair’s pH level, so you’re left with silky smooth hair after every wash. Soft water also requires less shampoo to achieve optimal results, meaning your hair will maintain its color for much longer. And, as an added bonus, soft water can help to reduce chronic skin conditions such as eczema and dry skin.
Once you start washing your hair after the water softener is installed, you'll notice your hair and skin feel softer and healthier.Also, if you have a problem with dandruff or itchiness, washing your hair with soft water will relieve and soothe any irritations.