Washing, conditioning, styling, and general care are the basics of keeping the hair shiny and healthy. But if you’ve been doing all these things right and you still find your hair dry and lackluster, it may be best to look for other potential culprits – it could be due to the hard water you use to shower.
What is Hard Water?
Hard water is basically water, with a high concentration of “hard” minerals, such as magnesium and calcium. It may also contain small amounts of chlorine, iron, and copper. Water is classified as “hard water” if it registers higher than 3.5 grains per gallon (gpg).
Although hard water, in general, is not harmful to one’s health, it can negatively affect both the hair and skin. Hard water can strip the natural oils and moisture from the skin, leaving it dry and prone to irrigation. If you happen to travel in a hard-water area, you will also notice that your hair feels a lot different than it usually does. The mineral content of hard water interferes with the cleansing action of your shampoo products, rendering it less effective.
It’s also difficult to rinse out entirely the hard water minerals, causing buildup on the hair and scalp. More minerals make the hair less pliable, dull and prone to more damage and hair loss. Moreover, mineral buildup on the scalp can lead to a dandruff-like condition.
How to Fix Hard Water Problems?
Fret not – hard water need not cause more damage to your hair. For those who live in a hard-water area and desires to have shiny, silky, and smooth hair, here are 5 practical solutions.
- Install a Water Filter on Your Showerhead
Similar to a drinking water filter, a shower filter removes unwanted chemicals and encourages pH balance. It can considerably lessen the amount of chlorine, copper, and other chemicals found in hard water.
Shower filters come in several types that can be easily attached to your shower unit. They vary in price depending on their designs and specific functions.
- Try Hard Water Clarifying Shampoos
Clarifying shampoos is similar to your regular shampoos but works on “deep-cleansing” your hair and scalp. While all shampoos will wash away the residues and oil from your hair, a clarifying shampoo formula will cut through product buildup and more oils to leave your hair looking squeaky clean. It’s the type of shampoo used mostly by lap-swimmers to fight off chlorine in the swimming pool.
Since clarifying shampoos work more intense than regular shampoos, it can be a bit harsh on the scalp too. It’s recommended to use them sparingly. Moreover, it’s also wise to buy products that make use of natural, organic, and safer ingredients. Click here to find out more about hard water clarifying shampoos.
- Do an Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
Because of its acidic nature, vinegar is an excellent solution to remove mineral buildup on your hair. It also makes your hair bouncier and shinier as it balances pH and smoothens down the hair cuticles.
Any type of vinegar would do good, but apple cider vinegar is highly recommended. Mix 1/3 cup of vinegar with 1 quart distilled water. After shampooing and rinsing your hair, massage the hair with the mixture and leave it on for a few seconds. Wash it off with cold water after. Since it’s an acidic substance, consider using the vinegar rinse only once a week, as daily use might damage your hair.
- Try A Lemon Rinse
If you dislike the vinegar rinse because of its sharply strong smell, you might want to use lemon juice instead. Just like vinegar, lemon’s acidic nature will help wash away the buildup from your hair. Lemon also has antiseptic properties, which is an excellent remedy for dandruff.
To create the lemon rinse, mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in 3 cups of water. After shampooing, use the rinse by massaging it all over your scalp and hair strands. Then, was it off immediately with cold water after a few seconds.
- Use Argan Oil
Since hard water can severely dry your hair, you’ll need something to restore its moisture back. After washing and towel drying, apply a couple of drops of natural Argan oil to damp hair. It will secure the moisture within the hair strands to give you that smooth and glossy finish. However, be mindful not to apply too much all the way to the roots as it might cause unwanted hair greasiness.