How Hard Water Can Affect Your Hair
Hard water is a fact of life in much of Florida. In fact, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the state’s water is rated hard to very hard and that’s bad news for your hair. Rainwater absorbed into the ground is typically filtered through an aquifer of limestone where it accrues a variety of minerals, primarily calcium.
Hard water can contain minerals ranging from calcium and iron to magnesium. It builds up on your hair in a film that prevents the shaft from absorbing moisture for hydration. It can leave hair looking dull, dry, and vulnerable to breakage. The deposits in hard water can even lead to hair loss.
If you’re washing your hair in hard water, your mane is in danger of increased breakage and thinning, dullness and frizziness, and tangling. Hard water can also cause hair to attain a green or brassy hue, depending on your natural hair color. The effects of hard water have immediate results and can transition into long-term problems in maintaining healthy hair.
Hard water deposits also build up on the scalp like hair care products. The calcium in hard water prevents those residues from being appropriately eliminated. The result can be dry scalp, dandruff, and it can make existing dandruff worse through excessive skin cell growth. Studies have shown that hard water results in a decreased thickness of the hair shaft.
Your colorist’s job will also be more difficult. Hair damaged by hard water is highly stressed and more difficult to work with for technicians. If you’re troubled with hard water, the best solution is a water softener, though a whole-house softening system is expensive. The alternative is a water softener shower head that uses cartridges to filter out minerals before it touches your hair.
A clarifying shampoo used once or twice a week can help, but be sure its designed to remove mineral build-up and not just styling products. A hair mask is another option, used twice a week to nourish. A leave-in conditioner is also helpful to soften hair.
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