The Hard Truth About Hard Water + Your Hair

One of the aggressors against beautiful, soft, shiny hair is the environment.  This can take the form of free radicals, dry winter air, and UV damage from the sun.  Many of these you can combat by using professional haircare and styling products from award-winning companies like Kerastase and Bumble and bumble.  These products are scientifically developed with quality ingredients that infuse moisture, add vibrancy and vitality, repair damage, and protect against further damage.
One environmental component that is challenging to defend against is
hard water.

What is hard water?

Water is nature’s best solvent and picks up impurities easily.  Hard water is water that has a high mineral content.  It is created when water “percolates” through calcium and magnesium deposits such as limestone, chalk, and dolomite.  The Midwest and parts of the Ohio Valley have some of the hardest water in the nation.

How does hard water affect hair health?

Hard water isn’t only hard on our appliances, clothes, and skin- it is also damaging to our hair.  Bathing with hard water leaves behind minerals that build up over time.  This causes hair to be:

  • Brittle,
  • Frizzy,
  • Dull,
  • Susceptible to color fading,
  • Brassy.

Regionally, many of us complain of brassiness when it comes to hair color.  Some may even notice a green hue when they look in the mirror.  These results are caused by a natural chemical reaction to the minerals found in the water you shower with.

How can I avoid hair damage caused by hard water?

We can avoid damage caused by hard water; the easiest method is to install a water softening system at home.  Not only will this help your hair, but will improve your skin, clothes, and the amount of product you use at home to clean with.  Sure, not many of us have the budget to install house-wide systems, but it can be as easy as changing your showerhead.  Many DIY and “big-box” stores carry showerheads that have a built-in filter that softens water much like drinking filtration systems.  Typically the cartridges are replaceable and are fairly easy on the pocketbook.

Regular hair treatments to remove mineral build-up

Another method to help battle the mineral “bulge” is asking your stylist for a professional treatment to remove mineral impurities and restore the body, bounce, and brilliance of your hair.  These treatments are especially poignant prior to coloring services.  Creating a clean (hair) canvas before applying color is the most effective way to achieve precise results and prevent premature fading.  Add these treatments before haircut services or to a weekly shampoo-blowout and you will be on the road to the best hair of your life without hard water giving your hair a hard time.

P.S.  Did you know that rainwater is naturally soft?  This is because the water in a droplet of rain lacks calcium and magnesium ions.

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