What is Hard Water and How Does it Affect Hair?

June 20, 2016

Have you ever ran water and it smelled as if chemicals were in it? Or have you ever taken a shower and your skin and hair feels less moisturized afterwards?  Chances are, the water in your area is hard. Hard water is filled with lots of calcium, magnesium, and manganese. Another sure sign that you are dealing with hard water is the appearance of white rings or spots around faucets and any metal surface in the sink.  It is also noticeable on plastic shampoo and body wash bottles, that are in contact with the water from the shower.  A constant use of hard water will cause mineral buildup, in your hair. This causes the cuticle layers, in the hair shaft, to remain open.  Hair cuticles that never close are not able to retain water, therefore hair will lose it's sheen, volume, and softness.  Hair also becomes very brittle and grey hair tend to develop a yellow tint. Hard water also causes hair color to fade more quickly, for those with color treated hair. There are a few things you can do to avoid mineral build up such as buy a water softener (but that's expensive), shampoo and wet hair with distilled water, or shampoo hair with a clarifying shampoo.  Look for shampoos that contain Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), which is a chelating agent that binds to minerals so that they can be removed.  EDTA is used in many water treatment plants.  Listed below are the ingredients and steps for a mineral buildup treatment. Try it out because no one wants damaged hair due to water.

  • 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
  • Water
  • Baking soda
  • Clarifying shampoo
  1. Mix 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1/2 cup of water
  2. Apply to hair and leave in for 5 minutes and rinse with cold water
  3. Shampoo hair normally with clarifying shampoo
  4. Make a thick paste with equal parts of baking soda and water and leave in hair for 10 minutes
  5. Shampoo hair again with clarifying shampoo
Note:  The vinegar and baking soda loosens and dissolve minerals, in the hair.  Also, the vinegar doesn't leave an odor.

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  1. Girllll the water in California is so hard, to the point where I can use my dishwasher because the water create those weird permanent rings. I need to take this advice!