85% of U.S homes have a hard water supply, which harms human health and also our hair and skin. The more calcium and magnesium your water has, the “harder” it will be. Buildup in home appliances and white spots on laundry and dishware are the signs of hard water. Moreover, if you feel a film on your hair after a shower, it will be because of hard water. Along with various health concerns, hard water isn’t suitable for hair and damages them.
If you have doubts about hard water’s harmful effects on your hair, this guide is for you.
What is Hard Water?
Hard water has high dissolved minerals, particularly calcium and magnesium. Hard water leads to limescale buildup in sinks, bathtubs, and faucets and leaves mineral deposits on our dishes and glassware. Besides this, hard water can even cause clothes to become fade after washing. This water also damages our hair and causes hair fall issues.
The Reason Hard Water Damages Hair
As described earlier, hard water contains a higher concentration of minerals; thus, these minerals bond with hair strands and create a barrier that deflects moisture and other substances. This mineral film on the hair strand makes your shampoos, conditioners, and other hair treatment serums ineffective. If you wash your hair with hard water for the long term, your hair will become frizzy, dull, and more prone to tangles.
Effects of Hard Water on Hair
- Hard water leaves a buildup of minerals on hair and scalp if you shower with it. As a result, your hair will feel heavier, dull, and flatter.
- Mineral buildup from hard water on hair makes them dry and brittle. A dry scalp will lead to itching and irritation also.
- It is also reported that hard water can change your hair color slightly. It fades your hair, and in severe cases, it will cause them to get white.
- The excessive amounts of calcium and magnesium in hard water will react with your shampoo and conditioners, resulting in a salt formation on your scalp. It also makes shampoos and hair masks less effective on hair.
- Hair will become hard to manage and style because it will be less pliable.
We can conclude the hair symptoms after washing with hard water as:
- Dry scalp
- brassiness or a green hue
In severe cases, hair loss is also reported.
Treatment for the Hair Damaged by Hard Water
If your hair gets damaged by hard water, you should immediately avoid using it. Some treatments are also necessary to avoid hard water to restore your damaged hair.
Use Water Softener Shower Head
The first thing you have to do is to stop using hard water for taking showers. For this purpose, using a water softener shower head is your best choice. Installing water softener shower heads can be expensive as you have to install them on every shower, but it’s a great way to combat hard water issues.
These shower heads have cartridges filled with carbon and are used to remove minerals before water touches your hair.
Use a Clarifying Shampoo
According to the top hair stylists, a clarifying shampoo can help revive your hair damaged by hard water. You must use the clarifying shampoo at least once weekly to restore them from damage. A clarifying shampoo adds nutrients to your scalp and results in healthy hair.
Apply Hair Mask to Restore Damaged Hair
Using a nourishing hair mask twice a week restores moisture and shine in your hair. When hard water damages the hair, it becomes necessary to provide them nourishment through hair masks. You have to make sure that you are massaging well into your scalp and working it with the tips of your hair. Let the mask leave for at least 5 minutes before rinsing it off.
A leave-in conditioner is another good choice for softening the hair. Choose a conditioner with low pH. It will help to close the cuticle back down; locks moisture in and minerals out.
Use Citrus and Vinegar to Rinse Hair
Hard water not only damages your hair but also damages your scalp. Thus, you must start with your scalp, which provides nourishment. Besides clarifying shampoos and hair masks, you can make your homemade nourishing solution for your scalp. Mix water, vinegar, and citrus juice in a container and use it to rinse your hair.
Using apple cider vinegar will be more effective than simple vinegar as it has a lower pH and contains vitamin B and C, which are extremely healthy for hair.
Hard water damages hair and scalp, making hair frizzy, dry, and dull. To combat this issue, you must use water softener head showers as a priority. Along with water softening devices, you must restore your hair by using nourishing hair products.