Something extraordinary happens when we go on holiday. Our hair is the most lustrous it’s ever been, and our skin is somehow softer, without needing to be duly massaged with moisturiser. Our complexion? Positively glowing. Of course, snoozing until noon with your biggest dilemma being the choice between a mojito or a margarita does play a role, but otherwise, there’s something in the water.
Yep, looks like water hardness is kind of a big deal when it comes to your hair and skin. You can go for all the fancy hair spas and buy styling products you want, only to have your shower water totally sabotage you! So today, we’re listing down everything you need to know about hard water, soft water, and good hair. Keep reading to learn all about hard water damage to hair and how you can counteract it.
When we talk about hard or soft water, we’re not actually talking about its density or feel. The scale of soft to hard refers to the concentration of minerals in the water. The more magnesium and calcium the water has, the harder it is. You can’t actually see these minerals, but it’s quite likely that you have hard water at home. In fact, more than half of India does. But don’t worry, this doesn’t affect the safety of your water. Drinking hard water can actually help hit your daily recommended intake of essential minerals. However, it might wreck havoc on your hair. Keep reading to know why hard water is your biggest beauty nemesis yet.
Think about how crunchy or dry your hair feels when you let it air-dry after swimming in the ocean – that’s just an example of what hard water can do to your locks. That crispy and dry feeling is due to the mineral residue that clings to our strands as the water evaporates. The same goes for tap water. Hard water penetrates our strands and the minerals crystallise as our hair dries. This leads to drier, duller hair more prone to breakage and tangles.
This mineral build-up over time can cause the butterfly effect of other issues. It can lead to brassiness, and ruin coloured hair. You may even notice that your scalp is flaky, dry, or even greasier than normal. It can also weigh down your hair and make your hairstyles look flat. Additionally, hard water can even irritate skin prone to eczema. Here are a few steps to not only lessen hard water damage, but repair it.
A pre-shampoo treatment helps create a barrier to minimise the buildup of minerals that penetrate the hair fiber. You can also go for a scalp scrub to remove existing buildup and promote a balanced and clean scalp.
If you want to curb the damage as much as possible, start with your shower head. You can also install an entire soft water system in your home, but it’s expensive and for those living in an apartment, a non-starter. Attaching a water filter to your shower head is a small-scale option to mitigate the damage. It helps filter out minerals like calcium and magnesium – the two main culprits when it comes to dull and dry hair. Thus, lessening the buildup and residue on your strands.
If you’re working with hard water, using a clarifying shampoo will do the job of rinsing away the dirt and residue. When looking for a detoxifying shampoo, check for an ingredient called EDTA or EDTA complex – an effective chelating agent.
Apple cider vinegar is one of the most popular ingredients for DIY hair treatment, since most of us have it in our pantries. If you’re taking the home-remedy route, mix five parts water to one part vinegar in a spray bottle, spray your scalp and work the formula into your ends, let it sit for five minutes, then rinse.
Luscious locks for days!
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